Who will make the NCAA football playoffs?

As crazy as it seems, the college football regular season is two weekends away from over, and it is legitimately time to start thinking about the postseason. This is going to be one of the more interesting post season’s in recent memory, for a couple of reasons. One of them being no Alabama in the SEC Championship Game or the playoffs. There are about eight teams left with a realistic chance at the playoffs even if, for some of them, it is a very small chance and would require other teams to lose for it to happen. Let’s take a look at some of the most likely possibilities for each of the teams with a chance.

Georgia: If Georgia beats Kentucky and Georgia Tech then they are in despite what happens in the SEC Championship Game. Let’s say that Georgia loses one of those games, which is super unlikely, but it would mean that they would then have to win the other two games and they would still get in. 

Ohio State: Win out and the Buckeyes are in.

Michigan: Win out and the Wolverines are in.

*Since they play each other November 26,  both Ohio State and Michigan aren’t going to win out.The loser of Ohio State and Michigan still has a chance to get in as long as TCU loses a game. Also, let’s say either team loses a game that’s not against the other one, then beats the other one, then the winner would have to win the Big 10 Championship to have a chance as a one loss team. 

TCU: Win out and they are in. Lose any game and they are out because between a one loss TCU and one loss Tennessee, Tennessee would almost certainly get the nod.

Tennessee: Win out with a ton of style and hope TCU loses a game. They also need Georgia to go undefeated and beat LSU in the SEC Championship.

USC: Win out as a one loss Pac 12 champ and then hope TCU loses. Even then it would still be the Committee’s decision on who would get the nod between a potential one loss ACC champ and a one loss USC Pac 12 Champ. 

UNC: Win out as a one loss ACC Champ and do so in style. They would also need TCU to lose. It would also help if the loser of Ohio State and Michigan gets killed, not just beat, and USC loses a game.

Clemson: Win out as a one loss ACC Champ and do so in style. They would also need TCU to lose. It would also help if the loser of Ohio State and Michigan gets killed, not just beat. USC losing would help too.

LSU: Win out, then beat Georgia in the SEC Championship. It would also help their chances if TCU lost and the winner of Ohio State and Michigan blows out the other one. 

With that being said, these are the four most likely scenarios that could occur.


  1. Georgia 2) Ohio State/Michigan 3) TCU 4) Tennessee

This is probably the most likely scenario at this point in time. It would require Georgia to win out, the winner of the OSU-UM game to win the Big 10 and win out, TCU to go undefeated and win the Big 12, and then the fourth spot would come down to either a one loss Tennessee, a one loss USC who wins out including the Pac 12 Championship Game, and the loser of the OSU-UM game. I really don’t think USC has a shot, mainly because I believe they won’t win out. So it would come down to Tennessee who has one loss to the number one team in the country, and the loser of the OSU-UM game. 


Scenario two is the same as scenario one, except TCU doesn’t go undefeated. Then the Playoff field would look something like this.

  1. Georgia 2) winner of OSU-UM 3) Tennessee 4) Loser of OSU-UM/One loss Pac 12 or ACC champ

That fourth spot would really come down to how close the OSU-UM game is.


In this scenario, we would assume that Georgia lost the SEC Championship Game to LSU, which seems really unlikely, but anything is possible on any given Saturday. Then things would get wild. We could possibly have something like this.

  1. Winner of OSU-UM 2) TCU 3) Georgia 4) LSU

This would be a very interesting scenario, because it would all but eliminate the loser of the OSU-UM game, assuming TCU goes undefeated and wins the Big 12. So then Georgia would fall back to three, and LSU would be the first two loss team ever at number four. 


This is the last scenario that I can see happening, and that would be the exact same as Scenario three, except TCU loses. Then things would get really, really, interesting.

  1. Winner of OSU-UM 2) Georgia 3) Loser of OSU-UM 4) LSU

Spots three and four could be interchangeable in this scenario, but I’m assuming that the Committee wouldn’t have LSU and Georgia playing in back to back games.

There are still a lot of games left to be played, and we always need to remember that anything can happen on any given Saturday. We will just have to wait and see how it all plays out!