The end of the college football season is rapidly approaching as we prepare for rivalry week. Teams will be looking to end their season on a high note in order to squeeze their way into the College Football Playoff, but because only four teams will make it, there are a lot of pretenders on the bubble. Here are the five biggest College Football Playoff pretenders this year.
UCF will say that they should be a lock for the College Football Playoff because of their undefeated record, but it's their schedule that holds them back. UCF has played just one ranked opponent this season, beating No. 24 Cincinnati 38-13. While the Knights haven't lost a game since the 2016 season, their lack of formidable opponents is what's preventing them from landing in the playoffs.
4. Washington State
Washington State is one of the bigger surprises of this college football season, but that won't earn them a spot in the CFP. The 10-1 Cougars are the top team in the Pac-12 North and they will face a difficult test when they play their in-state rivals, the Washington Huskies, this week. Their only loss came to USC, and while they have won some big games, it's probably not going to be enough to earn them a spot in the College Football Playoff.
3. Ohio State
Ohio State will be kicking themselves over their loss to Purdue, as the 10-1 Buckeyes will have to bank on a win against Michigan to be in contention for the CFP. Ohio State has looked shaky in recent outings, narrowly beating Maryland 52-51 and barely pulling away from Nebraska two weeks earlier. If the Buckeyes don't outright win the Big Ten then they should not be considered for the College Football Playoff. And even then, it's clear this team has a lot of flaws and probably wouldn't make it past the first round even if they were to make it.
2. West Virginia
The Mountaineers are hanging around, currently ranked No. 9 in the nation, but the fact that they have lost two games already this season really hurts their chances of making a CFP appearance. Not to mention, both of those losses were against unranked teams in Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Even if West Virginia takes down Oklahoma next week, they aren't likely to get the nod for the playoff.
Georgia still has a good chance at making the CFP, but they have one massive roadblock in their way as they have to take on Alabama in the final week of play. While a win against Alabama isn't impossible, the Crimson Tide have looked nearly untouchable this season. It doesn't help Georgia that the game will be in Tuscaloosa. If Georgia can pull off the miraculous upset and improve to 11-1, then they might just sneak into the playoff, though their 20-point loss to LSU, a team that Alabama shut out on the road, doesn't look favorable for them.