College Football Playoff Chase: Who's Still Alive After Week 4

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff Chase: Who's Still Alive After Week 4

College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff Chase: Who's Still Alive After Week 4


The unbeaten College Football Playoff contenders

Unbeaten with a Power Five championship will all but guarantee an invite into the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten and Pac-12 will be added when they start playing.


Will it happen? It’s going to take something amazing to beat this team twice. There are plenty of landmines, but the toughest road game is at LSU, and that’s about it, the rest of the tough games are at home.


Will it happen? It’s a good team, but it has to go to Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama. It’s not going to get out of the West alive.


Will it happen? No, but why not? The Big 12 is awful, but the Bears have to go to Texas and Oklahoma. Five of the last nine games are on the road.

Boston College

Will it happen? No. The Eagles survived Texas State this week, but they won’t get by road games at Virginia Tech and Clemson.


When it’ll all be over: No, because the schedule isn’t nearly good enough – there aren’t any Power Five teams on the slate. However, it won its first two games over Navy and Troy by a combined score of 103-10. Do that over the entire season, and the CFP committee will have to listen.


Will it happen? Yes, but it’s not the 100% lock you might think it is. Miami isn’t a speed bump – that’s in a few weeks – and neither is Pitt. Throw in road games at Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, and the Tigers will have to work for it.


Will it happen? It’s all up to the defense and whether or not it improves after the 51-35 win over Ole Miss. At Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia – those are the highlights of a tough run. Just get to the SEC Championship unbeaten, and it’s probably in. The same goes for …


Will it happen? It was a rough opener against Arkansas, and Auburn is up next with a trip to Alabama a few weeks later. Throw in dates with Florida and Mississippi State, and it’s going to be a rough road to just get to the SEC Championship without more from the offense.


Will it happen? No, no, no. However … the Flames have to play Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and NC State all on the road. It’s not going to happen, but go unbeaten, and the resumé will be better than anything any Big 12 team could boast.


Will it happen? It’s on the table now. The Hurricanes can lose at Clemson in a few weeks, run the table from there, and get in if they can win a rematch against the Tigers in the ACC Championship. A one-loss Miami with an ACC title gets in.

Mississippi State

Will it happen? No, it’s a Mike Leach team – the machine will stall from time to time – but after winning at LSU, are you totally sure the Bulldogs can’t win at Alabama and Georgia?

North Carolina

Will it happen? It has to be a whole lot better than it was against Syracuse in the opener, but there’s no Clemson, and the Notre Dame and Miami games come at the end. It might take a while before the Tar Heels lose two games, if at all.

Notre Dame

Will it happen? At the very least, it can absolutely get to the ACC Championship with the CFP on the table with a win. Can the team return healthy and slightly sharper? Going to Pitt on October 24th is a problem, but win that, and the November 7th date with Clemson and the road game at North Carolina are the only landmines.

Oklahoma State

Will it happen? Ehhhhhh, the team has been underwhelming, to be kind. It might have a problem at Baylor, and the Oklahoma and Texas games are dangerous, but this year, the Big 12 champ probably has to go unbeaten, and OSU won’t do it.


Will it happen? The team is playing well, but no. Even if it gets by Miami on the road and Notre Dame at home, it closes out against Virginia Tech and at Clemson.


Will it happen? No. At Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, at Auburn, Florida. The Vols will lose at least two of those.


When it’ll all be over: In a hurry if it plays another game like it did against Texas Tech on the road. It has to go to Oklahoma State and Kansas State, and it has to deal with Oklahoma. The team isn’t good enough to get to the Big 12 Championship unbeaten.

Texas A&M

When it’ll all be over: Very, very quickly with at Alabama, Florida, and at Mississippi State in the next three games.


When it’ll all be over: At Clemson this week will be Step One, and at Miami on October 24th will finish it off.

Virginia Tech

When it’ll all be over: It might not – this might be the second-best team in the ACC when it’s healthy again, or at least in the top three. There’s no Notre Dame on the schedule, but it has to deal with Miami and Clemson. Both of those though are at home. Going to North Carolina and Pitt, though, will be fights.

Teams that haven’t played yet, but …
Finished. Done. Let’s go take a steam
The Group of Five hopefuls
One-loss teams still alive … technically

More Bowl Projections