Big Ten: Top Teams’ College Football Playoff Odds

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Penn State (8-2, 6-1)

Penn State came out of nowhere to beat Ohio State in Week 8. Since then, they’ve squeezed their way into the top 10, hoping to hear their name called even higher this week. With four teams ahead of them falling in Week 11, it’s almost certain the Nittany Lions will climb even higher up the boards.

Although Penn State is thrilled to be moving up once again, inching closer to the top four, it isn’t their primary objective. Like the rest of college football, a seat in the College Football Playoff is the goal. With two games remaining in 2016, the Lions have a shot to reach their goal.

Michigan’s demise to Iowa was the best thing to happen to Penn State. Sitting one game behind the Wolverines in the Big Ten heading into Week 11, the Lions are now in a position to compete for the Big Ten Championship.

If they’re able to beat Rutgers and Michigan State without any setbacks, Penn State could be looking at the Big Ten East title. From there, the season is theirs for the taking.

When it comes to the likelihood of Penn State in the College Football Playoff, it’s high. This team should find themselves sitting near number six or seven heading into Week 12. If they win in blowout fashion against the worst two teams in the Big Ten, they could easily slide their way even higher.

What really benefits Penn State is Michigan vs Ohio State in Week 14. If Ohio State can claim a victory, Penn State will be competing in the Big Ten Championship. It’s basically a sure thing that the winner of the Big Ten is headed to the College Football Playoff.

The Lions can benefit from the other side as well. If Michigan defeats Ohio State in Week 14, then proceeds to win the Big Ten Championship, they will single-handily knock out two teams sitting ahead of Penn State. If the Nittany Lions can impress the College Football Playoff committee during these last two weeks, they could find themselves in the top four without a Big Ten title.

Once broken down, Penn State doesn’t need much help to get their chance to earn a spot in the top four.