2018 College Football Playoff Rankings Projections, Week 11

2018 College Football Playoff Rankings Projections, Week 11 article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Saban, Kirby Smart and Dabo Swinney

  • The next 2018 College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday.
  • In advance of that, we're breaking down the teams remaining after several elimination games on Saturday.

The next set of College Football Playoff rankings will be out in two days, so until then, we’ll speculate on what the committee might do.

A handful of teams got knocked out of playoff contention on Saturday in what were de facto elimination games. Kentucky and LSU are out in all likelihood, while Alabama, Clemson and Michigan continue to assert their dominance over everyone else.

We won’t rank the entire College Football Playoff Top 25 here — there are only about nine teams with a chance.

All playoff odds below courtesy of FiveThirtyEight.

2018 College Football Playoff Rankings, Week 11

1. Alabama

  • Playoff Odds: 76%
  • Record: 9-0

Alabama could probably afford to lose once and still make the College Football Playoff. The Tide falling to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game would be a disaster for the Big Ten and Big 12 champions.

2. Clemson

  • Playoff Odds: 87%
  • Record: 9-0

Hey Louisville. You OK?

The Tigers hung 77 points on Bobby Petrino’s squad Saturday, and though Clemson hasn’t played anyone in the past few weeks, its offense continues to look better.

Clemson will be a double-digit favorite in every remaining game, and could even play Pitt (!) in the ACC Championship Game. That’s a path to the College Football Playoff if I’ve ever seen one.

3. Notre Dame

  • Playoff Odds: 58%
  • Record: 9-0

You have to keep Notre Dame above Michigan because the Irish won the head-to-head matchup.

Where things get interesting is a scenario in which Notre Dame losses, and Michigan wins out. Who goes? A Wolverines squad with better wins and a conference title, or an 11-1 Notre Dame that beat Michigan?

The Irish certainly haven’t made things look easy every week — like letting Northwestern back into the game in the fourth quarter yesterday — but they’ve got Florida State, Syracuse and USC left on the schedule. It’s a winnable slate.

4. Michigan

  • Playoff Odds: 43%
  • Record: 8-1

I’m not overly impressed by Michigan routing Penn State, but it just needs to keep winning right now. The Wolverines could be a favorite in Columbus for the first time since 2004 when they meet Ohio State after Thanksgiving.

5. Georgia

  • Playoff Odds: 44%
  • Record: 8-1

Georgia clinched the SEC East with a win over Kentucky, and the Bulldogs don’t have much left on the schedule — home games against Auburn, UMass and Georgia Tech. They should win out and play Alabama for the SEC title, where a win would get them into the College Football Playoff.

6. Oklahoma

  • Playoff Odds: 41%
  • Record: 8-1

Oklahoma’s defense got torched by Texas Tech, but the Sooners did enough on offense to survive. That’s how it typically goes.

Oklahoma isn’t a lock to make the playoff if it wins out. It probably needs Michigan or Notre Dame to lose.

7. Washington State

  • Playoff Odds: 13%
  • Record: 8-1

Wazzu scored with 32 seconds left to beat Cal. The Cougars will still need a bunch of help to reach the College Football Playoff, but it starts with continuing to win. They’ve go to Colorado and play at home vs. Arizona and Washington before the Pac-12 title game.

8. West Virginia

  • Playoff Odds: 12%
  • Record: 7-1

Dana Holgorsen going for two instead of playing for overtime against Texas, with his team’s College Football Playoff hopes on the line, is everything we love about this sport.

West Virginia still has some flaws, but the Mountaineers are setting up to play Oklahoma twice to end the season, the second in the Big 12 Championship Game.

9. Ohio State

  • Playoff Odds: 19%
  • Record: 8-1

The Buckeyes didn’t look good against Nebraska, but they should beat Michigan State and Maryland to setup a Big Ten East title game against Michigan. If OSU can win that, it can still reach the College Football Playoff.

Eliminated Saturday


  • Playoff Odds: 3%
  • Record: 7-2

It will be interesting to see where LSU drops to in the College Football Playoff rankings, not that it really matters. You can’t take away what the Tigers have done and the teams they’ve beat, but two losses are two losses. That’s pretty much an eliminator.

With some mass chaos, you can see a two-loss SEC team getting in — Auburn if it had won the SEC Championship Game last season. But since Alabama pretty much wrapped up the SEC West by beating LSU, the Tigers won’t have that opportunity.


  • Playoff Odds: Less than 1%
  • Record: 7-2

Sorry, Wildcats. Controlling your own destiny to the playoff in November was way too much fun, but a loss to Georgia is enough to knock Kentucky out.


  • Playoff Odds: Less than 1%
  • Record: 6-3

Utah would have needed so much chaos to get in the College Football Playoff, but the Utes could have been a two-loss Power 5 champ, which means something.

No more, as Utah got beat by Arizona State.

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