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5 Games That Will Shape the 2016 CFP

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Over the course of a college football season, dozens of FBS games are played weekly, but only a handful will truly impact the CFP.

A game involving, say, North Texas or Troy is not going to shape the Playoff committee perspective on who the top four teams in the nation are. Many contests on the schedule will have bowl implications, but not the bowls that matter. A more thorough examination of the docket might reveal at most a few dozen games at most that impacted who made the field.

Here, we have five. Based on our current understanding of who the key players will be in the new season, these are the contests that will have a critical role in deciding who makes the 2016 CFP and who is not playing on New Year’s Eve.

1. Clemson at Florida State

Saturday, October 29

These are two teams that currently rank in the top four, and even though these are just preseason rankings, most would expect both the Tigers and Seminoles to be legitimate playoff contenders.

Since only one of these teams will play for the ACC title, that honor will be decided in Tallahassee on the evening of October 29, barring the winning team falling in more than one conference game. Of the seven teams in the ACC Atlantic, only Clemson and Florida State are considered to be true contenders, whether for the division title, conference title, or national title.

Whichever school loses this game might not be out of the mix. Assuming both are still highly ranked in late October, the defeated team will not fall far in the polls. With a flawless November and a couple breaks, both could be in playoff position, with the winner getting an edge.

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