Though we’re only two weeks from the various conference championship games across the college football landscape, there remains a considerable amount of uncertainty in how the College Football Playoff field will come together. There are only a couple teams who can really feel confident about making it, though a number would seem to control their own destiny, so to speak. That said, the field is still wide open, and the number of teams that still have at least a glimmer of hope sits in double digits.
Here is analysis are the teams most likely to make the Playoff, how likely their chances are, and what they have to do to get there.
Clemson Tigers (11-0, at South Carolina, ACC Championship Game)
Clemson might not be able to afford a loss, but the reality is they’re unlikely to suffer one. They’re the class of the ACC and will be clear favorites in their season finale against South Carolina, as well as in the ACC title game. Clemson should go unbeaten, and that will be an easy ticket to the playoff. Concerns linger that they’re not quite as good as they were last season, but that won’t really matter until they get to the playoff.
LSU Tigers (10-0, vs. Arkansas, vs. Texas A&M, SEC Championship)
The Tigers are exceedingly likely to reach the SEC Championship unbeaten, with winnable home games against Arkansas and Texas A&M on the schedule. That will likely lead to an SEC title game between LSU and Georgia, with the winner almost certainly assured of a spot in the playoff. There’s definitely a route for LSU if they lose. Their resume wins are impressive and include wins over Texas, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama. There’s plenty of precedent for one-loss SEC runners-up to make it in, so the Tigers should be feeling good right now.
Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0, vs. Penn State, at Michigan, Big Ten Championship)