Path To The Playoff: Teams that control their College Football Playoff destiny
6. Northwestern Wildcats (5-0)
You’ve got to be in it to win it, and Northwestern might have just punched its ticket to be in the Big Ten Championship for the second time in three seasons after its 17-7 win over Wisconsin.
– Win out at Michigan State, at Minnesota, Illinois. However, just win two of the three and it’s in the Big Ten Championship.
– Win out and play (most likely) Ohio State impressively in a loss, and there’s a chance to get in as the No. 4 team if there are no other options. Or …
– Get to the Big Ten Championship unbeaten, beat the Buckeyes, and the Cats are in as no worse than the No. 3 seed. Or …
– Lose one of the last three games, beat an unbeaten Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship, and hope there’s only one option from the ACC and/or SEC, and no Pac-12 champion is available.
Will Northwestern Make The College Football Playoff? If Indiana can come that close to pulling it off against Ohio State, Northwestern can at least dream reasonably. It’s Thanksgiving week, and it’s one of six teams that controls its own College Football Playoff destiny. There should be a moment in Indianapolis in the middle of the game that it all seems possible.
5. Florida Gators (6-1)
Florida doesn’t have as many paths to the College Football Playoff as others do, but it has one direct one.
– Beat Kentucky, win at Tennessee, beat LSU. Beat (most likely) Alabama in the SEC Championship. That’s it. That’s the path. Unless …
– Florida loses one of its last three games and trucks Alabama in the SEC Championship. A close win over Bama would still make it hard for the College Football Playoff committee to take a two-loss team – especially considering one of the losses in the last three games would be to a mediocre team – but a blowout would change the mindset. Or …
– Win the last three regular season games, lose to Alabama in a classic SEC Championship, and there isn’t a good option from the ACC or – more likely – the Big Ten. A Texas A&M loss would help, too.
Will Florida Make The College Football Playoff? It’ll get to the SEC Championship with a chance, and it’ll fall just short in a loss to Alabama.
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 can make the CFP … with a little help
– 4 most likely teams to make the CFP