All but four teams are on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff right now. Fortunately for them, the clock has not run out.
There's a path for many teams to break through — though for some it's much less likely to happen than for others. Still, a path is what teams and fans are looking for this time of year. And a bunch still have it.
With the Allstate Playoff Predictor as our guide, let's break down the road to the playoff for some teams currently outside the top four.
Despite the Group of 5 doom and gloom, the Allstate Playoff Predictor is bullish on the Bearcats' chances to get in, assigning them a 53% chance right now.
The first step is for Cincinnati to win out; that's obvious.
After that, the Bearcats just need enough chaos to ensue elsewhere to avoid four of the following teams and records existing on Selection Day:
• 0- or 1-loss Georgia
• 1-loss Alabama
• 1-loss Ohio State
• 1-loss Oklahoma
With all of the following situations potentially providing some danger were they to occur:
• 1-loss Oregon
• 1-loss Michigan State
• 2-loss Alabama
• 1-loss Oklahoma State
• 1-loss Notre Dame
That seems like a lot to avoid! But don't forget that some of these are mutually exclusive — there can't be a 1-loss Ohio State and a 1-loss Michigan. A 1-loss Oregon and 1-loss Michigan State might deserve entry on the first list, but both are so far off from being one of the four "best" teams in college football (FPI ranks: 21 and 22, respectively) that the model assumes the committee would be very hesitant to actually include them.