Projections for the College Football Playoff and Bowl: Ways for the eight remaining contenders hoping to secure a four-team field

Projections for the College Football Playoff and Bowl: Ways for the eight remaining contenders hoping to secure a four-team field

Now that the College Football Playoff Rankings for the penultimate round have been announced, it is appropriate to assess the chances of the remaining teams hoping to make it to the four-team field.

Without a doubt, this season has been the most predictable during the CFP era. The top four teams going into conference championship weekend have all gone unbeaten for the first time ever.

That makes it possible that this will be the first-ever playoff field of its kind, but it also raises the chance of mayhem this weekend because there will be fierce competition at the top of the standings.

There are eight teams left in the running for the college football playoffs. The Pac-12 champion would make the CFP over the first time because Washington became the No. 4 seed in 2016, that much is certain.

Additionally, it is very likely that, for the initial time since 2019, there will only be conference champions in the playoffs.

The six-ranked team and the four undefeated teams essentially decide who advances to the playoffs.

Here’s a list of the remaining CFP hopefuls in order of current position, followed by an explanation of what each team may expect to accomplish this weekend for each club.

Let’s examine those teams’ standings in light of Championship Week and the upcoming final CFP Rankings.

The major contenders all made it through a nearly chaotic Week 13, thus the final eight are the same as they have been for the previous month. This weekend, seven out of the eight teams will be in action, including Pac-12 and SEC rivals.

The four teams that advance to the College Football Playoff are determined by a wide range of various combinations of events, and my projection model has charted each team’s chances of making it to the final four and winning the national championship.

It’s a little subjective to decide which squads are CFP contenders going into championship weekend.

Regardless of whether the squad is participating, a Power 5 team with just one defeat heading towards the league title games almost always needs to be taken seriously.

A club with a pair of defeats had to be taken into consideration when it fought for a conference title, albeit no team without two losses has ever qualified for the CFP. This year’s Auburn is the most apparent example.

It was one of the rare seasons where multiple games featuring CFP contenders were played on championship weekends.

More often than not, the focus of championship weekend has been on spotting potential team outs plays rather than on teams trying to make their way onto the field.

When USC won the Pac-12 championship game of Friday night the previous season, the field was all but determined before the games on Saturday began. Ohio State entered through a back door without participating.

Though they would have entered regardless, Georgia and Michigan win their conferences to maintain their perfect records and secure the top two seeds. TCU qualified despite losing the Big 12 championship game.

Both the SEC and the Pac-12 have two. Georgia, the two-time defending champion, is not guaranteed to lose to Alabama and advance, as it did its route to winning the national championship in 2021.

There are several possible outcomes this weekend that could force the 13-member CFP selecting committee to make difficult decisions on Saturday night. There is at least two CFP contender in each conference championship this year.

This season’s crop of college football teams is so strong that it would seem ideal to have a 12-team playoffs to fit them all. Next year, that will happen.

It could be argued, however, that perhaps the CFP wouldn’t have had the need to grow if there had been more seasons like this one, with exciting championship weekends and build-up leading up to selection Sunday.