NCAA Football Playoff 2016: Latest College Predictions After Week 10 Standings

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If you were hoping for an upset-filled Saturday in college football, you’ll have to wait another week. 

Not only did most of the top teams take care of business, but they also did so in convincing fashion, padding their resumes as they head into the second week of the College Football Playoff rankings. 

There will be at least one new team in the Top 4 this week, however, thanks to Mississippi State’s upset of Texas A&M, which occupied the No. 4 slot in the first CFP poll of the season. 

Based on the latest results from Saturday’s action, here’s an updated look at how the Top 4 teams could shake out, as well as projections for the rest of the New Year’s Six bowl games:

New Year’s Six Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup Predicted Winner
Rose Bowl Ohio State vs. Colorado Ohio State
Cotton Bowl Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin Wisconsin
Orange Bowl Louisville vs. Texas A&M Louisville
Sugar Bowl Auburn vs. Oklahoma Oklahoma
Peach Bowl/CFP Semifinal No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington Alabama
Fiesta Bowl/CFP Semifinal No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Michigan Clemson

Author’s Projections


Notable Teams

Alabama Crimson Tide

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide got all that they could handle from the LSU Tigers on Saturday night but hung on for the 10-0 victory. 

As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, shutouts in Death Valley are becoming a bit of a tradition for the Crimson Tide:

While the score indicates a close contest, it was a dominant performance by the Alabama defense on Saturday night. The Tide held LSU to just 125 yards of total offense and six first downs. 

With LSU out of the way, Alabama returns home for the final three games of the regular season and will be a heavy favorite to run the table. 

The lone test standing between Alabama and a third consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff will likely be its hated rival, the Auburn Tigers. 

Alabama will host Auburn in the Iron Bowl in its regular-season finale before taking on whoever emerges from the wreckage of the SEC East in the conference championship. 


Washington Huskies

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The biggest shock of the initial playoff rankings was seeing the one-loss Texas A&M Aggies ranked ahead of the undefeated Washington Huskies. But with Texas A&M falling to the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday, the Huskies are in position to slide up and occupy the No. 4 position in this week’s poll. 

Washington’s strength of schedule remains weak, but as the only undefeated team in the Pac-12, the Huskies should be considered heavy favorites to advance to the playoff as long they remain perfect. 

Perhaps the Huskies’ No. 5 ranking factored into their performance against California on Saturday night, as they racked up over 700 yards of total offense. 

The win over Cal won’t do much for its resume, but the committee may factor in the dominant fashion in which Washington controlled the game. 


Michigan Wolverines

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Like Washington, Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines don’t have the strongest strength of schedule. But they’ve made up for it by proving their dominance over their weaker opponents. 

Michigan pounded Maryland on Saturday by a score of 59-3—the Wolverines’ third win by 50 or more points this season. 

Perhaps the most exciting development from the rout was the performance of quarterback Wilton Speight, who threw for a career-high 362 yards. 

The undefeated Wolverines control their own destiny but still have two road games remaining on the schedule: under the lights in Iowa next Saturday night and at Ohio State in their regular-season finale. 


Ohio State Buckeyes

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes don’t necessarily need style points—a win over Michigan and a Big Ten championship would send them to the playoff. But they padded the resume with a 62-3 annihilation of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday night in Columbus. 

Ohio State now has convincing wins over Nebraska and Oklahoma, both of which were ranked among the Top 14 teams in the initial CFP rankings, as well as an overtime victory over eighth-ranked Wisconsin. 

If the committee is still unimpressed with Washington’s overall resume, Ohio State could potentially be the team to jump it. Ohio State is now 3-1 against teams ranked in the Top 14 of last week’s CFP rankings. Meanwhile, Washington has played just one team ranked in the Top 25 (Utah). 

Since Washington was ranked one spot ahead of Ohio State last week, the Huskies will likely take the No. 4 spot this week, but the committee will have a discussion about Ohio State’s impressive performance against a large group of respected teams.