After Week 6 of the season, what’s the Path to the College Football Playoff for the 25 teams still alive for the four spots?
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Who’s Out After Week 5?
Boston College, Cal, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
So who’s really still alive for the College Football Playoff?
Some of the teams that had a technical shot to stay alive – like Indiana, Cal and Maryland – are done now, and knock out any Group of Five program with a loss.
As is, an unbeaten GOFer almost has no chance, and at the moment, there aren’t any unbeaten teams in Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West or Sun Belt.
All the teams on this list are still in the mix, and here’s what has to happen.
Group of Five: American Athletic Conference
The Path to the College Football Playoff: The Bearcats need the Power Five conferences to implode, Notre Dame has to get knocked off, and this needs to be a 13-0 season with a dominant win over UCF on the road. That will get them into the discussion, but …
What Will Happen: No. Even at 13-0, they’re not going to get in, but they’ll drop at least one game. They’re playing well, though, and will be right in the AAC title hunt until the end.
The Path to the College Football Playoff: It’s going to take a big public relations push and a whole slew of meltdowns from Power Five championship games to get close. Going 12-0 – missing a game because of the hurricane – will be a problem in the Notre Dame debate, but get unbeaten, and get people talking.
What Will Happen: The schedule isn’t good enough. The Knights can go unbeaten, and it won’t be enough considering the one Power Five win will be over Pitt. However, the Knights have the inside track to a second straight New Year’s Six game.
The Path to the College Football Playoff: The Bulls have to be amazing over the second half of the season, and they need Cincinnati to stay great – there’s a date at UC in mid-November – and the UCF game has to an unbeaten vs. unbeaten showdown.
What Will Happen: It won’t get through the slate unscathed, but with wins over Georgia Tech and Illinois, and with the road games at Houston, Cincinnati and Temple to come – along with the UCF game – the chances will be there to make a big case if they go unbeaten.