After taking a week off of Power Rankings, my rankings below are listed as to who I believe has the best shot of reaching the College Football Playoff when the season is all said and done. Also included is a look at their path to the Playoff.
Best shot to make the Playoff
*This is not a ranking of skill*
- Clemson- Easiest road to the playoff in my opinion with their biggest threat being Florida State on the road which should not be a problem. At the end of the season, even the ACC Championship should not pose a threat especially if Miami does not come out of the Coastal Division which is looking unlikely for the Canes.
- Notre Dame- All the Fighting Irish have to do is not slip up to find a spot in the CFP. They go on the road to Northwestern which is not a push over and they go to USC to end the year. I am not sure where Notre Dame would fall in the playoff race as a one loss team with no conference championship, so I believe they have to be undefeated which is very possible.
- Alabama- Dominant so far and the only thing standing in their way now is a trip to LSU and the SEC Championship with rival Auburn underperforming. However, anything can happen in a rivalry especially in the Iron Bowl. If the Tide even suffer one loss along the way I believe they are easily in the Playoff.
- Michigan- Penn State at home is the last major threat before The Big Game with Ohio State.
- LSU- Must beat Bama in a game that helps with it being in Death Valley. If they beat Bama, Texas A&M would stand in their way of punching their ticket to the SEC Championship and potentially the CFP.
- UCF- WIN Out
- Florida- Florida was able to beat LSU and Georgia was not able to. Florida will play Georgia for the SEC East which will give the winner a shot at the SEC Championship and a spot in the playoff with a win. (Kentucky may stand in the way)
- Georgia- Like I said above, Georgia will likely be playing Florida for the SEC East. However, Kentucky will get their shot at Georgia which would potentially give Kentucky a ticket to the SEC Championship since Kentucky beat Florida.
- Ohio State- The Buckeyes were the first playoff contender to slip up with their loss to Purdue, but Ohio State stills has a chance and beating Michigan and reaching the Big Ten Championship.
- Kentucky- Beat Georgia and somehow win the SEC.
- Iowa- Win out and win the Big Ten somehow
Slim Shot to make the playoff
USF- Win Out, beating UCF and winning the AAC Championship (Even at 13-0 it would take a miracle for a CFP birth)
Washington- The only would be to win out beating Washington State and winning the PAC 12 Championship.
Wisconsin- If Wisconsin somehow wins out and wins the Big Ten Championship, they may be considered, but I highly doubt the Badgers will clinch a playoff berth.
Texas A&M, Oregon and Penn State – Near impossible as these teams have very little chances at reaching a conference championship.
Two conferences I don’t see sending a team to the playoff
Looking at the Big 12 it seems like the conference will eliminate each other from playoff contention. Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia all have one loss already. Texas and Oklahoma both play West Virginia and then there is the Big 12 Championship which could be played between 2-loss teams or a 2-loss will have the opportunity to beat the only 1-loss team. The only 1-loss team that could be considered for the CFP in my opinion would be Oklahoma, but I just don’t see it. Obviously, West Virginia would look great if they knocked off both Oklahoma and Texas, but that is a very tall task, plus they would have to beat one of those teams twice in the Big 12 Championship game.
The PAC 12 only has one team left that has only lost once, so the chance of seeing a PAC 12 team in the playoff is diminishing. It would be interesting to see Washington State win out, but it is highly unlikely.