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Week 6 Playoff Picture – 2016

Tennessee, Arkansas, Miami, and Houston all fell this week, yet again opening up room for more teams to inch closer to their playoff dreams. As the playoff door seems to get wider each week it may be safe to assume the simulation model does not incorporate as much randomness as it should, game-to-game.

A 13-0 Boise State ascends to “guaranteed” status on the heals of Houston losing. The playoff committee may not like a mid-major in the playoff but the computer sees the schools OOC opponents going 3-for-3 against “Power Five” teams this week. The Air Force loss did not help the chances of the Broncos finishing on a high note in conference play. If they do lose, the Broncos from Western Michigan may take their turn in the spotlight, but more likely it’ll be the remaining Big 12 undefeateds (Baylor and West Virginia) finally taking a spot in the sun.

Guaranteed > 90%
Undefeated Alabama (100%), Clemson (100%), Michigan (100%), Nebraska (100%), Ohio State (100%), Texas A&M (100%), Washington (100%, +2%), Boise St (97%, +8%)
1 loss Champ Wisconsin (100%, +2%), Ohio State (99%, =0%), NC State (98%), Tennessee (98%), Louisville (97%, +5%), Michigan (97%, =0%), Alabama (97%, +1%), Nebraska (95%, +5%)
Next Loss in CCG Ohio State (99%, +2%)
Favored > 50%
Undefeated West Virginia (87%, +1%), Baylor (85%, +4%), Western Michigan (80%, +3%)
1 loss Champ Wake Forest (83%), Clemson (82%, +12%), Miami (81%, +19%), Houston (70%, +23%), Arizona St (70%, +10%), Virginia Tech (68%, +8%), Utah (61%, +8%), Memphis (60%, -8%), Florida (58%, -18%), Washington (57%, +22%)
Next Loss in CCG Alabama (77%, +9%), Michigan (65%, +8%), Texas A&M (59%, +8%)
1 loss at large Ohio State (81%, +4%), Alabama (50%, +5%)
2 loss Champ Ole Miss (86%, -7%), Florida St (80%), Auburn (69%, -3%), Penn State (68%), Wisconsin (53%, +5%)
Need Help >5%
1 loss Champ Navy (43%, -1%), Tulsa (38%, =0%), USF (35%, +6%), Wash St (35%*), Toledo (35%, +12%), Boise St (17%, +7%), Air Force (13%), West Virginia (9%, +2%), Western Michigan (5%)
Next Loss in CCG Nebraska (39%, +4%), Clemson (35%, +17%), Washington (14%, +9%)
1 loss at large Louisville (41%, +9%), Texas A&M (38%, +6%), Clemson (33%, +17%), Michigan (28%, =0%), Houston (20%, +7%), Washington (10%), West Virginia (6%), Florida (5%, -3%)
2 loss Champ Pittsburgh (34%), NC State (24%), Tennessee (22%), Colorado (19%), Louisville (19%, +10%), Oklahoma (17%, +1%), Miami (11%), Stanford (6%)
2 loss at large LSU (13%), Florida St (11%, +3%), Penn State (7%)
3 loss Champ USC (16%, -18%), California (15%), UCLA (9%)
Summary
Lost, still favored Miami, Tennessee, Houston
Lost, need help California, UCLA, Colorado, Air Force
Lost, eliminated Arkansas, UNC, Texas Tech, Stanford, Ga Southern
Eliminated without loss  (none)

The once 2-horse race between Clemson and Florida State has matured nicely into Clemson and a handful of other ‘decent’ contenders. The Tigers have to get past the Wolfpack this week and the Seminoles in their following game. Pittsburgh and Wake Forest too are teams still keeping an eye toward the playoff. Louisville, Miami, and Virginia Tech feature on this graph as well.

Is Houston out? No. In fact, they are still favored to reach the playoff as 12-1 American Athletic Champions, as are the Memphis Tigers. Navy, Tulsa, and USF fit this category too, but their chances held stagnant through the weekend.

Florida-LSU? We dropped the game from the schedule and will reinsert it if it is ever rescheduled. This hurts LSU the most as they were “guaranteed” to make the playoff at 11-2 but now need both Alabama and Texas A&M to drop an extra game just to make the SECCG. While Florida’s chances of an SEC title were enhanced this weekend, especially with Tennessee’s loss, their chances of parlaying that into a playoff spot plummeted from 76% to 58%. Strength of Schedule matters.

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