CFP and BoW rankings, with difference in ranking between outlets listed in between team names:
|5||Notre Dame||-11||Ohio State|
|7||Michigan State||0||Michigan State|
|14||Oklahoma State||0||Oklahoma State|
|16||Florida State||-4||Notre Dame|
|20||Mississippi State||-3||Florida State|
The most glaring differences are that my formula does not view Baylor or Notre Dame in nearly as high reagrd as the committee. My formula also values Stanford much higher, as their lone blemish to Northwestern on the road (ranked 21 by CFP and 26 by BoW, by the way) is a distant memory. I don’t see any irreparable damage in the first poll; everything that should be able to work itself out still can. Kudos for keeping Memphis above Ole Miss. At first glace, it seems the PAC12 champion will be on the outside looking in, but let’s do some deeper digging into each team’s outlook for the playoff.
Paths of Least Resistance
Each week, I will highlight the least convoluted path a team can take to get into the playoff. Granted, many alternate scenarios could result in the same outcome for a given team. In the interest of keeping this concise and easy-ish to follow, I’ll only give the clearest scenario and whether or not the team can afford a loss and still make the field of 4.
Clemson: Win out, including ACC CG. Can they lose? Maybe, but definitely not to Florida St since the loser of that game is likely out of the ACC CG
LSU: Win out, including SEC CG. Can they lose? Yes, but not to Alabama or Ole Miss.
Ohio St: Win out, including Big Ten CG. Can they lose? Yes, but not to Michigan St.
No team outside the top 3 can afford a loss and still get in. All need to win out and have their scenario happen.
Alabama: Ole Miss needs to lose 1 more SEC game.
Notre Dame: Either 1 of the top 3 OR the Big 12 champ needs to lose a game. The LSU/Alabama loser will open a spot for them, but Baylor would jump them if they win out.
Baylor: Win out, would jump ND and the LSU/Alabama loser.
Michigan St: Win out, would take Ohio State’s spot.
TCU: Win out, same scenario as Baylor applies here.
Iowa: Win out, would replace Ohio State.
Florida: Win out, would replace winner of LSU/Alabama.
Stanford: Need Big 12 champion to lose a game. Same scenario as Notre Dame, except Big 12 already in front of them.
Utah: Stanford needs to beat Notre Dame AND Big 12 champ needs to lose one.
Memphis: Ole Miss needs to win the SEC, AND there can’t be 3 unbeaten Power 5 champions and a 1 loss Notre Dame
Oklahoma St: Win out, Baylor scenario applies.
Oklahoma: There can’t be 3 unbeaten Power 5 champions and a 1 loss Notre Dame.
Florida St: Can replace Clemson, AND LSU/Alabama winner would need a loss somewhere, AND Big 12 champ needs a loss OR Notre Dame needs a loss.
Michigan: Michigan State needs to lose twice AND 2 of the following need to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big 12 champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame, PAC 12 champ (can’t be Utah), AND Memphis needs a loss.
Ole Miss: Memphis needs a loss AND 2 of the following need to have 2 losses: Big Ten champ, Big 12 champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame, PAC 12 champ.
All of the teams below cannot get to the top 4, either due to too many losses, too weak a schedule, no chance to win their division, or a combination of any/all of these.
Important games in Week 10:
Florida State at Clemson
TCU at Oklahoma State
LSU at Alabama
All 6 of these teams are in playoff contention, but the losers will need mass chaos to ensue to remain in the hunt.