The regular season has two weeks left, and during the first weekend in December, the conferences will play for trophies across the sport. With three weekends of games left, what is the path for the nine remaining contenders competing for College Football Playoff spots?
We examined each individual case.
The Bulldogs’ road to the Playoff: If Georgia wins out, it will be the undisputed No. 1 seed. For now, the Bulldogs have been dominant enough to not raise questions about game control and have the best wins of any team in contention: a 46-point win over Oregon on a neutral field and a 14-point win over No. 5 Tennessee.
Georgia would lose the No. 1 seed with a loss to LSU in the SEC title game or a loss to Kentucky or Georgia Tech, but it would need to lose two of its final three games to fall out of the field. And even if it lost two games, it might still sneak into the field depending on how the rest of the landscape shakes out.
The Buckeyes’ road to the Playoff: Beating Michigan and winning the Big Ten title would give Ohio State the No. 2 seed, but it would grab the No. 1 seed if Georgia loses.
A loss in The Game would make Ohio State’s road to the Playoff slightly tougher than Michigan’s because it would have a home loss and the committee values where games are played.
One-loss Tennessee would slide ahead of Ohio State with a loss to Michigan, but the Buckeyes do have CFP Top 25 wins over Penn State and Notre Dame, one more than Michigan.
But with the home loss, it could struggle to reach the field over a one-loss ACC or Pac-12 champion. It likely would qualify for the Playoff ahead of a one-loss Big 12 champion.
If Ohio State loses to Michigan, it would need two of the following to happen if it doesn’t want to be stressed come Selection Sunday: a two-loss Pac-12 champion, a two-loss ACC champion, a one-loss Big 12 champion or a Tennessee loss.
An LSU win over Georgia also theoretically could swipe a Playoff bid ahead of the Buckeyes (the committee values conference champions), but the Tigers are more than two-touchdown underdogs to the Bulldogs in Atlanta.
The Wolverines’ road to the Playoff: Beating Ohio State and winning the Big Ten title would give Michigan the No. 2 seed, but it would grab the No. 1 seed if Georgia loses.
If Michigan loses to Ohio State in Columbus, how much help it will need might depend on how badly it loses. But a one-loss Michigan that may only have one or two Top 25 wins will get credit from the committee for being consistently dominant.