College Football Playoff Projections Week 12: Two-Loss Teams In the Mix

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Nov 8, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) passing against the UT Martin Skyhawks during the third quarter at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mississippi State Bulldogs, 9-0

Once again, this is no surprise. The Mississippi State Bulldogs keep on winning, and their brutal schedule doesn’t stop. If they keep this up, beating Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M, and Auburn in this season alone is absolutely ridiculous, and nobody will have had a schedule strength close to that. They would also beat a ranked team in the SEC Championship. That means winning out should guarantee them the No. 1 seed no matter what Florida State does. Even if they lose, they still have a very strong case to make.

2. Florida State Seminoles, 9-0

We know that the Selection Committee bumped Oregon ahead of Florida State this week due to schedule strength, but by the end of the year that will likely change. The Ducks have a pretty tough Pac-12 schedule, but if the Seminoles win out it will likely include a win at Miami, against Florida, and in the ACC Championship against either Duke or Georgia Tech, both of whom are ranked. That’s three winning teams they will have beaten, and though it isn’t great, doing that and being undefeated is going to be enough to put them at No. 2 again.

3. Oregon Ducks, 9-1

The Selection Committee has already made it clear that it loves Oregon more than it already should. The Ducks will lose some steam with Colorado and Oregon State as their final two games, but with our projections of them beating one-loss Arizona State in the Pac-12 Championship game at the end of the year, they will still have a good enough schedule to be the highest ranked one-loss team in the College Football Playoff. They just won’t be ahead of Florida State if the Seminoles keep winning.

4. Baylor Bears, 8-1

Right now the Bears are No. 7 in the Selection Committee’s rankings. But our projections have them winning out to get to 11-1, which would then include wins over Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and TCU. We understand the schedule strength argument that TCU should be better, but if Baylor fulfills our projections and closes out the season with those wins, the two will be close enough for the committee to give the nod to the team that won the head-to-head match-up and won the conference. Two tiebreakers favor Baylor.

Next: College Football Playoff Pairings