One week of regular season football to go. Nine teams with a shot at the four-team playoff. Here’s everyone who’s still got a shot.
The best team in the country, once again. Twenty-four and oh in the last three years of SEC play. A cupcake against Georgia Tech and then a clash against the surging Tide in Atlanta is all that’s left for the Dawgs. Lose that one, they’re still probably in. This is still Georgia’s crown to lose.
Ohio State (11-0) and Michigan (11-0)
The winner of this one is in. Simple as that. The Game is must-see TV.
The Huskies are somehow being majorly disrespected by the media and committee alike. Ranked fifth? It has the best strength of schedule of any undefeated team, 18 straight wins, the most ranked wins in America, the best win of any team (vs. Oregon), the best QB-WR duo in Penix Jr. and Odunze, and an extremely underrated defense led by Bruener and Muhammad. If they do get that rematch vs. Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship Game, it will be the most important game in the history of the conference.
Florida State (11-0)
Losing Jordan Travis is a major blow, there’s no way around it. You have to feel for FSU because now, even 13-0 might not be good enough to get them in. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. To give themselves a shot, they’ll have to beat Florida, who can’t stop losing, and Louisville, who can’t stop winning, in the ACC title game.
The Ducks have looked like arguably the best team in the entire country for weeks now, but that loss against Washington keeps them out of the top five. Oregon has to deal with a really good Oregon State team in what will be an especially emotional Civil War this week. Win that, and they’ve got a win-and-you’re-in battle against Washington in Las Vegas. If you want entertainment, tune in to Oregon football for the next two weeks.
Texas’ path looks pretty good right now. The win at Alabama continues to look better and better, and the Longhorns should be in with two more wins. They’ve taken their foot off the gas pedal a few times in the last month, but the stars always seem to step up. Sweat, Worthy, Mitchell, Ford, Ewers, the list goes on. A revenge game against Oklahoma or one last meeting with resurgent Oklahoma State in Arlington will likely be Texas’ last hurdle.
Everyone knows this team is good enough to win a National Championship, but no one knows if they’ll have a shot at getting there. To get in, Alabama will have to beat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Do that, and they’ll have themselves an excellent argument to get in. So with a little bit of help and some incredible football, Alabama still very much has a path to glory.
How’d they get here? It’s been a terrific season for Jeff Brohm’s Cardinals, and with Travis being out, they may even be favored in the ACC Championship. First, they’ll have to beat a frisky, SEC-tested Kentucky team on Saturday. Then, beat FSU, and if all hell breaks loose elsewhere, you never know. Here’s the only scenario I see them getting in:
- Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship.
- Texas loses to Texas Tech or in the Big 12 Championship.
- Washington and Oregon both lose this week, Arizona beats Washington in the PAC-12 Championship.