Breaking Down the 2024 College Football Playoff Scenarios


As we head into Conference Championship Weekend, the fates of eight teams are hanging in the balance of what can be a very routine weekend, or a weekend full of chaotic scenarios to determine the four College Football Playoff teams.

Below are the current rankings and the eight teams that have a shot at making this year’s four-team playoff:

  1. Georgia 12-0 (plays 11-1 Alabama next)
  2. Michigan 12-0 (plays 10-2 Iowa)
  3. Washington 12-0 (plays 11-1 Oregon)
  4. Florida State 12-0 (plays 10-2 Louisville)
  5. Oregon 11-1 (plays 12-0 Washington)
  6. Ohio State 11-1 (no game)
  7. Texas 11-1 (plays 9-3 Oklahoma State)
  8. Alabama 11-1 (plays 12-0 Georgia)

1. Georgia Bulldogs (12-0)

  • Win and In – As the No. 1 team in the nation, there is no scenario where the Georgia Bulldogs win the SEC and do not make the Playoff.
  • A loss – With a loss, the Bulldogs would need Florida State and/or Michigan to lose, along with a Texas loss. This scenario does bring Ohio State back into the mix and an Oregon win leaves a one-loss Washington team, although bumping the No. 1 team in the country for Ohio State is a difficult task for the committee.

2. Michigan Wolverines (12-0)

  • Win and In – As the No. 2 team in the nation, there is no scenario where the Michigan Wolverines win the Big 10 and do not make the Playoff.
  • A loss – With a loss — which is unlikely — Michigan would be in some serious trouble, as they are currently 23.5-point favorites against Iowa. That being said, if Iowa does pull off a win, the only way Michigan gets in the Playoff is if Texas, Florida State, Oregon, and Alabama all lose. I believe the committee will look to give a one-loss Ohio State the spot over Michigan if that exact scenario does not pan out.

3. Washington Huskies (12-0)

  • Win and In – As the number-three team in the nation, an undefeated season and a PAC 12 title would secure the Huskies a spot in the Playoff.
  • A Loss – With a loss, the Huskies would need Alabama, Florida State, Iowa, and Texas all to lose for what I believe to be their best shot. Another scenario is Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, and Texas all losing. Both scenarios come down to the committee reviewing the strength of schedules for each school.

4. Florida State Seminoles 12-0

  • Win and In – As an undefeated ACC champion, I believe Florida State gets in with a win regardless of their quarterback scenario.
  • A Loss – I don’t believe there is a   scenario where Florida State makes the Playoff with a loss. The only outrageous thought I created was Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, and Texas all get blown out by 50 points and Florida State loses by a hair, although even then, I don’t believe they make it.

5. Oregon Ducks (11-1)

  • Win and In – As a one-loss PAC 12 Champion team currently ranked above Texas, there is no scenario where Oregon wins and does not make the Playoff.
  • A loss – With a loss, Oregon is automatically eliminated from Playoff contention due to its two losses.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)

  • Needs – With no game to play, Ohio State is sitting and praying for certain scenarios to unfold this weekend. If Alabama, Florida State, Texas, and Oregon all lose, Ohio State has a strong possibility of making it over a Florida State team missing its starting quarterback. Another highly unlikely scenario is Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Texas, and Oregon all losing, which may have the committee looking at Ohio State to sneak in over Michigan.

7. Texas Longhorns (11-1)

  • Win – Texas needs a win along with one of Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, or Washington to lose. Even in a scenario where Alabama wins, Texas has the regular season win over them as a tiebreaker.
  • Loss – A loss means a two-loss Texas is automatically eliminated from contention.

8. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1)

  • Win – With a win, Alabama gets into the Playoff with a loss from one of Florida State, Michigan, or Oregon. If all undefeated teams were to win, Alabama would need Texas to lose due to the regular season loss to them.
  • Loss – With a loss, Alabama has two losses and is immediately eliminated from Playoff contention.

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