The College Football Playoff picture does not look a lot different through Week 11.
No teams of significance were crossed off from the College Football Playoff picture in Week 11.
With so many teams having their Week 11 games either canceled or postponed, the playoff picture has not gotten any clearer. The same teams that were in the mix after Week 10 are still in it now. What is important is the first official College Football Playoff Rankings will be unveiled on Nov. 24. This means the playoff is not likely to get moved back at this juncture, though it could.
College Football Playoff teams after Week 11
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide was one of the many teams impacted by positive coronavirus tests this week. Their SEC West rivalry game vs. the LSU Tigers down in Baton Rouge was postponed but may be canceled, given how far out of it LSU already is. The Bayou Bengals still need to make up their cross-divisional rivalry game with the Florida Gators. But this is all about Alabama now.
The offense is explosive and multi-faceted behind Heisman Trophy contender Mac Jones. If the Crimson Tide need to pound the rock to close out an opponent, they can absolutely do that with Najee Harris. While the defense is not yet championship-caliber, the Crimson Tide feels like the favorite to come out of the SEC and make the playoff for the sixth time in seven seasons.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are no fluke. After stunning the Clemson Tigers at home last week, Notre Dame went out and dominated a feisty Boston College Eagles team from the opening kickoff. Quarterback Ian Book is playing the best ball of his career and Brian Kelly’s team is playing with tremendous confidence. They feel like they can beat any team in the country right now.
The big key here for the Irish is if they can defeat Clemson in a rematch in the ACC Championship game. If they do that, then Notre Dame will be the lone team getting into the playoff and might earn the No. 1 seed in doing so. However, we are not certain if the Golden Domers will get out of the national semifinal stage just yet, though it looks like they might have what it takes to win it all.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Big Ten (3-0)
The Ohio State Buckeyes had their first game of the season canceled, as there was an internal outbreak within the Maryland Terrapins’ program. Ohio State has been the best team in the Big Ten this season but will have a huge test coming up in Week 12. The Buckeyes will host another top-10 team in Tom Allen’s Indiana Hoosiers. This will likely decide the Big Ten East race in 2020.
While Ohio State should be a massive favorite vs. the Hoosiers, this is an Indiana team playing with a ton of confidence. As long as the Buckeyes get this game, they will remain in the driver’s seat to win the division and get to Indianapolis. Even if they only play seven or eight games this season, an undefeated Ohio State team gets to the playoff with a Big Ten Championship victory.
Unlike a few teams on this list, Clemson did not have a game canceled or postponed on them this week. Clemson was on a scheduled bye ahead of the Tigers’ rivalry game with the Florida State Seminoles next week. That should be a bloodbath in Clemson’s favor, but the issue remains for the Tigers is that they have one loss on the year to Notre Dame, and that’s a big deal for Clemson.
Clemson should win its final three regular-season games before facing Notre Dame in a rematch in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte. As long as the Tigers have Trevor Lawrence as their starting quarterback, they should be able to knock off the Golden Domers and punch their ticket into the College Football Playoff. The problem for them right now is there is no margin for error.
First 2 teams out
Texas AM Aggies
At 5-1, the Texas A&M Aggies are still very much alive to get into the College Football Playoff as a one-loss, at-large team. Even though they had their road date with the Tennessee Volunteers postponed due to an internal outbreak, Texas A&M is in good shape to make the playoff, as long as this game gets made up. The more wins they can rack up, the better their chances of getting in.
Jimbo Fisher has found the special sauce down in College Station. This is the best quarterback Kellen Mond has looked in his college career. The offense is well-rounded and can hang with anybody. As long as the defense can hold up its end of the bargain, Texas A&M would be a very compelling No. 4 seed in the upcoming College Football Playoff. They could definitely get in.
The only reason the Florida Gators are not higher than No. 6 this week is their loss came to the team one spot ahead of them. If they were to meet again somehow on a neutral-site, the Gators would win because Kyle Trask is playing unreal football.
Florida should get to the SEC Championship game to face Alabama with a playoff berth on the line. Though the Gators will not be favored to beat the Tide, they have a puncher’s chance to do so. The biggest thing holding Florida back at this juncture is Todd Grantham’s defense. If it can find itself as the weather changes, then Florida may have what it takes to reach the playoff for the first time.
Undefeated Cincinnati and BYU could make things interesting if any of the above lose again before championship weekend and disrupt the order, but even then, it’s highly unlikely the playoff committee ever welcomes a team outside the Power 5 until the field expands to eight teams.
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