College Football Playoff Chase: Ranking The 8 Teams Still Alive After Week 12

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff Chase: Ranking The 8 Teams Still Alive After Week 12

College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff Chase: Ranking The 8 Teams Still Alive After Week 12


Who’s still alive in the chase to get into the 2021-2022 College Football Playoff? After Week 12, here are the 8 teams still alive and what they need to do to get in.

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Week 12 Roundup
Rankings AP | Coaches | CFN 1-130 Rankings
Week 13 opening lines | CFP Top 25 Prediction
Bowl ProjectionsWeek 12 scoreboard
Big Game Reaction: Utah, OSU, OU, Bama
Bowl Bubble: Who still has a shot?

Unless everyone starts losing – like, if Georgia Tech beats Georgia, Auburn beats Alabama, and it gets even weirder from there – there are realistically eight teams left in the College Football Playoff chase.

Wake Forest tapped out, Michigan State was done 30 seconds after getting off the bus in Columbus, and Oregon ran into a Utah buzzsaw.

Those three won’t be joining us for the rest of the College Football Playoff season. Who’s left?

Here’s the ranking of the eight remaining teams based on 1) ease of path to get in, and most importantly, 2) the pecking order, starting with …

8. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1)

It keeps having to be said over and over and over again, don’t assume the College Football Rankings right now hold after the conference championships are done.

Did you win your Power Five conference championship, and did you go unbeaten or finish 12-1? The precedent has been set from the start that you’re in if you do that, and if there isn’t another obvious option.

2018 Ohio State remains the only 12-1 Power Five champ not to get in – it got obliterated by Purdue and unbeaten Notre Dame had to get in.

Oklahoma might not have the best resumé, but the loss to Baylor isn’t that bad. If it beats Oklahoma State twice, it’ll be one of – at most – three 12-1 Power Five conference champs.

Get to 12-1, and Oklahoma is likely in. Blowout Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship – and maybe in Stillwater this week – and it’s a done deal.

So why the lowest-ranked team on the list? The call is that OU doesn’t beat Oklahoma State twice, if it even gets the second chance. That, and the committee really might not like this Sooner team and the rankings aren’t just a mirage.

7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1)

The College Football Playoff committee has been in a strange bind when it comes to Notre Dame.

It blew out Wisconsin, and the wins over Purdue, North Carolina, and Virginia – even though the Cavaliers were without QB Brennan Armstrong – are among the eight wins over Power Five programs, and there will certainly be a ninth at Stanford this weekend.

It’s been a bit of a stunner through the early process that the committee hasn’t put the Irish one spot behind Cincinnati and kept them behind Michigan and Michigan State – at least until this week. It’s as if they’re being punished for being the one good team on Cincinnati’s schedule, and losing.

Here’s the strange part, though. Notre Dame is blowing out teams like it wishes Cincinnati had done over the last several weeks.


That’s the three-game combined total against Navy, Virginia, and Georgia Tech, but there’s no getting into the College Football Playoff unless 1) Cincinnati loses to free the Irish to move up, and/or 2) there’s a two-loss Big 12 champion, and/or 3) the Big Ten West wins the Big Ten championship.

It’s more likely than you might think.

NEXT: Top 6 College Football Playoff Chase Rankings


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