NCAA Football Playoff Predictions: Who Gets The Fourth Seed?

A total of 10 ranked teams lost on another crazy Saturday in College Football, which brought a little bit more clarity to the playoff picture.

The only question now - as long as the top teams keep winning - is what to do with the fourth and final playoff spot?

Mississippi State was ranked No. 1 all season before losing a close game to Alabama this weekend while TCU held the fourth spot last week and won, but Baylor beat TCU earlier in the season. Then there's Ohio State, who might be hotter than any other team in the country. What will the committee do?


8 ) Michigan State

Record: 8-2 (5-1 in Big Ten)

Last Week: 37-15 win over Maryland

This Week: Sat. vs. Rutgers

How in the world do the Spartans end up back in this picture? Right now, the teams ranked around of them in the AP Poll - Ole Miss, Georgia, UCLA, and Kansas State - all face teams higher up on this list in the next few weeks, and I think all of them will lose. That opens the door for Michigan State to climb back into the top eight and make one of the three New Year's Eve bowls.

7) Ohio State

Record: 9-1 (6-0 in Big Ten)

Last Week: 31-24 win at Minnesota

This Week: Sat. vs. Indiana

Ohio State followed their big win over the aforementioned Spartans with a sloppy victory over Minnesota, which still keeps their playoff dreams alive. However, they didn't look all that impressive in doing so, and really only have one more chance for a statement win. That would come in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin, but I don't think that's enough to have them jump Baylor, who can still add a win over Kansas State to their resume. The Buckeyes will finish their season with one loss, but that one loss to Virginia Tech is a killer.

6) Baylor

Record: 8-1 (5-1 Big 12)

Last Week: Bye

This Week: Sat. vs. Oklahoma State

The Bears had a bye week and return to action against a reeling Oklahoma State team. They won't be tested until they face Kansas State - at home - on December 6, which is a big game but one they should win.

It remains to be seen how the committee treats Baylor and TCU. Baylor beat the Horned Frogs with a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback, yet TCU is ranked higher because they've looked more impressive. That might change, but Baylor hasn't done enough to get into the fourth seed.

5) TCU

Record: 9-1 (6-1 in Big 12)

Last Week: 34-30 win at Kansas

This Week: Bye

TCU looked dreadful against Kansas this weekend, which I think drops them out of the top four. They now have a week off to prepare for a hot Texas team, who will be trying to make their season with an upset win over TCU. The Horned Frogs don't have any more chances for good wins on their schedule, so they need to look impressive in their wins going forward to make the playoff.


4) Mississippi State

Record: 9-1 (5-1 in SEC)

Last Week: 25-20 loss at Alabama

This Week: Sat. vs. Vanderbilt

The Bulldogs played their worst game of the season against Alabama, yet still came back and made it a game on the road. They have arguably the best loss of any team in the country, so as long as they beat Vanderbilt and Ole Miss at the end of the season, they'll be in the playoff.

3) Oregon

Record: 9-1 (6-1 in Pac-12)

Last Week: Bye

This Week: Sat. vs. Colorado

Oregon stays put after an off week. They are firmly in the playoff as long as they win the rest of their games, all of which they'll be favored to win by double digits. The Ducks have looked as impressive as anyone in the country and are a real threat to win the national championship.

2) Alabama

Record: 9-1 (6-1 in SEC)

Last Week: 25-20 win over Mississippi State

This Week: Sat. vs. Western Carolina

Alabama got themselves their biggest win of their season against Mississippi State, and are now a lock for the playoff as long as they don't lose another game. The Tide still have in-state rival Auburn on the schedule and are the favorites to win the SEC West and play in the SEC Championship Game. Both of those games will be tough but very winnable, and I expect Nick Saban's bunch to dominate their way into the playoff.

1) Florida State

Record: 10-0 (7-0 in ACC)

Last Week: 30-26 win at Miami

This Week: Sat. vs. Boston College

Florida State just won't lose. The Seminoles got another comeback win - their third when trailing by 15 points or more - and are now the only undefeated contender in the country (Marshall is still undefeated, but there's no way they're making the playoff). Unlike Mississippi State, they will fall totally out of the College Football Playoff conversation with a loss. I don't expect that to happen. With remaining games against Boston College and Florida left, it looks like FSU will stay undefeated.

What four teams would you put in the College Football Playoff? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33 and leave a response in the comments!

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