CFP and BoW rankings, with difference in ranking between outlets listed in between team names:
|6||Oklahoma State||1||Notre Dame|
My formula likes both USC and Oregon more than the committee does, and continues to look down upon Baylor. It sees Oklahoma as the class of the Big XII.
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 they need to win the ACC.
Alabama: Win out, cannot afford a loss.
Ohio St: Win out, including Big Ten CG. Can they lose? Probably not. November losses have shown to be judged harshly by the committee.
Notre Dame: The Big 12 champ needs to lose a game. Oklahoma St would jump them if they win out.
Iowa: Win out, would replace Ohio State.
Oklahoma St: Win out, would replace Notre Dame.
Oklahoma: Need two of top 5 to lose.
Florida: Win out, would replace Alabama.
Michigan St: Win out AND 1 of the following needs to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big 12 champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame.
Baylor: Win out AND 1 of the following needs to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big Ten champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame.
Stanford: Win out, including PAC12 CG, AND 2 of the following need to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big Ten champ, Big 12 champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame.
Michigan: Michigan State needs to lose 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).
Utah: Win out, including PAC12 CG, AND 2 of the following need to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big Ten champ, Big 12 champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame.
All of the teams below cannot get to the top 4 (without Mass Chaos, see below), either due to too many losses, too weak a schedule, no chance to win their division, or a combination of any/all of these.
If your team is currently below the threshold to get in the playoff without mass chaos, here is a chart of the most probable game results needed to create the amount of chaos necessary to completely blow up the paths outlined above. If all of the following happened, there would be zero Power 5 teams with fewer than 2 losses. Some hypothetical game results may seem unlikely, but none would be close to the biggest upset of the season. Bold lettered games indicate a loss to a team not in the current CFP Top 25.
|Week 12||Oklahoma St loses to Baylor||Oklahoma loses to TCU|
|Week 13||TCU loses to Baylor||Oklahoma St loses to Oklahoma|
|Week 14||Baylor loses to Texas|
|Week 13||Clemson loses at South Carolina||UNC loses at NC St||Notre Dame loses at Stanford|
|Week 14||Clemson loses ACC CG|
|Week 12||Ohio St loses to Michigan St|
|Week 13||Ohio St loses at Michigan||Iowa loses at Nebraska||Michigan St loses to Penn St|
|Week 14||Iowa loses Big Ten CG|
|Entire conference has 2+ losses each|
|Week 13||Florida loses to Florida St||Alabama loses at Auburn|
|Week 14||If Alabama or Florida win their week 13 game, then that team loses the SEC CG|
Important games in Week 12:
Michigan St at Ohio St
Baylor at Oklahoma St
TCU at Oklahoma
The winner of Michigan St/Ohio St maintains control of their own destiny. The Big 12 will remove at least 1 contender in the TCU/Oklahoma game, and Oklahoma St can end Baylor’s playoff dreams.