Group of Five hopefuls
It’ll take something miraculous to happen for any of these teams to get within sniffing distance of the CFP. The only possible way it works is to 1) go unbeaten, 2) be dominant doing it, and 3) hope for chaos in the Power Five championship games.
There can’t be four other options from the Power Five leagues.
Ranking the Group of Five programs still alive from no shot to so-you’re-saying-there’s-a-chance …
There’s no chance it’s going to happen with Tennessee the only game against a Power Five team, but the schedule is light enough to get through clean with a win in Knoxville. Even at 12-0, though, forget it.
5. Appalachian State
And now the Mountaineers have a win at North Carolina. There’s a date at South Carolina for another possible Power Five win, and winning at Louisiana and Troy would be better than it seems.
The Mustangs looked like the real deal with the thrilling win at TCU. They still have to go to Houston, and they have to deal with a trip to Memphis and a date with Tulane, but they just got the toughest game on their schedule out of the way.
The resumé won’t be strong enough with the lone Power Five victory coming against Ole Miss at home, and playing five road games in seven dates after dealing with Navy this week will be tough. With road games at Temple and Houston, and with home games against SMU and Cincinnati, it’ll be a fight to get to 12-0.
2. Boise State
Beating Florida State won’t be enough, but the brand name is enough to at least get in the room if the Broncos go 12-0 with a Mountain West title. Beating Utah State on the road won’t be enough to get anyone excited, but they lead the pack now in the hunt for a New Year’s Six spot.
The one advantage the 2-0 Midshipmen have over the rest of the remaining unbeaten Power Five teams is a date at Notre Dame. Beating Memphis and Houston on the road would be good, beating Army would be great, and beating Tulane, Air Force and SMU at home would be a big deal.
Do all of that and take down the Irish in South Bend – to go along with an American Athletic Conference Championship win over UCF – and they’d absolutely be in the discussion. It’s not going to happen, but the schedule opportunities will be there.
– Finished. It’s over. The College Football Playoff dream is kaput
– The one-loss teams that technically still have a shot
– The one-loss teams that actually have a shot
– The unbeaten College Football Playoff contenders