At this point, things are somewhat clear. Here is what we know at this point:
- The winner of the Big 10 Championship will be in. That is literally a play-in game.
- Oklahoma is all but a lock.
- Clemson and Alabama will be in if they win.
The last one is where craziness can ensure. If North Carolina beats Clemson, then what? According to my hierarchy they would be in over 2-loss Notre Dame and 2-loss Stanford (assuming Stanford beats USC). F/+ rankings currently have UNC 19th, Notre Dame 5th and Stanford 10th. UNC would probably get a nice boost from beating Clemson though. A win that would actually hurt ND by weakening Clemson’s ranking. Stanford will get a boost from beating USC though. It’s really tough to say who get’s in at that point, but it’s hard to see the committee leaving out a 1-loss Power 5 champ for a couple of 2-loss teams, one without a conference championship at all.
Much of the same applies to Florida. The difference being that Florida has looked very shaky all season. But beating Alabama, who is just as good as Clemson, would be a huge coup. Not to mention the fact that the SEC is still a deep conference. It’s slightly harder to make a case for Florida over Stanford just because they would have identical records. I think the committee would go Stanford just because they have been playing so well as of late.
There is not a lot of room for insane scenarios. With the Iowa/MSU winner and Oklahoma already in, Alabama and Clemson both losing is about as crazy as it gets. But realistically the only teams still alive are, Iowa/Michigan St., Oklahoma, Alabama/Florida, Clemson/UNC, Stanford and Notre Dame. And knowing that Stanford will have an extra win against a good team and a recent head-to-head win over Notre Dame makes it almost impossible for them to get in.
|2||Undefeated ACC Champ||Clemson|
|3||Undefeated Big 10 Champ||Iowa|
|6||1-Loss SEC Champ||Alabama|
|8||1-Loss Big 10 Champ||Michigan St.|
|9||1-Loss Big 12 Champ||Oklahoma|
|10||1-Loss ACC Champ||North Carolina|
|12||2-Loss Notre Dame||Notre Dame|
|13||2-Loss SEC Champ||Florida|
|17||2-Loss Pac 12 Champ||Stanford|