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ESPN Says There Are 12 Teams That Can Make The Playoff

Dabo Swinney reacting during a football game.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a play in the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

With Week 5 of the college football season coming up, every team has reached at least the quarter pole in their season. There's been very little movement among the top teams as Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, and Oklahoma have all stayed undefeated.

But there have been a number of teams that have either stayed undefeated themselves, or simply held their own against another elite team.

ESPN has analyzed the likelihood of every team potentially making the College Football Playoff and determined that there are only 12 that have a realistic chance. All of the teams are either undefeated, Power Five conference title contenders, or have one loss against good teams.

Here is ESPN's list of the 12 teams that can still make the College Football Playoff (in order of % chance of making it):

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Georgia
  5. Oklahoma
  6. LSU
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Auburn
  10. Penn State
  11. Oregon
  12. Florida

As you can see, five SEC teams - all undefeated - are in contention. Given that the CFP selection committee has selected multiple SEC teams in the past, we could see it again.

In the Big Ten, unbeaten Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin all have a shot. But Clemson, Oklahoma, and Oregon appear to be the only teams likely to represent their conferences.

Conference-less Notre Dame managed to stay alive despite losing to Georgia. That means that they essentially must win out to have a chance.

We may not see this list trimmed at all until some of the teams face and beat each other. And that won't happen for another couple of weeks.

Did ESPN get its list right? Are there any other CFP contenders that didn't make the cut?