The unbeaten College Football Playoff contenders
13-0 with a Power Five championship will all but guarantee an invite into the CFP. Remember, one loss isn’t necessarily a killer. 12-1 with a conference championship still likely gets it done.
Will it happen? Eventually the Tide will play someone good. Going to Texas A&M in two weeks is a start, but LSU comes to Tuscaloosa. The Iron Bowl at Auburn is looking bigger and bigger, but the Tide will roll on into the SEC Championship.
Will it happen? With this defense, the great lines, and an emerging Bo Nix, it’ll be a tough out. However, that run of at Florida, at Arkansas – which only matters because of the string of road games – and at LSU will be too tough to get by. Georgia and Alabama aways in November.
Will it happen? Not if the Bears play like they did at Rice this last weekend. The Big 12 slate is too tough to get through unscathed, but Oklahoma and Texas have to come to Waco.
Will it happen? It’s a potentially special team with an amazing defense. Get by Oregon in two weeks and survive at Utah, and this gets interesting, but … no – the Bears will lose at least twice.
Will it happen? Easily. The rest of the schedule is a pathetic joke. It’s not Clemson’s fault all these teams are so mediocre, but anything less than a weekly wipeout unto the College Football Playoff will be unacceptable.
Will it happen? The Gators aren’t getting enough love and respect, but they’ll have their big chances … and either lose to Georgia or LSU. If the loss comes against Georgia, there’s still a shot to get in by going 11-1 with a win over LSU. However, they’ll lose both massive games and just miss out.
Will it happen? The Dawgs have to go to Auburn and deal with Florida, but that’s about it. The Texas A&M game should be nasty, but the CFP dream will almost certainly come down to winning the SEC Championship game. Expect a second straight trip to the Sugar Bowl.
Will it happen? Not with trips to Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska to deal with. Throw in the home games against Penn State and Minnesota, and simply getting to 10-2 would be terrific.
Will it happen? At Oklahoma State, at Texas, home against Oklahoma, TCU and Iowa State. The Wildcats will win a few of those, but not all of them.
Will it happen? To be wishy-washy … maybe. The defense has to be a whole lot better, but as long as the Tigers don’t slip at home against Florida, Auburn or Texas A&M, the showdown at Alabama will be for the College Football Playoff – a 12-0 LSU that loses the SEC Championship game might still be in. An 11-1 LSU that loses to Alabama might still be in, too.
Will it happen? Nah. The Gophers could just as easily be 0-3 as 3-0. The schedule isn’t all that bad, but they have to play a whole lot better to get by Purdue on the road and hang around with Penn State and Wisconsin.
Will it happen? The Buckeyes have yet to play anyone dangerous. Indiana is the best team they’ve had to deal with, but they have to go to Nebraska this week, deal with Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State, and go to Michigan. They’ll drop one game somewhere, but they’ll win the Big Ten title – again – on the way to the CFP. Speaking of not playing anyone …
Will it happen? Houston, South Dakota and UCLA, even if that win over the Bruins looks a whole lot better now. There won’t be even the slightest of tests until they have to deal with Texas, and then things start to get at least a little challenging. They’ll drop a game, but the 12-1 Sooners will get in.
Will it happen? Nope. The Nittany Lions could lose on the road to Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and/or Ohio State, and they get Michigan at home.
Will it happen? After struggling so much against Old Dominion, no, it’s not going to happen. However, don’t be stunned if the Cavaliers push Notre Dame next week and come really, really close to running the table from there against a weak ACC slate.
Will it happen? No, but it’s going to be a blast. The Demon Deacons might just bomb their way to 9-0 before going to Clemson.
Will it happen? The narrative changes a bit now after destroying Michigan. If that Badger team shows up every week, only Michigan State and Ohio State have a reasonable shot. At least split against those two, beat everyone else, go to the Big Ten Championship at 11-1 – at worst – and a win away from going to the CFP. Bucky will end up in the Rose Bowl.