In a utopian college football experience, Penn State, Alabama, Clemson, Washington, and Oklahoma would all go undefeated. Oklahoma would blow out their opponent in the Big 12 title game, and they would jump over the weaker choice between Washington and Penn State. We would have a debate over who should get in, and the two teams that got left out would play for the right to go to the playoff. We do not have a play-in game between the fourth and fifth seeds, and we cannot expect that all five of these teams will go undefeated. College football teams slip up all the time, and this season should be no different.

One loss Alabama

A one loss Alabama team has done damage in the postseason before, and this year could be no different. It is entirely possible that they could lose to Auburn, and they could lose in their division, because the SEC West is so tough. We like to think that they are invincible, but we know that they are not. They have lost to Ole Miss and Texas A&M before, and they might do something similar again.

One loss Oklahoma

Oklahoma could lose the Bedlam game to Oklahoma State, but they have already lost to Iowa State. Winning the Big 12 title game is impossible unless TCU loses, and Oklahoma would still go to the playoff. That is very likely, simply because the Big 12 seems to be so volatile.

Adding that conference title game into the mix might make losing to Iowa State a lot easier on the Sooners. They could redeem themselves and go back to the playoff.

One loss Penn State

A Penn State team with one loss is not going to the college football playoff. They do not have enough cache or name brand recognition to sell tickets.

The committee would skip over them again, and the Nittany Lions would be left wondering what they have to do to get into the playoffs. You have to earn your second chances in college football, and the committee probably thinks Penn State has not earned anything.

Clemson with one loss

Clemson can lose just one game, and they will cruise into the playoff because they are in the best conference in the country right now.

The ACC is making a very good case that they are better than the SEC, and that might show in how the Clemson Tigers are seeded for the playoff. We have to wait and see if they will lose, but Clemson could lose and we would never feel the effects. Everyone thinks they are the best team in the country, and the committee would have picked up on that by the time the selection show rolled around. We are waiting for the losses, but where will they happen?