NCAA Football

“Survival Saturday” brings more clarity to the College Football Playoff picture

“Survival Saturday” brings more clarity to the College Football Playoff picture

ATHENS — It was Survival Saturday in the College Football Playoff race, and all that mattered was getting the “W.”

There were no style points anywhere for the elite, with Georgia’s stunning 16-6 victory against freezing Kentucky temperatures looking like a beauty compared to other top programs.

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Here’s a look at the contenders and their views and the rest of the games:


The Bulldogs should retain the No. 1 seed by winning and falling no lower than two unless, in the highly unlikely event, they lose one of their final two games, in which case they would still enter the CFP as the No. 4 seed.

Schedule: vs. Georgia Tech, SEC CG vs. LSU

Ohio State

The sides can grab the No. 1 seed if they win impressively enough, and Georgia struggles, and it’s still possible to get into the bracket with a loss to Michigan — assuming either TCU or USC lose another game.

Schedule: vs. Michigan, possible Big Ten CG


The Wolverines must win out to make the CFP due to a poor non-conference schedule, barring a slew of P5 championship game upsets.

Schedule: at Ohio State, a possible Big Ten CG


The Horned Frogs look more like the team of destiny after their last-second win over Baylor. TCU will probably win out to make the CFP.

Schedule: vs. Iowa State, Big 12 CG vs. Kansas/Texas State


The Trojans survived a late-night shootout in the Rose Bowl, with Caleb Williams sealing a trip to New York while improving his Heisman Trophy chances. Win and they enter. Lose either of their next two games and they are out.

Schedule: vs. Notre Dame, P12 CG vs. Oregon/Washington/Utah


The Tigers were another benefactor of the Tennessee loss, but they still needed to beat Georgia and maybe get a little help with a loss to TCU or USC. No two-loss team has made the CFP, so some extenuating circumstances will be needed.

Schedule: at Texas A&M, SEC CG vs. Georgia


The Tigers were the biggest benefactor of Tennessee’s loss, but Clemson should come away impressive and get a little help and favor from the CFP as the winner of the conference championship. North Carolina’s loss to Georgia Tech didn’t help Clemson’s cause.

Schedule: vs. South Carolina, ACC CG vs. North Carolina

Crystal ball

A projected four-team CFP field

1. Georgia

2. Ohio State

3. PKU

4. Clemson

NFF-Super 16 Newsletter

(Mike Griffith)

1. Georgia (11-0)

2. Ohio State (11-0)

3. Michigan (11-0)

4. TCU (11-0)

5. USC (10-1)

6. Clemson (10-1)

7. LSU (9-2)

8. Alabama (9-2)

9. Washington (9-2)

10. Oregon (9-2)

11. Tennessee (9-2)

12. Pennsylvania (9-2)

13. Kansas State (8-3)

14. Mother of God (8-3)

15. Florida State (8-3)

16. UCLA (8-3)

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