Passing along this week’s projections. For a full write-up see Monday’s Washington Post column.
- We have 10 teams with >20% of making the playoff. It’s very close to the top 2 from each of the Power-5 conferences, except that the Big-10 has 3 and the Pac-12 only 1.
- At the top end we see two, but only two, who are more likely to make it than not – Alabama and Ohio State.
- In the next ring out we have 8 tightly bunched teams vying for the remaining two spots – Miami & Clemson from the ACC, Oklahoma & TCU from the Big-12, Washington from the Pac-12, Wisconsin & Penn State from the Big-10, and Georgia from the SEC.
- Between the serious contenders and the deep longshots we have USC and Oklahoma State. Both teams face important tests this weekend (vs. ND and Texas).
- Finally we have 8 longshots with a 1-5% chance, all perfectly fine teams but according to our numbers likely to trip another time or two before the end of the season. This group includes our only independent (Notre Dame) and our only G5 school (South Florida), as well as teams still in contention for P5 titles.
Based on these numbers our bracket is Alabama-Ohio State-Miami-Oklahoma. But that’s really splitting hairs on the margin – easy to take Clemson over Miami, TCU over Oklahoma.
Miami is surely the most surprising number of the week, and one of the most surprising of the year. They squeak past Clemson in our sim not because they are the better team – we’d make an ACC title game Clemson -6 – but because they have the easier remaining regular season road, and because Clemson can’t take another loss.
Conversely, OU just tops TCU despite being a game behind in the loss column precisely because we make them the better team. The Big-12’s round-robin + championship game increases the likelihood that the better team will emerge.
|Team||MP||MP Rank||E(Ws)||E(Ls)||P(L<2)||Conf Champ||Playoff|