Path To The Playoff: Teams that can make the College Football Playoff … with a little help
9. Indiana Hoosiers (4-1)
The Hoosiers got so much respect after the Ohio State game you’d have thought they won. On the plus side, it was such a good showing in the 42-35 loss that they still might have a shot.
– Beat Maryland, win in convincing fashion at Wisconsin – that has to be an annihilation – and rock Purdue.
Here’s where it gets tricky.
– In a perfect world, Indiana wins out, and Ohio State loses two of its last three to at Illinois, at Michigan State, and Michigan. Then IU goes to the Big Ten Championship and wins it – it would be in. OR …
– IU wins out, Ohio State destroys everything in its path – especially if it plays an unbeaten Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship. There’s one open spot in the CFP, and in a four-best-team way, the committee decides that Indiana losing like it did at Ohio State still makes it one of the top teams.
Will Indiana Make The College Football Playoff? No, but if you’re going to argue for Texas A&M or Miami, then Indiana has to be in the discussion, too, if it wins out and if Ohio State goes unbeaten.
8. Miami Hurricanes (7-1)
– Win out. At Wake Forest, North Carolina, Georgia Tech.
– Notre Dame loses two of its last three games – at North Carolina, Syracuse, at Wake Forest – and/or Clemson loses one of its last two games – Pitt, at Virginia Tech.
– Miami gets to the ACC Championship and wins. OR …
– Miami wins each of its last three games in a rout. Notre Dame beats Clemson in the ACC Championship, or better yet, Notre Dame loses before the ACC title game, and then gets blown away by the Tigers.
– Three spots in the CFP are taken, there’s an open fourth spot, and there aren’t any obvious choices, and 10-1 Miami whose only loss was at Clemson back in mid-October is left standing.
Will Miami Make The College Football Playoff? It’s one of the more likely possibilities not being talked about all that much. The path is rockier than it is for some of the other teams higher on this list, and the Canes have to start looking the part, but don’t be stunned if this becomes a real thing very soon.
7. Texas A&M Aggies (5-1)
The only reason A&M isn’t higher than this is because it doesn’t control its own destiny, and the teams in the top six do. However, because of the win against Florida, and because the only loss is at Alabama, there’s still a shot.
– Win out against LSU, at Auburn, and at Tennessee, but first …
– Get healthy and get back on the field. No more canceled/postponed games.
– Look amazing in the last three games, especially at Auburn on the way to 8-1.
– Alabama has to rip through everyone else and win the SEC Championship in a walk, making the 52-24 loss in Tuscaloosa seem even more acceptable. The other hope is to win out and get to the SEC title game by Bama losing to both Auburn and at Arkansas, but that’s unlikely.
In these final two things, A&M beating Auburn impressively would be a huge help.
– There’s an even funkier scenario. Alabama loses one of its last two games to Auburn or at Arkansas, Florida wins the SEC Championship, and Texas A&M wins out. There’s an even funkier scenario than that …
– A&M wins out, Florida beats previously unbeaten Alabama for the SEC Championship, and there’s a meltdown in the ACC and/or Big Ten championships. The College Football Playoff takes three SEC teams.
Will Texas A&M Make The College Football Playoff? The Aggies will get very, very close, but it’s hardly a sure thing that they’ll win at Auburn. If they win out, though, they’ll at least be knocking at the door.
Path To The Playoff
– The desperate long shots
– Teams that will be told they can make the CFP (but really can’t)
– Teams that can make the CFP … with a LOT of help
– Teams that control their CFP destiny
– 4 most likely teams to make the CFP
NEXT: Path To The Playoff: Teams that control their College Football Playoff destiny