The 2016 college football season is now over hitting the stretch run and the number of teams fighting for the College Football Playoff is growing smaller each week.
Each week we at The Clemson Insider will take a look at the Road to Tampa.
There were some major changes this week in our list of contenders. Only eight remain after the Big 12 was likely eliminated from contention as Baylor and West Virginia went down for the first time this season. Utah’s loss knocked them from contention as did Nebraska’s loss.
Tonight we will see the first rankings from the College Football Playoff committee. The top four teams of Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Washington all remain undefeated and will make the playoff if they win out.
If the College Football Playoff started this week the playoff would likely look like this:
All four teams are in control of their destiny right now. If they win out they will definitely be in the College Football Playoff.
Let’s take a look at what the contenders look like after week nine.
Atlantic Coast Conference
Clemson and Louisville both survived with late scores to remain in position to make the playoff. If Clemson wins out it is in and would likely be in even if it falls and wins the ACC Championship. The biggest challenge for the Tigers will be the ACC title game. Louisville needs to win out and hope that Washington loses or a two loss Big Ten team wins the conference championship game.
Clemson (8-0) – Nov. 5 (vs. Syracuse), Nov. 12 (vs. Pitt), Nov. 19 (at Wake Forest), Nov. 26 (vs. South Carolina)
Louisville (7-1) – Nov. 5 (at Boston College), Nov. 12 (vs. Wake Forest), Nov. 17 (at Houston), Nov. 26 (vs. Kentucky)
The SEC still has three contenders for the playoff. Alabama is in if it runs the table. If Florida runs the table and wins the SEC Championship it has a good chance of making the playoff. Texas A&M could make the playoff if it wins out and things fall right in the Big Ten and PAC 12.
Alabama (8-0) – Nov. 5 (at LSU), Nov. 12 (vs. Miss State), Nov. 19 (vs. Chat), Nov. 26 (vs. Auburn)
Texas A&M (7-1) – Nov. 5 (at Miss State), Nov. 12 (vs. Ole Miss), Nov. 19 (vs. UTSA), Nov. 24 (vs. LSU)
Florida (6-1) – Nov. 5 (at Ark), Nov. 12 (vs. South Carolina), Nov. 19 (at LSU), Nov. 26 (at FSU)
The Big 12 doesn’t have any contenders this week after Baylor and West Virginia both suffered their first loss last weekend. With no conference championship game and no top 10 teams remaining it looks like the Big 12 will miss the playoff this year.
With Nebraska falling to Wisconsin the Big Ten is down to two contenders. If Michigan wins out and remains undefeated it is in the playoff. If Ohio State wins out, it is in the playoff. If the winner of the Big Ten championship has two losses that will open the door for Louisville.
Ohio State (7-1) – Nov. 5 (vs. Nebraska), Nov. 12 (at Maryland), Nov. 19 (at Michigan State), Nov. 26 (vs. Michigan)
Michigan (8-0) – Nov. 5 (vs. Maryland), Nov. 12 (at Iowa), Nov. 19 (vs. Indiana), Nov. 26 (at Ohio State)
Washington is the only contender left from the PAC 12 after its win over Utah left all other teams with at least two losses. If Washington can win out it will be in the playoff. Games against Southern Cal and Washington State are the biggest challenges left on the schedule before the PAC 12 Championship game. If Washington loses a game that will open the door for Louisville or a one-loss Big Ten team.
Washington (8-0) – Nov. 5 (at Cal.), Nov. 12 (vs. USC), Nov. 19 (vs. Arizona State), Nov. 25 (at Washington St.)