Through four weeks, we've already seen a number of potential College Football Playoff contenders rise and fall. While most of the teams that were considered legitimate contenders entering the year still have a shot, it is still a very limited group.
ESPN Sports Analytics has a formula that calculates teams' chances to make the College Football Playoff, make the National Championship Game, and win the National Championship.
Entering Week 5, ESPN only sees 1- programs as legitimate College Football Playoff contenders, with a 10-percent chance or better of making the field. Every other team is at 2-percent or worse, so it is a big gap.
Nine of those teams have a better than 1-percent chance to taking home a title.
Via ESPN, here are the only 10 teams that have a legitimate shot at the College Football Playoff, as of today.
On the methodology used:
The Playoff Predictor provides every team's chance to reach the Playoff in the preseason and each and every day of the college football season. It's telling us not who would make the Playoff at the end of the day, but rather, who will get in on selection day. This isn't some arbitrary formula based on the feeling of a few people in Bristol: it was created by studying the selection committee's rankings during the season and on selection day each of the last four seasons.
West Virginia and Michigan State are next up, with two-percent chances to make the Playoff, while Auburn, Miami, LSU, and Wisconsin have a one-percent shot. Every other team is under one-percent.
Obviously, some teams could emerge out of nowhere and surprise, but usually you have a good idea of the general field at this point. It would be surprising to see a team outside of this list in the real playoff hunt down the stretch.