College Football Playoff Projections Week 15: Is Ohio State In? Which Two-Loss Teams Stand a Chance?

2 of 5

Nov 29, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban huddles with his team prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Projected College Football Playoff Rankings

1. Alabama Crimson Tide, 11-1 (7-1)

After beating the Auburn Tigers over the weekend, the Selection Committee is not going to bump the Alabama Crimson Tide out of the top spot in their rankings. That’s only going to increase the gap between them and the No. 2 team. Meanwhile, coming up this weekend, they play Missouri, and if they when that game, as our projections are calling for them to, then they will still be the No. 1 team with another quality win.

The Tide might have to win convincingly depending on what the other teams do in their conference championships, but if they win, that’ll make for four wins against Top 25 teams with their only loss also coming to a Top 25 team. And they will also have wins against Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and West Virginia. That makes for nine teams with 6 wins that they will have beaten and 10 that they will have played. Nobody else has that resume, and it will keep them firmly No. 1 in the rankings.

2. Florida State Seminoles, 12-0 (8-0)

Beating the Florida Gators is not going to do much for the Florida State Seminoles when attempting to gain respect from the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, but it is true that they have now beaten seven teams with six wins and it could be seven if Oklahoma State wins this weekend. That alone wouldn’t be enough, but they are playing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this weekend, who just proved themselves by beating Clemson and Georgia.

If Florida State beats Georgia Tech, that would make for possibly three wins against Top 25 teams and four wins against teams who were in the Top 25 when they played them. To do that and go undefeated would be hard for the Selection Committee to ignore, so they would clearly belong in at least a Top 2 spot. But it would not be enough to move up to the No. 1 spot if the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Missouri Tigers on Saturday.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes, 11-1 (8-0)

Right now, Ohio State is desperately fighting for a spot to get into the College Football Playoff. But if they win this weekend, they will have a strong case for not just making the playoff, but being the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes will have scored huge wins against the Wisconsin Badgers, Minnesota Golden Gophers, and Michigan State Spartans if that happens. That could be enough to have them vault TCU, Baylor, and Oregon.

Wisconsin might end up being the best win of all three if the Selection Committee takes into account how they’re playing at this particular moment. Even if Ohio State is on the outside looking in when the College Football Playoff rankings come out this week, they have a much better chance to make a statement this weekend than TCU, and they already have a tougher strength of schedule than Baylor or Oregon. That should be enough to put them here.

4. Oregon Ducks, 11-1 (7-1)

Playing Oregon State over the weekend was a way to drop Oregon in this week’s rankings because of how far their strength of schedule has fallen. It’s outside of the Top 80. As we’ve said all year, the Selection Committee doesn’t even need to watch the games to know who belongs in the College Football Playoff. Any five-year old can look at the record, schedule strength, and head-to-head match-ups to make an informed decision.

And Oregon would have more than enough on its resume to squeak into the College Football Playoff, but it would not have enough to stay in its No. 2 spot. Florida State would deserve to move ahead of them if they beat Georgia Tech, and Ohio State would deserve to move ahead if they beat Wisconsin. That would make for huge quality wins for both teams. Beating Arizona could be on the same level for Oregon, but it wouldn’t be enough to move them ahead of No. 4.

Next: Projected College Football Playoff Match-Ups