We are now five weeks into the college football season, and the College Football Playoff picture is clearing up thanks to an eyebrow-raising lack of chaos so far.
Three more teams on the fringe were effectively eliminated from playoff contention, with Cal, Duke, and Texas Tech all suffering losses that they won’t be able to overcome. That leaves us with 18 teams that still have a legit shot to make the playoff.
We have learned a few things over the years about how the committee picks the final four, and we have some idea of what teams need to do to make the playoff. Below, we ranked the 18 teams that still have a legit shot to make the playoff.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (13)
Last week’s result: Beat South Carolina, 24-10
Last week’s playoff rank: 18
Key games remaining: Road games against Texas A&M and Missouri and a home game against Georgia.
One thing to know: Kentucky and Florida are the biggest threats to Georgia in the SEC West. Both teams probably need to run the table — including wins over Georgia and presumably Alabama in the SEC title game — to make the playoff. But Kentucky has the advantage right now based on the head-to-head win. The Gators not only need to win out, but they also need Kentucky to lose twice.
Record (AP Rank): 3-1 (16)
Last week’s result: Did not play
Last week’s playoff rank: 17
Key games remaining: Wisconsin still has games on the road against Michigan, Northwestern, and Penn State.
One thing to know: The Badgers righted the ship against a tough Iowa team on the road and re-established themselves as the favorites in the Big Ten West. Still, they can’t afford any more slip-ups, and the schedule is not easy.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (14)
Last week’s result: Lost to Notre Dame, 38-17
Last week’s playoff rank: 10
Key games remaining: Stanford still has road games against Washington, Cal, and Arizona State.
One thing to know: The loss to Notre Dame was not an elimination game for Stanford, but it was close. A win over Washington could knock the Pac-12 out of the playoff picture completely.
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Source: Business insider