The Real College Football Playoff

Welcome to the first edition of the Real College Football Playoff. College football is not college basketball. The playoff has already begun. Many teams have already been eliminated. Others are still in great shape, but many teams have entered the single elimination bracket, where one more defeat will almost certainly eliminate them. In three years of the college football playoff, no two-loss team has made the final four, only two one-loss power five teams have been left out (TCU and Baylor in 2014), and no group of six team has made the field. However, I do believe that an undefeated Mountain West or American conference team would have a decent shot. Teams from the other conferences are not so lucky, as evidenced by undefeated Western Michigan finishing just 15th in the playoff committee’s final rankings last year.

Therefore the single elimination bracket below is a list of every one-loss power five team and every undefeated team from the Mountain West and American conferences, as well as a few notable independents. Also included is each of these teams chance to win out according to ESPN’s FPI system, which more or less constitutes that team’s chances of making the playoff, since this is the single elimination bracket, as well as each team’s next two-way elimination game, which is the team’s next game against another team on this list, or a game that must result in a team being eliminated from the title race.

School % Chance to Win Out Next Two-Way Elimination Game
Ohio State (1-1) 31.0% vs. Army Wk 3
Stanford (1-1) 5.5% vs San Diego St Wk 3
Florida State (0-1) 5.5% vs NC State Wk 3
Auburn (1-1) 2.4% vs Missouri Wk 4
South Florida (2-0) 1.8% vs Houston Wk 11
Notre Dame (1-1) 1.3% vs Boston College Wk 3
Central Florida (1-0) 1.0% vs Georgia Tech Wk 3
Memphis (1-0) 0.8% vs Central Florida Wk 5
San Diego State (2-0) 0.7% vs Stanford Wk 3
Houston (1-0) 0.7% vs SMU Wk6
NC State (1-1) 0.1% vs Florida St Wk 3
Army (2-0) 0.1% vs. Ohio State Wk 3
Arkansas (1-1) 0.0% vs Texas A&M Wk4
Arizona State (1-1) 0.0% vs Stanford Wk5
Arizona (1-1) 0.0% vs Arizona St Wk13
Florida (0-1) 0.0% vs Texas A&M Wk7
Georgia Tech (1-1) 0.0% vs UCF Wk 3
UConn (2-0) 0.1% vs UVA Wk3
Iowa State (1-1) 0.0% vs Texas Wk5
Northwestern (1-1) 0.0% vs Purdue Wk10
Indiana (1-1) 0.0% vs Purdue Wk12
Boston College (1-1) 0.0% vs Notre Dame Wk3
Missouri (1-1) 0.0% vs Purdue Wk 3
Nebraska (1-1) 0.0% vs Ohio State Wk7
Syracuse (1-1) 0.0% vs NC State Wk5
Pittsburgh (1-1) 0.0% vs Georgia Tech Wk4
Texas A&M (1-1) 0.0% vs Arkansas Wk3
Texas (1-1) 0.0% vs Iowa State Wk4
UVA (1-1) 0.0% vs Uconn Wk3
West Virginia (1-1) 0.0% vs Kansas Wk4
Kansas (1-1) 0.0% vs West Virginia Wk4
Navy (2-0) 0.0% vs Memphis Wk7
Purdue (1-1)  0.0% vs Missouri Wk 3
SMU (1-1) 0.0% vs UConn Wk 5