Who still has a shot at the College Football Playoff heading into the first weekend of November?
Tuesday was the first night for the second week of the College Football Playoff rankings. As expected, Georgia was ranked number one after defeating Tennessee last Saturday. The Big Ten has two teams in the top four this week, Ohio State and Michigan. The committee surprised everyone by selecting TCU fourth.
Let's reverse for a moment. At the start of week ten, 13 teams had a legitimate road map -- some needed more chaos than others -- to the College Football Playoffs:
The beauty of the college football season is that things tend to work themselves out. Alabama, Clemson, and Tennesee took losses on Saturday. In the ACC, Notre Dame likely played the spoiler to Clemson and North Carolina. The Irish defeated both the Tigers and Tar Heels. In addition, Clemson's loss would make UNC defeating Clemson in the ACC title game less impressive.
Illinois, who was a long shot, lost to Michigan State in unimpressive fashion. Tennessee's loss is interesting because the committee might have to answer an important question, "How bad can a team lose and still make the Playoff?" The Crimson Tide have two losses and are also eliminated.
Here are the teams with a roadmap to the College Football Playoff heading into week 11:
Tennesse: If this is SEC bias, that is completely fair. The Georiga Bulldogs dominated the Volunteerss. Georiga's offense was spectacular in the first half, and they pulled out the boa constrictor and suffocated Tennesee in the second half. However, 27-13 looks a lot better than 49-3.
Georgia: The way the Bulldogs are playing football, it is hard to see anyone beating them. They could likely lose a game and still make it to the Playoff. However, it is hard to see anyone defeating them in the SEC.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes need to win out to make the Playoff. Georgia will likely be undefeated, and if they lose to Michigan like they did last year (but at home), the Buckeyes could find themselves on the outside of the Playoffs looking in this season.
Michigan: The same could be said about the Wolverines because of their poor non-conference schedule. What will the committee do if "The Game" is a close one that goes overtime?
TCU: The Horned Frogs' mission is simple, win and advance. The Horned Frogsmusto finish the regular season undefeated and win the Big 12. Every other team in the conference has at least two losses, and the Frogs' non-conference schedule is not great.
UCLA: The Bruins should be ranked ahead of USC. The Trojans and Bruins have a common opponent, Utah. The Bruins beat the Utes, and the Trojans lost, which means UCLA's best win is much more impressive than USC's.
USC: Speaking of those same Trojans, they have some key players. Jordan Addison and Mario Williams were both out against California. The Trojans' defense has been a major letdown against bad teams. That poor defense could catch up with them.
Oregon: The committee might have a tough decision if the Ducks can win the Pac-12 as a one-loss team. Will they argue their 49-3 loss was too egregious and put Tennessee in the final four? Keep in mind Ohio State was on the outside looking in twice after bad losses in 2018.