Updated Playoff picture for Clemson after week 15

by - Staff Writer -
Updated Playoff picture for Clemson after week 15

The Playoff hopeful field shrunk further with one week to go after Alabama and Minnesota were eliminated by upsets on Saturday.

Seven teams go into the conference championship Saturday with a double-digit projected CFP chance according to ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight -- Clemson pacing the group (93), followed by Ohio State (86), LSU (64), Oklahoma (56), Georgia (45), Utah (27) and Baylor (19). Utah is currently ranked ahead of Oklahoma by the Playoff committee (No. 6 to No. 7), with Baylor back at No. 9.

Two meetings of those contenders will occur next week with Georgia and LSU playing in the SEC title game (4 p.m./CBS) and Baylor and Oklahoma playing for the Big 12 (noon/ABC). Ranked fourth behind three unbeatens, Georgia’s mission is simple: win and in. An LSU loss doesn’t produce as clear a picture to national pundits, but independent of other results, 538 gives the Bayou Bengals only a 17 percent shot at the CFP with a defeat in Atlanta next week, slipping to 13 percent if Clemson and Ohio State go in the final Playoff rankings 13-0. Add Utah or Oklahoma as a conference champion and those projections drop into the single-digits.

CBS Sports' current projections have Ohio State holding on to the top CFP ranking and playing Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, while Clemson and LSU head out to the Fiesta in Glendale, Arizona.

ESPN's Playoff panel, projecting the top-four if the season ended today, has Ohio State with eight of 14 first-place votes and LSU with the six others, Clemson a consensus No. 3 and votes split among Georgia (8), Oklahoma (3) and Utah (3) for the final spot.

ESPN's Playoff Predictor went into last week projecting Alabama with a 48 percent shot at the CFP, with Oklahoma the next team up (12) and then Utah (9).

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