Of the three top teams who nearly stumbled last weekend only Alabama pays the price by falling out of the projected top four in our College Football Playoff projections. And it wasn't all the Tide's fault: Georgia's big win over Clemson helped make the Bulldogs the favorite to win the SEC, vaulting them from our projected #6 spot last week to this week's #3. The Bulldogs almost doubled their odds to 50.6% while Alabama's fell by nearly half to 31.7%. Both teams are favored in every game this year and are therefore expected to meet in the SEC title game, which leans to Georgia by a hair; the two may pop back and forth over the next several weeks depending on who has played better in a given game.
Florida State holds onto the #1 spot with over a 3 in 4 chance to make the Playoff. That's down a bit from last week; their odds of going undefeated fell from 66% to 57%, which is telling since they have a game under their belt already. But they still are a huge favorite in every game on their slate. Baylor moved up to #2 though their odds dropped a small amount to sit just over 50%.
UCLA dropped below the 50% mark but at #4 they're still favored to be in the playoff, and still favored in every game this year despite their lackluster showing against Virginia. One game doesn't define a team, but it did ding their rating enough to add some doubt.
Alabama drops to #5, still at 31.7%. It's not inconceivable the SEC could get two teams in, especially if the SEC championship is a close game between two undefeated teams. Oklahoma floats down a notch to #6; they're still expected to be #2 in the Big Twelve. It's much more doubtful that the Big Twelve gets two representatives but the same scenario—a close game between the top two—could make it happen.
SportsRatings College Football Playoff Projection post-week one (9/2/2014)
Dropped Out: #13 Houston (0-1), #15 Indiana (1-0), #18 South Carolina (0-1), #19 Navy (0-1), #24 Michigan (1-0)
Others receiving "votes": Louisville (1-0), Michigan (1-0), UTSA (1-0), Stanford (1-0), Minnesota (1-0), Virginia Tech (1-0), Indiana (1-0), Toledo (1-0), Northern Illinois (1-0), Louisiana Lafayette (1-0)
Michigan State becomes the top team in the Big Ten following Wisconsin's loss; they jump from 11 to 7 mostly due to Indiana's poor performance last weekend, as the odds of the Hoosiers beating the Spartans dropped and now Michigan State is favored to win 11 games. That pushed their Playoff Odds up nearly 16 percentage points and put them at #7, one spot ahead of Oregon—their foe this coming weekend. Ohio State moved up a spot while Wisconsin fell from #10 to #12 after their loss, which was expected. The Badgers still are favored to win 11 games and make it to the Big Ten championship game. Indiana, incidentally, dropped off altogether after a poor showing vs. Indiana State tilted several future games against them.
Longshots Marshall and BYU both drop a couple spots after tepid wins diminished their odds to bust the system. The Thundering Herd's odds of going 13-0 fell from 30% to 17%. Houston's big stumble actually increased BYU's odds of going unbeaten but took away what would have been a big win. Houston was at #13 last week but their loss to UTSA wiped them clean off the board. Another non-Power of Five longshot was Navy, but their meager hopes (1% last week) rested heavily on upsetting Ohio State, which didn't happen.
With all the teams dropping off there have to be some new faces, and Pittsburgh and Notre Dame jump in at #13 and #14. Both posted strong wins that moved some games their direction; the Irish could be 10-2 which would put them potentially in the mix, and Pitt is favored to win 11 games after Miami's opening week stumble. Neither has huge odds—6.1% and 5.4%—but it's a start.
Interestingly Clemson jumps 6 spots after their loss to Georgia. The reason is that they are now favored to beat South Carolina in the season finale, after the Gamecocks were crushed by Texas A&M. South Carolina drops out after the upset, while the Aggies enter at #19. Though they now rank #11 in our power rating, they have a tough road ahead including Alabama and Auburn and are projected to be about 9-3. Meanwhile the Tigers slide to #14 in part because the game against the Aggies just got a lot more difficult; another Aggie foe, Mississippi, drops a spot to #18 while Mississippi State is up to #24.
Southern Cal makes a decent move up to #17 after their strong win over Fresno State. TCU, however, drops from #16 to #21, probably because West Virginia became a tougher foe after their showing against Alabama. At this point on the chart the odds are so low that anything can buffet a team around. Note that LSU didn't get any bump from beating Wisconsin mostly because it was expected, but also because their schedule is so full of probable losses—4 in all now that Texas A&M is looking great—that it's hard to see them making it to the Playoff.
And last but not least, two traditional powers make the list: Nebraska, who skewered FAU and saw future opponents Fresno State, Miami, and Northwestern lose, now looks like a possible 10-2 team. Texas still looks about 7-5 but there's hope for a better record, and a 0.4% chance of the CFP for the Longhorns.