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2018 College Football Playoff Picture

College Football Playoff Picture Updated November 27, 2018

College Football Playoff Picture

Like it is every year (until they change the format again), four teams make the two semifinal games of the College Football Playoff. It will ultimately lead to what is branded as the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship for the 2018 season, as the championship occurs in 2019.

This year, the College Football Playoff games are the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl, both to be played on Saturday, December 29, 2018. The 2019 CFP National Championship takes place on Monday, January 7, 2019.

Your defending national champions are the Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that has made every College Football Playoff so far. The other playoff teams last season were Georgia, Oklahoma, and Clemson.

If you’d rather see our overall bowl projections, that’s quite doable.

2018 College Football Playoff Picture: November 27, 2018

2018 College Football Playoff 11-27-18

Here’s what needs to happen for each contending team in the closing days of the 2018 regular season for them to make the College Football Playoff:

Alabama: Win and in, and probably lose and in unless they get demolished.

Clemson: Win and in.

Notre Dame: Realistically, already in.

Georgia: Beat Alabama.

Oklahoma: Beat Texas and Alabama beats Georgia.

Ohio State: Beat Northwestern, Texas beats Oklahoma, and Alabama beats Georgia.

Michigan: Pretty much boned.

UCF: Also pretty much boned.

We are down to six teams competing for four spots, and the scenarios seem very clear. Or are they?

2018 College Football Playoff Picture: November 20, 2018

2018 College Football Playoff 11-20-18

For the third straight week, the top eight of the College Football Playoff is the same. It is possible for it to happen four weeks in a row, but here’s what would have to happen:

• All eight of them win.

Why, that’s simple, but it’s not in reality. If Michigan blows the doors off of Ohio State and Notre Dame struggles with USC, you could have a flip. Nobody is unseating Alabama unless they lose.

UCF has gotten as far as they will get without someone losing, which could happen. Michigan, Oklahoma, and Georgia are among the teams that can pick up an extra loss. The best the Knights can hope for is “first four out” when the dust settles.

2018 College Football Playoff Picture: November 13, 2018

2018 College Football Playoff 11-13-18

No, we did not have a graphic design snafu. The top ten of the College Football Playoff rankings are the same between weeks for the first time ever. Those who needed to hold their ground did, and those we thought would lose lost. It’s really that simple.

UCF retains a minimal chance of making the field, whereas Ohio State and West Virginia are in doable but difficult position at the fringes of the top ten. If you’re outside the field of four, you’d rather be one of Georgia or Oklahoma.

2018 College Football Playoff Picture: November 6, 2018

2018 College Football Playoff 11-7-18

Three of last week’s top four remain in the bracket, while a newcomer, Michigan, replaces LSU.

At this time, there are 14 Power 5 teams with two or fewer losses. They are: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Washington State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Kentucky, Syracuse, NC State, and Boston College.

2018 College Football Playoff Picture: October 30, 2018

2019 CFB Playoff rankings 10-30-2018

Alabama, Clemson, LSU, and Notre Dame are the four teams in the initial ranking for 2018-19. This sets up a monstrous 1 vs. 3 matchup as LSU and Alabama will meet with something clearly on the line.

The full top 25 was as follows, in order:

(1) Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, (6) Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington State, Kentucky, Ohio State, (11) Florida, Central Florida, West Virginia, Penn State, Utah, (16) Iowa, Texas, Mississippi State, Syracuse, Texas A&M, (21) North Carolina State, Boston College, Fresno State, Iowa State, Virginia.

Several teams, including Syracuse, Boston College, Virginia, and even Texas, are making their College Football Playoff rankings debuts.

UCF getting in at number 12 is not a huge surprise. They are higher in the initial ranking than the Group of Five has been before (Memphis was 13th in 2015), but their being in the Group of Five is a hazard to their chances. Central Florida has played a weak schedule and they would have to admit that; their best wins are Memphis and Pittsburgh, both .500 teams. Getting the 12 spot is a nod to their undefeated record, but they are not higher for a reason. We have often lamented what it’s going to take for a Group of Five team to get in, but this is the way it is and it’s hard to argue they should be there *right now* given what some of these other schools have accomplished.

As for the teams in the top, no big shock. It’s either Alabama or LSU, not both (particularly if LSU loses), and this leaves the door open for one of the other conference champions (if one loss) to slide up and into the field.

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