College Football Playoff Takeaways – Power 5 is battling its best to stay unbeaten, and the Big Ten is back in a big way

The first college football playoff rankings will be released on November 24, which is about a month from now. Which is a lot of time for you Thought You know how to change.

All it takes is one upset – a loss for Penn State to capitalize on itself with a home win against Ohio State on Halloween – to throw the entire conference into chaos. (Yes, even two games in a season.) If the Nittany Lions started the season 0–2, the Big Ten had the best in the Buckeyes vs. the West.

The question is how long each 5 power conference can hang on to an undefined team, which is the closest thing to a guarantee to come to the CFP semi-final spot. Alabama and Clemson have been the best, most consistent contenders, but Ohio State can prove itself with more opportunities. Undefeated Notre Dame saw their offense in a 45–3 road win at Pitt, and the Big 12 still have an undefeated team at Oklahoma State.

Pac-12 has not yet joined the party.

To be clear, one-losing teams have not been relegated from the playoff conversation – but as long as undefeated teams remain, it is far more difficult for a contender in a top-four case like Georgia.

Here’s a look at undefeated playoff contenders, ranked in order who are given the best shot to end the regular season:

1. Clemson

Take quick playoffs: The Tigers rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency, which could set them apart from Alabama in the eyes of the committee. The Tigers have a top-15 win against Miami, and although it was fair to question Dabo Swine about mistakes in Saturday’s 41-27 win over Syracuse, that game is not going to change Clemson’s playoff status (though you Surely one can debate who is not 1). Three of Clemson’s final five games are on the road, but ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Tigers at least an 82% chance to win them all.

The most remaining tests: 7 November at Notre Dame. If the Irish continue to an offensive success at Pitt on Saturday, the game could be close. The big question is if Notre Dame’s defense – which defeats the Irish Louisville 12-7, could slow Trevor Lawrence & Co..

2. Alabama

Take quick playoffs: The Tide defeated Tennessee but lost star receiver Jaylen Waddle to the season with an ankle injury. Although Bama’s offense is still full, it is a devastating blow, as Wadle has a great ability to make big plays and was a threat to score a kick return. His absence, however, should not exceed the Tide’s playoff expectations. The hardest stretch of Alabama’s season is behind it, as the Tide may not face a second-place opponent in the regular season. ESPN’s FPI gave Bama at least an 82% chance to win each of its remaining games. Alabama’s defense has shown steady improvement over the past two weeks after voicing concern on Oct. 10 with a 63-48 win at Ole Miss.

The most remaining tests: 14 November at LSU. The only reason that November 28 is a bit more difficult than the Iron Bowl is because it’s a road trip, and Alabama gets Auburn at home. Even without Wadle, the Alabama offense has mediocre defense from both LSU and Auburn.

3. Ohio State

Take quick playoffs: A win loss against an unabated Nebraska team is not enough to compare the Buckeyes to the likes of Alabama and Clemson, but yes, Justin Fields does it well, and Ohio State’s eight-game schedule is highly winnable. Fields threw an incomplete pass – one! – 95.2% for completion rate. Penn State and Michigan will probably rival the Buckeyes’ only rank before the Big Ten title game. There were times when Ohio State’s offensive line was pushed around Nebraska’s defensive front. How much can Bucky get out of his ground game without putting the fields at risk?

The most remaining tests: Saturday at Penn State. Will the Nittany Lions spend emotionally after overtime loss in Indiana? Or will they be determined to return to the playoff conversation? If Ohio State loses, a head-to-head result could keep this team out of the Big Ten title game.

4. Wisconsin

Take quick playoffs: We have seen this film before. Wisconsin looks good all season, winning the West and then losing to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Can this weather be different? Maybe, quarterback Graham Mertz led the offense. Did you think the fields are good? Well, Mertz did the same exact thing, completing 20 of 21 passes on Friday in a 45–7 win over Illinois – and he had a better day, with five touchdowns. ESPN’s FPI supported the Badgers to win every game by at least 84% this year. If both Ohio State and Wisconsin remain undefeated in the Big Ten Championship game, it’s always possible that the selection committee takes both teams to their top four – but that will depend on how the other Power 5 races play.

The most remaining tests: November 14 in Michigan. The Wolverines looked good in their opener against 21st Minnesota, and the game is in Ann Arbor.

5. Notre Dame

Take quick playoffs: In a shocking concession of honesty, coach Brian Kelly called the coach “one game at a time” and said, “We’re looking a little further.” The Irish know they face Clemson in two weeks – what should have been an easy win at Georgia Tech on Saturday – and Kelly challenged his team to start playing up to that level now. “We’re not just interested in winning football games,” he said. “We are interested in being a championship football team.” Notre Dame was able to pit, where the Irish played a full game in all three stages. Remember, Notre Dame is part of the ACC this season, so even though the Irish lost at home to Clemson during the regular season, they could get a second chance at the Tigers in the ACC title game. That game would have a very interesting debate in the meeting room of a troubled committee.

The most remaining tests: 7 November. Clemson Vs. This is not the only game that could derail an ideal season for Notre Dame. Don’t forget about the November 27 Friday night trip to North Carolina, which has improved a lot in the second season under Mack Brown.

6. Oklahoma State

Take quick playoffs: Saturday’s win against a ranked, tireless Iowa State team was a reminder that the Big 12 is not yet out of playoff negotiations. According to the Allstate Playoff Predictor, Oklahoma State has a 41% chance of winning the Big. If the Cowboys can do so, with one loss or zero, they will be considered for the top four spot, but the minute they lose, their chances will be significantly reduced. The strength of the conference can be an issue when comparing the one-loss Oklahoma State winner to the ACC, SEC and Big Ten champions. The defense of Oklahoma State, which has given only 51 points so far, is one of the reasons for its success.

The most remaining tests: On November 21 in Oklahoma. This is the only game on the Cowboys schedule in which ESPN’s FPI gives them less than a 50% chance (48%) to win.

7. Michigan

Take quick playoffs: Quarterback Joe Milton did what Michigan needed him to do: manage the offense without finishing it. It was not attractive, and the Wolverines beat No. 21 Minnesota with their running game and defense. They can continue to win that way – but probably not at the highest level. Of the Big Ten teams listed here, Michigan has the toughest route, with games against Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State. Michigan is likely going through all that is not realistic, but with only one game played, the Wolverines have plenty of time to improve and prove otherwise.

The most remaining tests: December 12 at Ohio State. Good luck. ESPN’s FPI gave Michigan an 8.3% chance of winning one.

Group of 5 UNBEATENS

For a team outside Power 5 to be considered for a spot in the CFP, it would have to be virtually undefeated. And defeated opponents of rank. And get some major chaos in the Power 5 race. Although this is not impossible. The following teams are ranked in order of their likelihood to remain undefeated, and although Liberty is the final, it also has the best opportunities to impress the committee:

1. BYU: According to ESPN’s FPI, the Sigars last started 6–0 in 2008, and they had a 48% chance of winning this season in Saturday’s game against Texas State. Only Clemson (59%) has a better chance of ending a regular undefeated season. Quarterback Zach Wilson has been outstanding and has helped legalize BYU as a contender, but with no Power 5 opponents or chances against opponents of rank, it would be difficult to convince the committee that the Cougars are a better résumé With Power 5 is worth a spot for the contender – – with a single loss. BYU’s toughest remaining game in BoU State is November 6, Friday night, but ESPN’s FPI gives BYU a better than 50% chance to win each of its remaining games.

2. Marshall: Its best win was against the then-No on 19 September. 23 Appalachian State, and probably won’t have another rank opponent in the regular season. While this increases the chances of finishing undefeated, it won’t do much to impress the selection committee – a tough lesson that Marshall learned after starting 11–0 in the inaugural season of the CFP in 2014.

3. Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers wins over Kansas and then-no. 21 Louisiana and are No. 7 in offensive ability. They are a good team, but ESPN’s FPI gives Coastal Carolina only a 36.7% chance to defeat Appalachian State on 21 November.

4. Cincinnati: According to ESPN’s FPI, with the win at SMU, the Bearcats increased the chances of the AAC championship game from 21% to 31%. Cincinnati has been a strong defensive team, and was on a winning display at SMU on Saturday, the most impressive to Beard to date. With the remaining games against Memphis, Houston, UCF and Tulsa, it is not easy to finish undefeated. This year, the question may be who will get six bids for the new year: BYU or AAC Shampoo?

5. Freedom: The Flames are the last on this list, as it is far less likely that they will be undefeated the season, but if Hugh Freeze can perform that miracle, the Liberty could be the best synergy of any non-Power 5 team in the Playon era is. The Flames would have defeated Syracuse, won at Blacksburg against No. 19 Virginia Tech, won on the road against No. 23 NC State and won at the road at No. 25 Coastal Carolina.


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