College Football Playoff Projections: Can Georgia Get In?
I released my Top 25 yesterday, so what’s it imply about the playoff?
First, I think there are ultimately 21 contenders. The clear-cut group comes from the undefeateds:
- Ohio State
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
- Virginia Tech
- West Virginia
- Penn State
- Mississippi State
- Boston College
I also think these schools have a shot with some help:
- Auburn – Winning out may be enough to win the SEC West.
- BYU – Winning out with two Top 10 Wins (Wisconsin, Washington) and another Top 25 Wins (Boise State) does it.
- Texas A&M – All we know at this point is A&M isn’t better than Clemson. So there’s a shot.
- Miami – Can still win the ACC.
- Michigan – Can still win the Big Ten.
- TCU – Needs to leapfrog three Big 12 schools, but that’s no more unlikely than Auburn’s odds.
I think Wisconsin and Michigan State are out on account of awful losses. I think UCF is out because of its schedule. There are a slew of undefeated schools lurking outside of the Top 25 that could make moves. I’m thinking specifically of Cal (3-0 start with a win over BYU) and Mizzou (undefeated entering admittedly weak SEC East play).
DYC Poll Implied Playoff:
Right now the top four seeds are:
- LSU – LSU has two Top 10 wins away from home. When will someone else be able to say that? It could be a while. The Tigers’ schedule is brutal but they’ve done everything you could ask of them thus far.
- Ohio State – I think LSU may have the two best wins in the country. Ohio State’s win over TCU may be the third-best. Michigan State and Michigan do not appear to be what some expected (both languishing at the bottom of every Top 25 poll), and Wisconsin seems conquerable yet again if the Badgers represent the other division in the Big Ten title. So Ohio State needs to do two thing: 1. Beat Penn State and 2. Not step on its own manhood along the way (against one of the Michigan schools or anyone else). That’s probably the most straight-forward and navigable to-do list of any contender.
- Georgia – The Bulldogs should enter a date with LSU undefeated and if the Tigers do the same (equally likely), the Dawgs will get real points for that win. It’s hard to see Kirby’s team missing the SEC Championship and I think they have a one-game window of grace (be it a loss to Auburn in the regular season or a loss in the conference championship game).
- Oklahoma State – The Big 12 is wide open but the Cowboys looked more impressive than Oklahoma (narrow win vs. Iowa State) and TCU (loss to Ohio State) this past weekend and have earned the right to be the Big 12’s representative. What changes that? Well, losing to a combination of TCU, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Or, a rally by another conference. Put bluntly: If Stanford beats Oregon next week, they’ll be in this spot.
DYC Adjusted Playoff Projection:
- Alabama – As strong as LSU has looked, the Tiger hype has mostly been built upon scheduling. Alabama would be 3-0 by much wider margins against the LSU schedule. Alabama looks as good as ever at this juncture.
- Ohio State – All of the above applies.
- Oklahoma State – I think the Big 12 is wide open and I’ve been wrong about Oklahoma so far this year, but I think some folks were wrong about OK State too. Thus far, they look every bit as deserving of a playoff spot as the Sooners.
- Georgia – Again, LSU has looked strong but I don’t feel any differently about Georgia’s trip to Baton Rouge than when the season began. I just think Georgia will get a hell of a lot more credit for the win.
That’s all I got/