Upsets scramble early-season College Football Playoff picture

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Two convincing wins for Deion Sanders’ rebuilt Colorado team, Texas taking it to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Duke (Duke!) stunning Clemson … you get the point.

The college football season has had its share of upsets, and new teams have reached top-25 level.

The result, according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor, is an open door for the College Football Playoff. The analytics bear it out.

• No team currently has a greater than 50% chance to reach the CFP. This is the first time that has happened in the history of the Allstate Playoff Predictor, which dates back to 2017.

• The parity is pretty incredible: There now are 12 teams with at least a 10% chance to reach the CFP and eight teams with at least a 25% chance.

• Parity also extends to the conferences: All Power 5 conferences have between a 58% chance (ACC) and 76% chance (Big Ten) of putting at least one team in the CFP. Each has between a 2% to 10% chance of putting multiple teams in.

• The SEC has a 72% chance to put at least one team in the CFP — this is the lowest chance the SEC has had to reach the playoff as far back as we can go (only to 2020 in this case).

• Alabama is still the No. 1 team in the Football Power Index (FPI), but the loss to Texas crushed its playoff chances, which dropped 37 percentage points. Alabama has a 38% chance to win the SEC and a 30% chance to reach the CFP.

• Ohio State (FPI rank: 2) has the best chance to reach the playoff but it’s hardly a sure thing with the 16th-hardest strength of schedule (SOS) remaining. Ohio State has tough games at Notre Dame (57% chance to win, per FPI), vs. Penn State (67%) and at Michigan (64%) on its slate.

• On the flip side, Florida State is considered about a field goal worse per game than Ohio State but has a much easier schedule (59th hardest remaining) and is the heaviest favorite to win its conference in the entire FBS (55% chance).

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