College Football Playoff Hierarchy – Week 8 Edition

There is a bunch of articles being published lately discussing the first college football playoff, and specifically who would be the four teams “if the season ended today”. This is sill though. Why would anyone care who would be in the playoffs if the season ended today? It’s one thing in a sport like baseball where there are 162 games and one single game isn’t guaranteed to make an impact. But when it comes to college football, the circumstances are different. Any college football playoff that lists both Ole Miss and Mississippi St. are teams that are in just doesn’t seem that logical. Sure it’s possible, but it seems unlikely that a 1-loss non-conference champ will jump the line without extremely great luck.

Instead, the best way to understand what is going on is just keep the cheatsheet below handy. This hierarchy is probably pretty accurate. Obviously there are some circumstances that can shake it up, but this could really be close.

Who Possible Teams
1 Undefeated SEC champion Ole Miss, Mississippi St.
2 Undefeated Florida St. FSU
3 1-loss SEC champion Ole Miss, Mississippi St., Alabama/Auburn, Georgia/Kentucky
4 Undefeated Notre Dame Notre Dame
5 Undefeated Baylor Baylor
6 1-loss Pac 12 champ Oregon/Oregon St./Washington, Arizona/Arizona St./Utah
7 1-loss Big Ten champ Michigan St./Ohio St./Rutgers/Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska
8 2-loss SEC champ 10 teams
9 1-loss SEC at-large Ole Miss, Mississippi St., Alabama/Auburn, Georgia/Kentucky
10 1-loss Big 12 champ Baylor, OKlahoma St., Kansas St., Oklahoma, TCU
11 2-loss Pac 12 champ 10 teams
12 1-loss ACC champ Florida St., Georgia Tech, Duke
13 1-loss Pac 12 at-large 6 teams
14 2-loss Big Ten champ 9 teams
15 2-loss Big 12 champ 6 teams
16 1-loss Big Ten at-large 6 teams
17 3-loss SEC champ 13 teams
18 Undefeated Marshall Marshall