8. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1)
Penn State is in the College Football Playoff if … it runs the table. Like all the one-loss Big Ten teams, it will take a wee bit of help when it comes to getting another Alabama gaffe, and a loss by Oklahoma or Oregon would be wonderful.
However, Penn State’s loss to Iowa on the road will be more than acceptable if it goes on to win at Ohio State, at Michigan State, and at home against Michigan to go along with a Big Ten title.
It’s all going to go wrong against … at Ohio State, or at Michigan State, or against Michigan. One more loss ends it.
Will Penn State get into the College Football Playoff? No, but it if it wins two of the three big games and doesn’t get tripped up by Illinois, Maryland or Rutgers it should be in a New Year’s Six bowl.
Ranking the teams alive for the College Football Playoff
UTSA | San Diego State | Coastal Carolina
SMU | Texas A&M | Auburn | Ole Miss
Notre Dame | Kentucky | Cincinnati
Baylor | Pitt | NC State | Wake Forest
Ohio State | Oregon | Penn State | Iowa
Michigan State | Oklahoma St | Michigan
Alabama | Oklahoma | Georgia
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings