Meet your College Football Playoff wrecking crew.
These are the most talented teams that have fallen out of the playoff picture but still have the potential to ruin it for somebody else. Some have only one loss, most have two.
Beware of all of them.
The season isn’t done yet, and neither are these teams:
Spoiler alert: Nov. 5 vs. Alabama; Nov. 24 vs. Texas AM
Stating the case: The Tigers have a newfound energy under interim coach Ed Orgeron, and it was evident in their 42-7 drubbing of Missouri. LSU’s abundance of talent was on full display, even with Leonard Fournette sidelined with an ankle injury, as Derrius Guice‘s ability to break long runs electrified the crowd. Quarterback Danny Etling didn’t turn the ball over, and that will be key for any upsets to happen in November. In spite of losses to Wisconsin and Auburn, LSU isn’t out of the SEC race just yet. The more likely scenario, though, is tripping up one of the top two teams in November.
FPI says: Alabama (59.4 percent chance of beating LSU) and Texas AM (62.6 percent) are the only opponents remaining on the schedule that FPI does NOT favor the Tigers against.
Spoiler games: Nov. 12 vs. Baylor; Nov. 19 at West Virginia
Stating the case: The Sooners can still win the Big 12. Repeat: OU can still win the Big 12. Losses to Houston and Ohio State were devastating to its playoff hopes, but Oklahoma still has a shot at the league’s two remaining undefeated teams. The win at TCU was monumental in terms of giving OU something to keep playing for. As long as they limit the turnovers and stay healthy, the Sooners have the ground game to either make a run of their own, or knock Baylor and WVU off their paths.
FPI says: The Sooners are favored in each of their remaining games, with a 74.4 percent chance to beat Baylor, and 62.9 percent chance to win in Morgantown.
Florida State (3-2)
Spoiler games: Oct. 8 vs. Miami; Oct. 29 vs. Clemson
Stating the case: The Noles look like they’ve come unraveled, but nothing brings the best out in a team like an old-school, in-state rivalry. Under first-year coach Mark Richt, Miami has a legitimate shot at the ACC’s Coastal Division, but its game against the Noles is the first in a key stretch which includes Coastal opponents UNC and Virginia Tech. Florida State also has a chance to ruin Clemson’s quest for another undefeated season. Clemson will still win the Atlantic Division with a loss in Tallahassee, as long as it wins out, but a blemish on the record could impact Louisville’s hopes at sneaking in the committee’s top four.
FPI says: The Noles are favored to win each of their remaining games, but it’s tight, with a 55.2 percent chance to beat Miami (essentially a toss-up) and a 51.6 percent chance to beat Clemson (even closer).
Ole Miss (3-2)
Spoiler games: Oct. 15 at Arkansas; Nov. 12 at Texas AM
Stating the case: Ole Miss has looked better in defeat than some undefeated teams have looked in their wins. This is an interesting triangle of teams because anything can still happen in the SEC West. Arkansas lost to AM, so it needs the Aggies to lose twice, but Ole Miss is good enough to help out, and the Aggies also still have to play Tennessee and Alabama. Ole Miss lost to Alabama, which will be tough to overcome, but the Rebels have a bye week to prepare for their trip to Arkansas. They also play Georgia Southern before heading to Texas AM.
FPI says: The Aggies are favored to beat Ole Miss, but FPI is giving the Rebels a 74.8 percent chance of winning at Arkansas.
Spoiler game: Nov. 17 at Houston
Stating the case: The Cardinals need Clemson to lose twice to get back into the ACC’s Atlantic Division race (an unlikely scenario), but they can still ruin a perfect season and shot at the top four for Houston. The Cougars have no margin for error because of their conference strength of schedule and need another win against a Power 5 opponent in addition to beating Oklahoma to impress the selection committee.
FPI says: The Cardinals are favored in each of their remaining games, including a 69.3 percent chance of winning at Houston.
Notre Dame (2-3)
Spoiler games: Oct. 15 vs. Stanford; Oct. 29 vs. Miami
Stating the case: The Irish snapped a two-game losing streak on Saturday with a win at Syracuse, they have made defensive changes and have a quarterback in DeShone Kizer who’s good enough to win enough games to qualify for at least a bowl game. Along the way, Notre Dame has a chance to stick a fork in Stanford for good and to humble Miami heading into November.
FPI says: Both Stanford and Miami are projected to beat the Irish.