With teams like Washington, Penn State, Wisconsin and Miami all losing for a second time, here are the teams still alive for the College Football Playoff.
As we approach the second half of the 2018 college football season, more and more teams are seeing their College Football Playoff dreams come to an end.
Four big-time programs suffered their second losses of the year on Saturday, thus eliminating them from realistic contention. Those four teams would be the Miami Hurricanes, the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Washington Huskies and the Wisconsin Badgers.
As the second half of the season is fully underway, let’s take a few minutes and honestly assess which teams are still alive for the College Football Playoff. We’re looking at in essence undefeated squads, as well as compelling one-loss teams in the Power 5.
For the sake of grouping this collection of teams, we will split them into four tiers: if the season ended today, this would be the Playoff; Not quite elite yet; “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
Teams are listed in alphabetical order by tier.
If the season ended today, this would be the Playoff (4)
Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0): Alabama would be the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff if the season ended today. The Crimson Tide are crushing opponents in the early SEC slate with Tua Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback. They are the favorites to repeat as national champions and could be the first team to ever go a perfect 15-0 in the Playoff era.
Clemson Tigers (6-0): Clemson would be the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff if the season ended today. The Tigers are the best team in a bad ACC. They’ve had a few scares, but remain unscathed. They still have ACC Atlantic rival North Carolina State on the slate. That game looks really tasty next Saturday.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0): Notre Dame would be the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff if the season ended today. The Fighting Irish have a marquee win over Michigan that looks a lot better after they destroyed Wisconsin. However, they have looked shaky at times, as Notre Dame scraped by Pittsburgh at home after taking their first lead with 5:43 left. If they go undefeated, they’ll be in, and the lack of a conference championship game won’t be a factor.
Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0): Ohio State would be the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff if the season ended today. The Buckeyes are the toast of the Big Ten with the best player in quarterback Dwayne Haskins. They’ve got a few big games left on the slate against Michigan and Michigan State. This team could conceivably make the Playoff for the third time in five years, even as a one-loss non-champion for the second time should they slip up to a Michigan or somebody like that along the way.