Evaluating Michigan State's Chances of Making the College Football Playoff

Michigan State was almost eliminated from contention for the College Football Playoff with their loss to Oregon early in the season, as many pundits thought a Big Ten team would have to go undefeated to make the playoff.

Now, just a couple weeks later, the Spartans are sitting 8th in the AP Poll and are in prime position to crack the top-4 at the end of the year. They've avoided the major upsets that have killed the hopes of teams ranked ahead of them, and have been dominating the teams they should be dominating. What else needs to happen for the Spartans to play in the inaugural playoff?

Win Out

The Spartans stand no chance if they lose one more game - their schedule just isn't tough enough. They still have a chance to record a big win when No. 13 Ohio State comes into East Lansing, and then in the Big Ten Championship game. If they can win both of those games and avoid any slip ups along the way, Michigan State will prove they belong among the top teams in college football.

Two-Loss SEC Champion

Some see scenarios where the SEC West gets two teams into the playoff, but that won't happen if every contender has at least two losses. There will be a serious debate between a one-loss Big Ten Champion Michigan State and a one-loss second-place SEC West team, and that's something the Spartans don't want to risk.

Florida State Loses

The Seminoles are the ACC's only team in contention for the playoff, and if they lose just one game, they'll be left out of the top four. That'll free up another spot for a team like Michigan State who, if they take care of business the rest of the way, would likely get the nod.

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