3 One-Loss College Football Teams With A Playoff Shot
[lead align=”default”]With the BCS gone, one loss does not mean the end of championship hopes. In the College Football Playoff era, it takes two to make it outta sight.[/lead]
Several teams ranked in the top 25 this week sit on one loss. What they must do to bridge the gap and get into the Playoff seems extreme, because it is. Nobody ever said it’s easy to win a national championship.
Three teams stand out as still having a chance to get to the field of four. What must they do to arrive there?
How they can get there: Win out, starting with a victory over Ohio State this weekend.
Oklahoma does not get to play in a conference title game being the Big 12. We already know that this sort of thing counts against teams at playoff time. Therefore, they must win the rest of their games; decisively is preferable. There is sufficient meat present on that schedule to do it, as was the case for 2014 Ohio State.
Potential pitfalls: The Ohio State game, for one thing. You need to beat SOMEBODY good to get to the College Football Playoff. This week is a fine place to start, but any losses from here on in will be the end. Texas, Baylor, and West Virginia also pose a threat to their tenuous chances.
Ole Miss Rebels
How they can get there: Start with beating Alabama, then find a way to win the SEC West and conference title.
Even though Ole Miss is outside the top ten, they can make up a lot of ground quickly thanks to the complexity of their schedule. A win over Alabama — and it’s not like they haven’t done it recently — provides an instant boost.
Potential pitfalls: That all of the above is much, much easier said than done. Oh yeah, running the table and winning the SEC championship, that’s cake.
Even if the Rebels get through Alabama for the third time in a row, which is as rare at it sounds for Nick Saban, the rest of the schedule poses a major challenge. Arkansas, LSU, and Texas A&M are all road games, and anything can happen in the Egg Bowl.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
How they can get there: What a surprise: they need to win out. This would include victories over Michigan State, Stanford, Miami, and Navy. What’s good for them is that all but one of those is at home.
That, and they’re Notre Dame. If they’re close to the Playoff, someone in the committee will want them there.
Potential pitfalls: Year in and year out, the Irish ride high preseason expectations, only to not win a national championship. The closest they came recently was in the 2012 season, making the BCS title game only to (predictably) get stomped by Alabama. This is a reasonably tough slate for Notre Dame, yet one that they are good enough to navigate.
They are fortunate to face most of the top competition on their schedule at home. USC on the road, however, may be in a position to undo their bid.