Oregon overtakes USC as Pac-12's best shot to make College Football Playoff
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), Oregon is now the Pac-12’s best chance to make the College Football Playoff this season.
The predictive model has seen the Ducks just continue to climb with each passing week and each consecutive win, and it now views Oregon as the eighth-most likely team to make the CFP. The Ducks have an 8% chance, according to FPI. Two weeks ago, it was a 2% chance. After a win over UCLA, it doubled. Now that the Ducks have followed that win up with another over Cal, its CFP chances have doubled again.
USC was viewed as the Pac-12’s best bet to make the CFP a week ago. The Trojans still have a 7.5% chance, the next most likely team after Oregon according to FPI.
The first batch of CFP rankings drop Tuesday night at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN, and those will reveal quite a bit.
Oregon is 7-1, with wins over two teams who were ranked at the time of the game. The Ducks have won seven straight since a season-opening loss to Georgia down in Atlanta, and they’ve scored at least 40 points in each win. The loss to the Bulldogs was ugly though, a 49-3 game that turned a number of national pundits off of Oregon.
How harshly does the CFP committee view that loss? Is it somewhat explainable by all the change Oregon endured in the offseason? By Georgia’s quality? If the Bulldogs are viewed as the best team in America in the CFP committee’s eyes, it would certainly look more favorable on Oregon than if they were viewed as the third- or fourth-best team.
The Ducks and Trojans — also 7-1, with the loss coming by one point on the road to Utah — sit right next to each other in the latest AP Top 25. They’re viewed as the Pac-12’s last hope for a Playoff berth this year. USC has one win over a ranked opponent (Oregon State). Is the résumé strong enough? Is the loss better than Oregon’s?
We’ll find out where the committee stands soon enough, and then it’ll be on the Ducks to keep winning.