College Football Playoff Scenarios (Week 4)

College Football Playoff Scenarios (Week 4)

Week three of the college football season took another surprising turn for many of the nation’s supposed top teams. What separates real contenders from good teams left in the lurch is schedule strength. The ability to make up for a loss in resume-building is what still has the likes of Alabama, USC and Auburn in the playoff hunt. Of course, what hurts Auburn specifically is the fact that it might not be a very good football team.


For All Intents and Purposes:

Auburn (2-1): I still can’t quite bring myself to completely write off the Auburn Tigers. They still have opportunities left to recoup what has been lost here in the past two weeks. With four top-15 opponents remaining, as well as games against Mississippi State and Arkansas, ground can be made up.

The more pressing matter, as previously mentioned, is that Auburn may not be any good. It took overtime for the Tigers to defeat Jacksonville State. Then they got literally run over by Leonard Fournette and LSU even though the latter Tigers have no discernible passing game to be afraid of. One-dimensional offenses like LSU’s are supposed to be easy to defend. Auburn made it look anything but.

Georgia Tech (2-1): The Yellow Jackets get thrown into the all-but-eliminated camp as well, but for a different reason. Georgia Tech had two chances all season to grab a good non-conference win. The loss to Notre Dame means the Jackets’ entire season rests on their final regular-season game against Georgia. We already know an impressive run through the ACC won’t mean squat come the end of the year. A victory in the ACC championship needs to be joined by a win over Georgia, and that still might not be enough.


The Cream of the Crop:

Michigan State (3-0)
Ole Miss (3-0)
Ohio State (3-0)…pending offensive problems being answered
Baylor (2-0)
TCU (3-0)…pending defensive problems being answered


On the Outside Looking In:

Clemson (3-0), Florida State (3-0): While Clemson and Florida State aren’t in as much trouble as Georgia Tech, very close wins for both schools puts each on notice. They already had to make the ACC title to have a playoff shot to begin with. Now, even that may not be enough. Clemson could be saved by the fact that it plays Notre Dame out of conference for its next game (after a bye week). Florida State has no such chance to build its resume outside of the confines of the ACC, the Power 5’s weakest member.

Missouri (3-0): Missouri’s entire season comes down to its October 17 game at Georgia. The Tigers need to win the SEC East to have any shot at a playoff game. Playing in the weak half of the conference makes that an easier proposition; it also leaves the Tigers with no room for error because any loss will drop them from consideration. Beating UConn 9-6 at home is not technically a loss, but it’s as close as you can get.


2015 Projected Bowl Matchups