Even with most of the top teams in college football idle last week, the rankings for the College Football Playoff saw some significant movement, with Georgia basically eliminating Florida from the hunt serving as the seminal moment. After the dust has cleared from the weekend, these eight teams have the best chance at sneaking into the Top 4.
Baylor might be the only unbeaten team in the Big 12, but Jalen Hurts and the Sooners are the conference's best shot at getting a team in the playoff. If Oklahoma can take down Baylor in a few weeks, they will be the runaway favorites in the Big 12, and could slide into the Top 4 if a couple SEC and Big Ten heavyweights lose. Kyle Whittingham's Utah team has a legit claim to this spot, especially after beating Jacob Eason and Washington, but Lincoln Riley's squad gets the edge thanks to the strength of the conference.
Justin Herbert and the Ducks took their loss to Auburn in the first game of the year in stride, and have run the table since. Herbert, a future first-round pick, has thrown 24 touchdowns against just two interceptions, leading Oregon to comeback wins against Washington, Washington State, and USC. With Troy Dye and Kayvon Thibodeaux leading the defense and CJ Verdell powering the ground game, Oregon is a well-rounded side that gives the Pac-12 a chance at getting a team in the playoff.
With one loss, Georgia will need to beat either Alabama or LSU in the SEC championship to get into the playoff. Georgia has proven that they can stare down an elite defense and come out on top, as they managed to push Florida all over the field. With wins over Notre Dame and Florida, Georgia has by far the best resume of any one-loss team, and Kirby Smart might just ride D'Andre Swift all the way to the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.
5. Penn State
Sean Clifford and Penn State have two major challenges in the next three weeks, as they have to go on the road twice to play two unbeaten teams in Minnesota and Ohio State. Clifford, KJ Hamler, and a Penn State offense that has proven it can rack up points in a hurry shouldn't find the matter too daunting. If they take down Ohio State in Columbus and win the Big Ten Championship, it'll be extremely hard to leave James Franklin and the Nittany Lions out of the Top 4.
Trevor Lawrence and Clemson barely had to break a sweat against lowly Wofford, finding the end zone four times before being taken out before the second half. Jamie Newman and Wake Forest represent the most likely chance that any ACC team has at beating them. If they beat the Demon Deacons and continue to coast through a pitiful ACC schedule, the reigning champs will have an unbeaten season and conference championship to their name, which should make them mortal locks for one of the four spots in the playoff.
Of course the one week where Alabama is forced to play without their superstar, Heisman-caliber quarterback, it came against lowly Arkansas last week. Their matchup against No. 1 LSU in Tuscaloosa is going to serve as the de facto SEC West championship, as the loser will likely miss out on a spot in the SEC championship that will likely pit them against Georgia. Tua and that offense are phenomenal, but the defense hasn't been the ludicrously dominant unit that has buoyed them in recent years. Tua needs a virtuoso, four touchdown performance against LSU to keep the Tide in prime position for a playoff spot.
2. Ohio State
On the back of incredibly dominant play from quarterback Justin Fields, running back JK Dobbins and potential Heisman-winning pass rusher Chase Young, the Buckeyes have asserted themselves as the class of the Big Ten. A massive matchup against Penn State that could determine the winner of the Big Ten East looms overhead, but Ryan Day's Buckeyes should go into that game with all the momentum in the world. The winner of the Big Ten is likely going to get a spot in the playoff, and Ohio State currently rules the roost in that conference.
Heisman candidate and future first-round pick Joe Burrow has led the Tigers to three wins over teams that were in the Top 10 at the time in Texas, Auburn and Florida. Burrow, who is completing 78 percent of his passes, has to do the nearly impossible and beat Alabama on the road. If he can do that, which would all but put the Tigers in the SEC title game and put them in pole position for a playoff spot, Burrow should book his plane ticket to New York and practice his Heisman speech.