Who can still make the College Football Playoff heading into Championship Weekend?

Lincoln Riley, USC Trojans. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Lincoln Riley, USC Trojans. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Kirby Smart, Georgia Bulldogs
Kirby Smart, Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Already RSVP’ed yes for the College Football Playoff

(12-0). player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 3. 872. Big 12. TCU Horned Frogs

TCU may be able to afford a narrow loss to Kansas State in Big 12 title and get in

While it is not a certainty that the TCU Horned Frogs have clinched their first-ever berth into the College Football Playoff, we are talking percentage points, if that, when it comes to the power of the Hypnotoad. TCU is 12-0 heading into the Big 12 Championship game where the Frogs will face the Kansas State Wildcats in a rematch. K-State is a three-loss team, but still a strong one at that.

Unless the Wildcats unleash the most epic EMAW storm this side of the K-State Mask, TCU is getting into the playoff, win or lose vs. Kansas State. Though the Horned Frogs may not get the benefit of the doubt over comparable Big Ten (Michigan) or SEC teams (Georgia), going 9-0 in conference play and beating everyone in your league in the process is too impressive to overlook.

TCU is a very likely No. 3 seed in the playoff, but could move up with Georgia or Michigan defeats.

Pick Analysis. Michigan Wolverines. 2. player. Scouting Report. Big Ten. (12-0). 811

Michigan is pretty much a lock to get in now, cannot get humiliated by … Purdue

As is the case with TCU, Michigan is pretty much a lock to get in now. The Wolverines are 12-0 and will play the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis on Saturday. Even if Michigan were to lose to Purdue Pete and those Spoilermakers, the Wolverines are still probably getting in. Unless they lose by a ridiculous amount, they will not drop from No. 2 to No. 5.

Although Purdue is the weakest opponent any playoff contender will face over Championship Weekend, the Wolverines would still get the benefit of the doubt and would be included in the four-team field. Michigan won the Big Ten a season ago to make the playoff as a one-loss team. Frankly, this year’s Wolverines squad is much better than the No. 2 seed from only a season ago.

The other factor is ESPN is not going to keep a massive Big Ten brand like Michigan out of the CFP.

Scouting Report. SEC. (12-0). 1. player. 814. Pick Analysis. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia is not going to drop from No. 1 down to No. 5 with an awful loss to LSU

Like Michigan and, for all intents and purposes, TCU, the Georgia Bulldogs are playing their conference championship game for playoff positioning. Even if Georgia were to lose to a three-loss LSU team in Atlanta, the Dawgs are not dropping from No. 1 to No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. This is a huge brand from the SEC and the defending national champs.

Given that Georgia did not win the SEC a season ago, this is a huge deal for Kirby Smart and the upperclassmen on his Bulldogs team. Should Georgia take care of business vs. LSU at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Dawgs will not have to leave Atlanta. This is because top-seeded Georgia would select the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as its preferred national semifinal game for the playoff.

With a win, Georgia will almost certainly play either USC or Ohio State in Atlanta in No. 1 vs. No. 4.

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