Who’s still alive in the chase to get into the 2021-2022 College Football Playoff? After Week 13, here are the 6 teams still alive and what they need to do to get in.
Week 13 Roundup
Rankings CFN 1-130 Rankings | AP | Coaches
Bowl Eligible Teams | Week 13 Scoreboard
Week 14 opening lines | CFP Top 25 Prediction
Bowl Projections, CFP Predictions
Riley to USC, Napier to Florida: GAME ON
Heisman Top Candidates: Who Wants To Win?
And now we’re down to six teams for four spots.
It stinks that the College Football Playoff isn’t expanded. It stinks that all the Power Five conference champions aren’t automatically in. It stinks that we still having to use words like eye-test and style points.
But that’s the deal.
Going into Championship Week, how do the six teams stack up, and which four are most likely to make it?
This isn’t based on how good the teams are. This is about who controls their destiny, what has to happen, and what the pecking order of these six teams are, starting with …
6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1)
Here’s the strange part about Notre Dame and its College Football Playoff chances.
It controls nothing, but it’s easily the first alternate if chaos kicks in.
For example. If Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship – and let’s say it’s relatively convincing – and then let’s say Cincinnati loses to Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship, who’s that fourth team along with Georgia, (assume) Michigan, and (assume) Oklahoma State?
11-1 Notre Dame gets in over 12-1 Cincinnati, and it probably gets in over 11-2 Alabama.
That Cincinnati loss came way back in early October. Since then there was a decent 32-29 fight with Virginia Tech, and the Irish destroyed everything in their path the rest of the way.
Granted, beating Stanford, Georgia Tech, and Navy isn’t that big a deal – all three have three wins – and beating USC isn’t all that important this year. However, the wins over Wisconsin and Purdue matter, the win over North Carolina matters, and 11-1 will probably matter.
Again, there’s no destiny controlling here. The Irish cake is baked with no conference title game to play for – this would’ve been the year to be in the ACC – and now it needs two losses out of Cincinnati, Michigan, Oklahoma State, and Alabama to do this.
5. Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0)
Cincinnati is realistically in with a win over Houston in the American Athletic Conference Championship. However, it needs one key loss elsewhere to seal the deal.
Why isn’t this a lock at 13-0?
Start with the monster helper that Cincinnati got to play East Carolina while all the top Power Five teams in the mix were killing themselves in huge rivalry showdowns. The committee notices that.
Cincinnati needs either Alabama, Michigan, or Oklahoma State to lose, and it probably can’t get in if all three of them win.
After the weird close-call clunker win over Auburn, we’re done with the idea that the committee would put in a two-loss Alabama – if it loses to Georgia, even in a good, tough fight – over a 13-0 American Athletic Conference Cincinnati. If that happens there’s a problem.
However, at this point, assume Oklahoma State is in with a win – more on that in a moment – and Michigan is a lock with a win.
Cincinnati has to beat Houston and then catch a wee bit of a break, and here’s why …