But right here the game sits, 4 common season weekends plus a 5th reserved for convention name video games clear of getting a four-team playoff subject. And it’s price doing a league-by-league reset to dimension up who actually nonetheless has an opportunity to earn a semifinal nod.
The playoff committee has but to choose a crew with multiple loss within the match’s first six seasons, and a yr with shortened schedules isn’t going to be the only to finish that pattern. So from the bounce, this rundown is already lowered to the remainder unbeatens and one-loss groups.
ACC: No, 2 Notre Dame (Eight-Zero, 7-Zero) nonetheless hasn’t ever misplaced a convention recreation in its historical past, and it will be the final mic drop for the Irish to run the desk and return to independence subsequent yr. But when that doesn’t occur, profitable the following 3 video games (North Carolina, Syracuse and Wake Wooded area) would put Brian Kelly’s bunch in excellent form to complete within the ultimate 4 even with a conceivable ACC name recreation loss to Clemson.
Talking of the No. Four Tigers (7-1, 6-1), they face Florida State on Saturday of their first recreation since falling at Notre Dame in double additional time. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is anticipated again from a two-game virus absence, and if they may be able to rattle off 4 wins in a row (together with a conceivable ACC name recreation rematch with the Irish), they’d most certainly be on the peak of the listing for ACC contenders.
Then there’s No. 12 Miami (7-1, 6-1), which is on pause at the present time. The Hurricanes nonetheless have Wake Wooded area, North Carolina and Georgia Tech to return, however their loss to Clemson is a drawback to each attaining the ACC name recreation and getting critical playoff attention. That stated, an 11-1 Miami can be within the combine.
Large 12: The one program left within the 10-team convention with only one setback is No. 14 Oklahoma State (Five-1, Four-1), and the Cowboys’ hopes may really well evaporate with a loss at No. 18 Oklahoma on Saturday. Successful out is Oklahoma State’s most effective critical playoff trail.
SEC: There are two groups firmly in regulate in their playoff fates. No. 1 Alabama (6-Zero) is the league’s lone last unbeaten, and No. 6 Florida (Five-1) can be difficult to go away out if it runs the desk (particularly if it encounters a still-unbeaten Red Tide within the SEC name recreation).
Right here’s an interesting attainable headache: Florida is going 10-1 and drops Alabama to 10-1 within the SEC name recreation. No. Five Texas A&M, the one crew to overcome the Gators, will get into the barn at Nine-1 and with a loss to the Red Tide. On the other hand, a state of affairs with an 11-Zero Alabama, Nine-1 Texas A&M and Nine-2 Florida may additionally receive advantages the Aggies.
Large Ten: The abbreviated season approach no margin for error. So No. Nine Indiana (Four-Zero), No. 19 Northwestern (Four-Zero), No. Three Ohio State (Three-Zero) and No. 10 Wisconsin (2-Zero) are the remainder contenders, and their team will probably be minimize in part through the tip of play Saturday.
%-12: It’s the similar deal because the Large Ten, however most certainly even much less wiggle room to have video games minimize. There are most effective 3 2-Zero groups within the %-12 — Colorado, No. 11 Oregon and No. 20 Southern California — whilst Washington received its belated opener remaining week and Utah continues to be ready to play its first recreation. Typical knowledge getting into the autumn was once Oregon was once the league’s very best crew, and not anything’s came about to noticeably counter such considering.
Undefeated Crew of 5/impartial groups: There have been virtually a dozen groups a part of this team to begin the week. However let’s be sensible: The deck is so closely stacked towards an ordinary Crew of 5 crew that any one no longer enjoying one thing with reference to a complete time table doesn’t have an opportunity at a playoff berth. Sorry, Mid-American and Mountain West meetings.
But that also leaves 5 different unbeatens. No. 7 Cincinnati (7-Zero) and No. Eight Brigham Younger (Eight-Zero) have clobbered just about everybody who has come their means, and each might be respectable top-10 groups. If there’s sufficient chaos (and everybody within the Large Ten or %-12 taking a loss can be a excellent get started), this will be the yr to make the case for the Bearcats or Cougars.
The ones two would most certainly be higher bets to be playoff spoilers than No. 15 Coastal Carolina (7-Zero), No. 21 Liberty (Eight-Zero) and No. 15 Marshall (7-Zero), all of whom are having marvelous seasons however may need to accept a bowl berth out of doors the New Yr’s Six construction despite the fact that they win out.
No reason why to be cocky
South Carolina changed into the primary Energy 5 program to make a training alternate within the pandemic, jettisoning Will Muschamp on Sunday after a 3rd consecutive rout. The Gamecocks are 2-Five a yr after a disappointing Four-Eight run, and Muschamp closed out his 5 seasons in Columbia with a 28-30 file.
No tears will have to be shed for Muschamp, who gained an eight-figure buyout for his hassle. And whilst South Carolina wasn’t as excellent because it will have to had been (in 2019 and 2020, specifically), this wouldn’t had been a great time for someone to be the Gamecocks’ trainer.
Adore it or no longer, the barometers for South Carolina are in-state rival Clemson and SEC East foes Florida and Georgia. When the ones techniques optimize their benefits, they’re top-10 techniques.
The excellent news for the Gamecocks? All 3 have completed within the peak 10 of the Related Press ballot on most effective two events. The dangerous information, particularly for Muschamp? The ones two seasons had been 2018 and 2019, and 2020 may sign up for that team with Clemson (No. Four) and Florida (No. 6) throughout the peak 10 and Georgia (No. 13) no longer some distance out of doors it.
If all 3 of the ones techniques are cooking, it’s going to be exhausting for South Carolina to get critical traction. Sure, the Gamecocks wish to get the fitting trainer, however having one among their well-resourced competitors take a slide is a stroke of good fortune South Carolina can’t make occur by itself.
5 with essentially the most at stake
1a and 1b. Indiana and Ohio State. This might be the Large Ten East name recreation. Indiana already owns victories over Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State, and that would possibly not imply as a lot when the ones groups are a mixed 2-10. However the Hoosiers had been driven round through the ones techniques for see you later they should savor the accomplishment. And in the event that they beat the Three-Zero Buckeyes? Smartly, Indiana making the Large Ten name recreation sooner than Michigan can be a hoot.
2. Oklahoma State. The Cowboys can play their means out of playoff competition with a loss at Oklahoma, however they may be able to’t play their means out of the Large 12 name image simply but. However with a victory, Oklahoma State considerably improves its convention name hopes, considerably damages the Sooners’ hopes for a similar and snaps a five-game skid within the Bedlam sequence. What’s to not like about that for the Cowboys?
3a and 3b. Northwestern and Wisconsin. The intriguing undercard within the Large Ten’s monster weekend includes a pair of groups that experience mixed to permit 74 issues in six video games. Take the underneath as Wisconsin makes the trek to the shores of Lake Michigan to stand the Wildcats in what may really well make a decision the Large Ten West.
Four. Cincinnati. If the Bearcats are actually lucky, they’ll have the ability to run a pretend punt within the fourth quarter of a rout. Much more likely, Central Florida (Five-2, Four-2) will give quarterback Desmond Ridder and his teammates as difficult an on-field take a look at as they’ve confronted in 2020. Each win places the Bearcats nearer to touchdown a New Yr’s Six invitation.
Five. Coastal Carolina. Know what would stink for the Chanticleers (7-Zero, Five-Zero Solar Belt), who started the yr with a pounding of Kansas, cracked the nationwide scores for the primary time in program historical past and feature received all however one among their video games up to now through no less than 14 issues? No longer even profitable their department. That destiny is in play with a loss to Appalachian State (6-1, Four-Zero), which will pay a discuss with to Conway, S.C., in what will have to be one of the crucial weekend’s very best contests.
1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson; 1,833 yards, 17 TDs, 2 INTs passing; 71 yards, Four TDs dashing. He’s again. Lawrence neglected two video games with a favorable coronavirus take a look at after which Clemson had an open date remaining weekend. Lawrence and the Tigers head to Florida State to resume a contention that no longer way back served as the true ACC name recreation. No longer anymore. (Final week: 1)
2. QB Justin Fields, Ohio State; 908 yards, 11 TDs, Zero INTs passing; 57 yards, 2 TDs dashing. Fields and the Buckeyes misplaced a recreation as a result of Maryland’s virus outbreak remaining week, however they’ll go back to play for a top-10 matchup with Indiana. (LW: 2)
Three. QB Kyle Trask, Florida; 2,171 yards, 28 TDs, Three INTs passing. It was once industry as same old for the Gator quarterback, who threw for 5 touchdowns within the first part of a rout of Arkansas remaining week. He completed with 356 yards and 6 TD passes, and his 28 scoring tosses are essentially the most ever for an SEC quarterback thru six video games. He will have to pad that general this week towards Vanderbilt. (LW: Five)
Four. RB Najee Harris, Alabama; 714 yards, 14 TDs dashing; 20 receptions for 183 yards. It is usually a more difficult night time than same old for the Red Tide offense towards Kentucky, which had allowed 43 issues in a four-game span sooner than slipping a little bit in remaining week’s 38-35 defeat of Vanderbilt. (LW: Three)
Five. QB Mac Jones, Alabama; 2,196 yards, 16 TDs, 2 INTs passing. After remaining week’s recreation towards LSU was once postponed, Jones will attempt to hit the 300-yard plateau for the 5th time in six contests as Alabama meets Kentucky. (LW: Four)
6. QB Zach Wilson, Brigham Younger; 2,512 yards, 22 TDs, 2 INTs passing; 158 yards. Eight TDs dashing. As spectacular as Wilson is, he isn’t going to lend a hand his hopes a lot towards North Alabama despite the fact that he throws for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. (LW: 6)