College Football Betting: Nine Teams and Their Path to the Playoffs
With two games remaining for most teams, there are still nine teams that have a realistic shot at making the College Football Playoff this season. Not coincidentally, they are the top nine teams in the current College Football Playoff Rankings.
#9 Baylor (10-1)
Remaining Games: @ Kansas and @ Oklahoma
The Baylor Bears are already guaranteed a spot in the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma on December. If they want to keep their CFP chances alive they need to win not only that game but also against Kansas this weekend. The Bears took down Oklahoma earlier this year 34-31. Winning these final two games doesn’t guarantee Baylor a CFP spot but it is a must if they want a chance. Baylor will most likely need losses from Minnesota, Utah and Georgia for them to sneak in.
#8 Minnesota (10-1)
Remaining Games: vs Wisconsin
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a must-win game against Wisconsin this weekend. The winner will play Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. With their only loss coming on the road to a good Iowa team, Minnesota will need to take down the Badgers and than the current #1 CFP team in Ohio State in back-to-back weeks. It will be a very tough task but the Golden Gophers have proven that they can compete with the nation’s elite. Minnesota shouldn’t need any outside help as winning both of these games should secure them a CFP spot.
#7 Oklahoma (10-1)
Remaining Games: @ Oklahoma State and vs. Baylor
We already know Oklahoma will take on Baylor in the Big 12 Championship . However, they need to defeat in-state rival Oklahoma State first. A team with a Heisman candidate running back in Chuba Hubbard will be no easy task for this Oklahoma defense. The Sooners haven’t looked as dominant in recent weeks and these are two tough opponents remaining. Getting revenge for their only loss this season against Baylor will go a long way in the committee’s eyes. The Sooners still might need some outside help to get in the CFP. Losses from any two of Georgia, Utah or Clemson in the ACC Championship should be enough if Oklahoma finishes 12-1.
#6 Utah (10-1)
Remaining Games: vs Colorado
A win against Colorado gets Utah into the Pac-12 Championship against Oregon. As with most teams, a win in both games is a must for the Utes to make the CFP. Their only loss this season came to an up-and-down USC team. Taking down a good Oregon team in the Pac-12 Championship will remove most of the doubt from that early season loss. Utah should only need a Georgia or Clemson loss for them to crack the top four and get a CFP berth.
#5 Alabama (10-1)
Remaining Games: @ Auburn
Despite their ranking, Alabama has the least amount of control of their destiny of these nine teams. They are already eliminated from the possibility of an SEC Championship thanks to their loss to LSU. Without a conference championship, the Crimson Tide seem to also be one of the unlikeliest of these teams to find their way into the CFP. If they are to sneak their way into the playoffs, the Tide will most likely need losses from Georgia in the SEC Championship, Utah, Minnesota and Clemson in the ACC Championship. It is possible, but unlikely Alabama continues its playoff run this season.
#4 Georgia (10-1)
Remaining Games: @ Georgia Tech and @ LSU
Georgia already has a date against LSU in the SEC Championship. Assuming they get past the Yellow Jackets, which they should, the Bulldogs will have a shot at arguably the best team in the country for a chance at the CFP. Winning both of these games all but guarantees Georgia a playoff berth. Anything else and they are most likely eliminated. Georgia controls their own destiny.
#3 Clemson (11-0)
Remaining Games: @ South Carolina and TBD
An undefeated Clemson team is obviously a lock for the CFP. After a sluggish start to their season, the Tigers have shown their expected dominance of late. They will face the winner of Virginia and Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship. Losing to South Carolina probably doesn’t end their CFP chances but a loss in the ACC Championship game potentially could. Win and in for Clemson. An underwhelming ACC Championship performance resulting in a loss could keep the Tigers on the outside looking in, if a few scenarios play out.
#2 LSU (11-0)
Remaining Games: vs. Texas A&M and vs. Georgia
Regardless of what happens against Texas A&M, the Tigers will be in the CFP with a win over Georgia in the SEC Championship. The interesting scenario would be if LSU beats the Aggies but then loses to the Bulldogs. Assuming that happens, Georgia would jump ahead of LSU. If Clemson and Ohio State go undefeated with conference titles they are obviously in. Would LSU still get that fourth spot without an SEC title? Or would it go to a Big 12 of Pac-12 one-loss champion? The Tigers better not leave this one up to chance. A win against Georgia almost feels like a must.
#1 Ohio State (11-0)
Remaining Games: @ Michigan and TBD
Win the Big Ten and you are in regardless of what happens with Michigan this weekend. The Buckeyes will take on the winner of Minnesota and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship. Would they still get the fourth spot if Clemson and LSU go undefeated and Minnesota upsets them in the Big Ten Championship? Or could Utah, Baylor or Oklahoma steal it from them? Even the #1 team has a rough two weeks coming up. Nobody is safe at this point.