Assuming the top three unbeaten teams would get in by winning out, here are the paths to the playoff. Remember Michigan still plays Ohio State in the last regular-season game. Every one loss team from another conference will be ahead of them as well as Notre Dame.
Northwestern's Clayton Thorson, left, tries to break a tackle by Notre Dame's Te'von Coney during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Evanston, Ill.
One of the Week 11 college football picks the model is recommending: No. 1 Alabama (-23.5) continues to not only win, but also surpass oddsmakers' expectations, as it covers against No. 18 Mississippi State.
Check out the top 10 things we learned during a busy college football weekend filled with top 25 matchups. The loss of that game, should it have been a WVU win, might have been a difference in one or two slots in this week's rankings. The Fighting Irish are just ahead of MI based on a head-to-head matchup, won by Notre Dame 24-17.
Iowa State was ranked for the first time this season, one of five teams to move into the ranking this week.
Either way, here's our projected top-10 tonight for the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bulldogs will see Alabama in the SEC title game as SEC East champions, but they can't look past their next three opponents starting this Sunday against Auburn. The most realistic scenario to put Mike Leach's Washington State team in the playoff involves Big Ten and Big 12 implosions.
In conclusion: There are more opportunities for teams to lose, so the new normal is likely somewhere between this season's seven ranked three-loss teams by Week 10 to last season's three. Ohio State could win out - beating Michigan State and Michigan along the way - and get in. It has a strong defense, but offensively, it's limited at best. Alabama stayed No. 1, Clemson is No. 2 and Notre Dame is No. 3.