Analyzing the College Football Playoff Picture


Intro: With the college football season coming to a quick close, we decided to centralize all the information you’ll need to know. Here is a quick overview for each of the top 6 college football teams, and our predictions for the final playoff picture. All prediction percentages come from

Georgia (10-0): As expected, Georgia has shined this season. Despite losing starting quarterback J.T. Daniels early into the season, the team has flourished under new starter Stetson Bennett. The second half of the season has been smooth sailing for the Bulldogs, beating all six of their last opponents (all six were SEC teams). They’ve outscored opponents, 219-53. The rest of their schedule is pretty easy, I doubt the Yellowjackets or the Buccaneers will put up a fight. At this point, their kind of a lock to make the CFP, and even the Natty. The SEC Championship game will most likely be between UGA and Alabama, I couldn’t really tell you who I think is going to win because Georgia is notorious for choking when it counts.

  1. Remaining Schedule
    1. Charleston Southern
    2. @ Georgia Tech
  2. Chances
    1. To win their conference: 58%
    2. To make the playoff: 81%
    3. To win the National Championship: 38%

Alabama (9-1): Alabama just came back from a dominating statement win versus New Mexico State this past weekend, winning 59-3. Alabama’s strong suit is their defense, ranked 5th in the nation with the only top 4 school ahead of them being Georgia. Alabama QB Bryce Young had an insanely efficient game completing 21 of 23 passes for 270 yards and 5 touchdowns. Additionally, Brian Robinson Jr. had 99 yards on just 9 carries. Alabama should continue to win over the next two weeks although #21 Arkansas might be a challenge. The problem is Alabama will have to face Georgia in the SEC Championship, meaning that Alabama could go into the CFP as a two loss team.

  1. Remaining Schedule
    1. # 21 Arkansas
    2. @ Auburn
  2. Chances
    1. To win their conference: 41%
    2. To make the playoff: 58%
    3. To win the National Championship: 22%

Oregon (9-1): Oregon had a strong start to the 4-0 start season which included a victory over Ohio State in Columbus. The tragic flaw of this team however, is being in the PAC-12. They dropped a double overtime game to unranked Stanford, so there are questions about the team’s legitness. It is likely that they will win-out the rest of their season and win the PAC-12. I don’t see this team ever rising above #3 just because none of their wins are very “quality”. It should be noted that there is definitely a possibility for Oregon to rise to #2 after the SEC Championship, but they would be an overrated second seed in the playoff bracket.

  1. Remaining Schedule
    1. @  #24 Utah
    2. Oregon State
  2. Chances
    1. To win their conference: 54%
    2. To make the playoffs: 41%
    3. To win the National Championship: 4%

Ohio State (9-1): After beating Iowa and Michigan state there was anticipation all week for the “upset king” Purdue to face the Ohio State Buckeyes. Instead, Ohio State dominated, winning 59-31. C.J. Stroud had 361 yards and 5 touchdowns while the running backs combined for 266 total rushing yards. The defense can still use some work, but this is by far the best offense Ohio State has faced, so you can cut them a little slack. Ohio State probably has the toughest schedule on this list with both #7 Michigan State and #6 Michigan over the next two weeks. If Ohio State can get through the next two weeks unscathed they will prove themselves as worthy of a playoff berth.

  1. Remaining Schedule
    1. #7 Michigan State
    2. @ #6 Michigan
  2. Chances
    1. To win their conference: 40%
    2. To make the playoff: 41%
    3. To win the National Championship: 12%

Cincinnati (10-0): First and foremost I should note that the committee does not want Cincy in the CFP, and they’ve got pretty good reasons. In my opinion, Cincinnati is not overrated, but they just can’t compete with big schools like Alabama or Ohio State. Being in the American Conference they don’t get a lot of ranked matchups resulting in a lot of low quality wins. Their most legit win comes against (then #6) Notre Dame in week five. Personally, I feel like Notre Dame is always one of the most overrated teams each year, so their highest quality win is a little discounted. They will definitely topple SMU and ECU and will almost certainly win their conference championship. Unfortunately, I do not see Cincy making playoff, however, next year when they move into the Big 12 their chances are greatly increased (but likely with a much harder schedule).

  1. Remaining Schedule
    1. SMU
    2. @ Eastern Carolina
  2. Chances
    1. To win their conference: 68%
    2. To make the playoff: 34%
    3. To win the National Championship: 4%

Oklahoma State (9-1): OKST is an interesting case. Although they are not currently in the top 6, FiveThirtyEight gives them a higher playoff chance than the teams below them because of the rest of their schedule and their recent play. All season they’ve dominated in the Big 12 with a win over ranked opponent Baylor,  and a quality win versus Texas early in the season too. Unfortunately for OKST, they’ve had to play the Big 12 upset king, Iowa State (a team that could greatly shake up the Big 12 and the CFP with their decisive remaining schedule) and # 12 Oklahoma in their rivalry game. Since the Big 12 is not divided into conferences, they could end up playing Oklahoma again in the Big 12 Championship. The worst case scenario for this team is if they lose to Oklahoma and #11 Baylor wins out. If that happens, they probably won’t even make their conference championship. I think people are sleeping on the Cowboys, I think they’ve got a decent chance to win the Big 12 and even make the CFP as a “dark horse”. 

  1. Remaining Schedule
    1. @ Texas Tech
    2. #12 Oklahoma
  2. Chances
    1. To win their conference: 48%
    2. To make the playoff: 33%
    3. To win the National Championship: 4%

Final Predictions:

  • Marshall- 
    • The Final CFP top 6 will be as follows: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Alabama 4. Oregon 5. Oklahoma 6. Cincinnati
    • The SEC Championship is going to be the most important game of the season. I could easily see a world where Nick Saban’s Tide beats the Bulldogs and takes the number one spot.
  • Brett-
    • The Final CFB top 6 will be: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan State 3. Oregon. 4. Alabama 5. Ohio State 6. Cincinnati
    • Michigan State is the toughest opponent the Buckeyes have faced since Oregon week 2, and I feel they have the best chance to dethrone the current Big 10 king. The Buckeyes will have to put everything they have into stopping Kenneth Walker III, one of the best running backs in college football, and this will further open up their vulnerable pass game that allowed almost 400 yards and 4 touchdowns from Purdue just last week. Expect this to be a high scoring game, and if there is any struggle from the Buckeyes offense, Michigan State could come away with the upset.