Undefeateds (11/09/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Which college football teams will win out and reach the playoffs?



Five unbeaten teams suffered a loss in Week 10 – LSU, Memphis, Michigan State, TCU and Toledo. Now only six programs have a chance to go undefeated.

Which team is the most likely to run the table (through the conference championship) and make the College Football Playoff?

After taking care of business against Florida State, Clemson has the easiest path to a perfect season. The Tigers have three regular season games against teams that are outside the top 50 in our Power Rankings. Dabo Swinney's crew is greater than 60 percent likely to win out and nearly 70 percent likely to make the playoffs.

Ohio State probably won't go undefeated with back-to-back games against Michigan State and Michigan followed potentially by a matchup with Iowa for the Big Ten Championship. Yet, the Buckeyes are the second most likely team to be included in the four-team playoff.

The rest of the unbeatens are relative longshots to stay perfect. Baylor and Oklahoma State play each other, Iowa would be an underdog to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and Houston has tough matchups against Memphis and Navy remaining.

A one-loss Alabama, which shut down previously undefeated LSU last Saturday, has a 42.7 percent chance to win out through the SEC Championship and a 38.7 percent chance to be included in the playoff (3rd best chance of any team).

Note: the projected playoff percentage is our best approximation of a subjective process based on 50,000 simulations of the rest of the season factoring in strength-of-schedule, projected records, likelihood of winning each game through conference championship weekend and various power rankings.

Team Win Out (through conference championships) Make Playoffs
Clemson 63.5% 67.0%
Ohio State 40.0% 50.6%
Oklahoma State 10.6% 28.3%
Iowa 16.8% 27.7%
Baylor 5.0% 25.8%
Houston 15.7% 9.8%