As the regular season draws to a close, there's enough to begin to sort out the programs still chasing a College Football Playoff and NY6 invite.
Also included at the end is a guide to P-5 conference title chases.
Quick review of NY6 selections
- The CFP selects 4 teams for the playoffs.
- The CFP selects at least 1 G-5 team to fill 1 of the 12 spots.
- The 5 P-5 Champs are guaranteed and invite to the NY6
- None of the 3 bowls with automatic tie-ins with the P-5 are hosting a CFP game - if their conference champ is in the playoffs, the bowl selects another team from the same conference.
- The above automatic bids fill 10 of the 12 invites, leaving 2 at-large teams.
11-0 Undefeated teams chasing a CFP invite (4 teams)
If these teams suffer 1 loss, I expect they will still get a NY6 invite.
- B1G tOSU and tTUN next - The Game, winner in CCG, loser likely in Rose or at-large
- B12 TCU next - Iowa State (4-7), then Kansas State (8-3) or Texas (7-4) in CCG
- SEC Georgia next - Ga Tech (5-6), then LSU (9-2) in CCG
10-1 P-5 chasing a CFP Invite (2)
There will be no more than 3 undefeated teams this year, so at least 1 1-loss team will get an invite.
- ACC Clemson next - South Carolina (7-4), then North Carolina (9-2) in CCG
- PAC USC next - Notre Dame (8-3), then CCG
Can the B1G get 2 CFP teams?
Much more likely after Saturday week, as the near choke teams separated themselves from the choke teams. Easiest path is for there to be only 4 1-loss or undefeated teams, not a stretch that both Clemson and USC could pick up another loss. Also a route if TCU loses CCG and Clemson or USC pick up a 2nd loss. This could open the door for a PSU to the Rose Bowl, elevate the rest of the conference 1 slot in the bowl picks, and nobody goes to Detroit.
9-2 P-5 chasing conference title and longshot CFP Invite (4)
If there's less than 4 1 loss P-5 teams, there is a chance for a 2 loss P-5 team to make the CFP this year. The shortest path to this would be for Georgia or TCU to lose their final 2 games while Clemson and USC each lose 1 game.
- ACC N. Carolina next - NC State (7-4), then Clemson (10-1) in CCG
- PAC Oregon CCG path - beat Oregon State (8-3), or Washington loses
- PAC Washington CCG path - beat Wash St (7-4) and Oregon loses and Utah loses
- SEC LSU next - TA&M (4-7), then Georgia (11-0) in CCG
Moving on to the NY6...
Other 9-2 P-5 (3)
With 10 teams ahead of them sporting the same or better record, and possibly a shiny Conference Championship trophy, these teams aren't really in the chase for a CFP invite, but a NY6 appearance would be nothing to scoff at.
- B1G PSU next - Sparty (5-6)
- SEC Tennessee next - Vanderbilt (5-6)
- SEC Alabama next - Auburn (5-6)
Other P5 Chasing Conference Champ Auto-Bids (6)
With the P-5 tie-ins to the bowls, and most P-5 having divisions, you can get some real dogs in the NY6 bowls. B1G will face winner of tOSU-tTUN. B12 will face TCU. PAC will face USC.
- B1G Iowa (7-4) path - beat Nebraska (3-8), or both Purdue-Illini lose
- B1G Purdue (7-4) path - beat Indiana (4-7) and Iowa loses
- B1G Illinois (7-4) path - beat NW (1reland-10), and both Iowa-Purdue lose
- B12 Kansas St. (8-3) path - beat Kansas (6-5), or Texas loses
- B12 Texas (7-4) path - beat Baylor (6-5) and Kansas State loses
- PAC Utah (8-3)* path - beat Colorado (1-10) and Oregon loses and Wash wins
G-5 Autobid - whatever the committee decides, 1 or 2 loss G-5 teams (5)
There aren't good options for the committee to choose from this year.
- AAC Tulane (9-2) or Cincinnati (9-2) next - play each other, then winner or both to CCG
- Sun Coastal Carolina (9-1)* next - James Madison (7-3), winner to CCG
- Sun Troy (9-2) next - Arkansas State (3-8), owns div. tie-breaker over S. Bama
- Sun South Alabama (9-2) next - Old Dominion (3-8)
- CUSA UTSA (9-2) next - UTEP (5-6), then CCG vs. N. Texas or W. Kentucky
*Costal Carolina hampered by their P5 game with Virginia cancelled because of another nutcase with a gun, this time shooting some players, thoughts and prayers, rinse and repeat.
But wait, there's more!
Because the P-5 tie-in bowls select another team from the same conference, they could go even deeper in the conference rankings. Some notable teams that aren't a ridiculous scenario:
- ACC Florida State (8-3) next - Florida (6-5)
- B12 Okie Lite (8-3) next - WVU (4-7)
ACC Clemson vs. North Carolina
SEC Georgia vs. LSU
B12 TCU already in
Kansas St. path - beat Kansas (6-5), or Texas loses
Texas path - beat Baylor (6-5) and Kansas State loses
B1G east tOSU-tTUN winner
Iowa path - beat Nebraska (3-8), or both Purdue-Illini lose
Purdue path - beat Indiana (4-7) and Iowa loses
Illinois path - beat NW (1reland-10), and both Iowa-Purdue lose
PAC USC already in
Oregon path - beat Oregon State (8-3), or Washington loses
Washington path - beat Wash St (7-4) and Oregon loses and Utah loses
Utah* path - beat Colorado (1-10) and Oregon loses and Wash wins
Late edit - PAC convoluted tie-breaker correction