Every team in college football has the goal of finishing the season undefeated, but very few teams - if any - are able to accomplish that feat each year. Last season, three of the four College Football Playoff participants had one loss. Which teams that have already suffered a defeat are the most likely to make the playoff at the end of the season? Here are the top four one-loss teams:
4) Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame has two challenging games left, versus USC and at Stanford. While both of those teams have one loss as well, Notre Dame's remaining schedule is much easier. Notre Dame doesn't have to go up against the tough Pac-12 the rest of the season. Plus, Notre Dame's lone loss came against a talented Clemson team. If the Irish don't lose any more key contributors, which is a big if, they have the schedule and talent to finish the season without another loss.
3) Ole Miss Rebels
One week after being smacked in the mouth by the Florida Gators in The Swamp, QB Chad Kelly and the #14 Rebels took out their frustrations on a hapless New Mexico State team in a 52-3 home rout. Kelly threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns, erasing some of the stink left over from his night in Gainesville last week. The Rebels get one more tune-up game at Memphis next week before they get an opportunity to restate their College Football Playoff case at home against Texas A&M the week after. Considering they also get LSU at home and have the tiebreaker over Alabama in the SEC West, the Rebels actually have a good chance to come out of the SEC.
2) Michigan Wolverines
There is no denying it -- the #18 Michigan Wolverines are a full-fledged Big Ten (and dark horse College Football Playoff) contender. They showed as much in a 38-0 beatdown of the formerly-undefeated #13 Northwestern Wildcats at the Big House on Saturday behind the play of their historically great defense. Michigan is the first team to shut out three consecutive opponents since the 1995 Kansas State Wildcats. They've outscored their last five opponents by a combined count of 150-14. Jim Harbaugh has Michigan back to playing the bullies and not the bullied. That could very well carry over all the way to a Big Ten title (or even more).
1) Alabama Crimson Tide
Sure, Bama barely lost to another one-loss team in Ole Miss, but the Crimson Tide should be just fine the rest of the season. Games against Texas A&M and LSU will be difficult, but the biggest difference is Alabama's run defense. It will shut down Leonard Fournette better than any other team. Because of that unit, the Crimson Tide have a better chance at going undefeated the rest of the way than Ole Miss does. Now quarterback Jake Coker is playing well, and that will go a long way in the SEC.
Plus, you know, they're Alabama. Never bet against Nick Saban.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed