College Football Playoff Projections Week 13: Back to Two SEC Teams?

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Nov 1, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Ole Miss Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace (14) during an injury timeout in the game against the Auburn Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Auburn defeated Ole Miss 35-31. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Two-Loss Teams Still in the College Football Playoff Race

1. Ole Misss Rebels

It sounds crazy because they aren’t even in the SEC Championship race. But the Ole Miss Rebels only need an Alabama loss to Auburn to control their own destiny get into the SEC Championship game. That may be unlikely, but it’s a better scenario than what any other team on here has.  And if they win out along with that break, it will mean beating Mississippi State and the SEC East champion. That’s the best resume of any two-loss team, and it will stand tall over any one-loss team not from the SEC, so the Selection Committee will have to vault them in to the College Football Playoff. Auburn beating Alabama is all this team needs.

2. Georgia Bulldogs

For the Georgia Bulldogs to control their own destiny to get in, the formula is also simple: Missouri needs to lose. If that happens, they’ll be in the SEC Championship. And if they were to close out the season by beating Georgia Tech and the SEC West Champion, who in the heck could leave them out of the College Football Playoff. Again, it would be a two-loss SEC team with a Top 5 strength of schedule. That would be enough to vault them in the playoff. But they need a Missouri loss.

3. Missouri Tigers

Speaking of Missouri, the Tigers wouldn’t seem like the most likely option on this list because they are one of the lowest ranked two-loss teams. But unlike Georgia, they control their own destiny to win the SEC, and imagine if they win out against Tennessee and Arkansas and then beat the SEC West Champion. They would have a strong case as well. We only have them a bit lower because, based on the loss to Indiana, they would have a much harder sell than Georgia. Unfortunately, they would actually need a team in the College Football Playoff race to lose. From our view, it’s more likely that they lose than one of the Top 5 teams lose, so Georgia is in a better position.

4. UCLA Bruins

The UCLA Bruins, as a standard two-loss team, need at least four of the Top 7 teams to lose. Fortunately, they could play a huge role in that by beating Oregon, one of them. But then they have to hope for an Alabama or Mississippi State loss and two of the three among Baylor, TCU, and Ohio State to lose. Again, though, all of this is possible, so don’t count these guys out yet. With two weeks left, a lot of things can happen for the Bruins to squeak into the playoff.

5. Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin actually has a few realistic scenarios to reach the College Football Playoff and doesn’t need an insane prayer for it to happen All they have to hope for is for themselves to win out at first. Like UCLA, that would take care of one one-loss team standing in their way: Ohio State. It would also give them a quality win. And like UCLA, they would just have to hope for three of the other one-loss teams to lose. If that happens, they’re home free. And it’s a very possible scenario.

6. Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State is in a similar boat to UCLA and Wisconsin. They could be the catalyst for Baylor losing. But then they need TCU to lose on its own to have any case, and after that they need the same formula that UCLA and Wisconsin need. So they need to beat Baylor, TCU needs to lose another game, and then they need at least three of the six, with UCLA being in the mix ahead of them, to lose. Obviously, since we put UCLA in the mix, one of those six would be inevitable between the Bruins and the Trojans. So then we’d be down to the same scenario. But they need their own conference breaks first.

7. Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State is facing the same scenario UCLA is, but they have a bigger problem: they need UCLA to lose to USC or Stanford. Without that happening, there is no way they can win the Pac-12 Championship, and if that doesn’t happen, they have no hope of getting into the College Football Playoff. But if that does happen, and they win out, they’re still in. Then, they need the same scenario UCLA is facing. So having that on top of UCLA needing to lose makes it much harder for them, which is why we put their likelihood below Kansas State’s.

8. Arizona Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats are similar to Arizona State, but they need UCLA to lose at home to Stanford and for USC to lose to UCLA. That way, both can have three losses so they don’t lose the head-to-head, and then they can control their own destiny against Arizona State. But even after that, they face the same scenario as UCLA with three teams among Alabama, Mississippi State, Baylor, TCU, and Ohio State  to lose. They could at least control their own destiny against Oregon. But still, all of this is highly unlikely.

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