Notre Dame’s updated college football playoff roadmap

Notre Dame placed sixth this week in the college football playoff standings with two teams ahead of them set to play this weekend and another pair set to play next weekend. It looks like the Irish have a good chance of making it into the CFP for the third time in four seasons after hearing this, don’t they?

To quote Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”

While these are the facts today, apparently everything you hear seems to be determined by a one-loss Big 12 champion (Oklahoma or Oklahoma State) passing Notre Dame. The Irish will have to hope that whoever wins the Bedlam match this weekend will fall in the Big 12 Championship next weekend.

Here is Notre Dame’s updated roadmap for college football qualifiers following the release of the Week 12 CFP rankings with all percentages courtesy of FiveThirtyEight college football tracker.

Beat Stanford

It goes without saying, but Notre Dame needs to take care of her own business first, otherwise nothing else that happens on Saturday matters in regards to a CFP appearance. Notre Dame’s chances in the play-off increase slightly from 28% to 31% with a victory but are obviously wiped out by a defeat (

The numbers above were the Five Thirty Eight playoff odds for each team before the standings were released.


Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame playoff odds if:
Georgia lose to Georgia Tech this week – 40%
Georgia wins – 33%
Alabama lose to Auburn this week – 41%
Alabama wins – 25%



Notre-Dame playoff odds if:
Cincinnati loses to East Carolina – 60%
Cincinnati wins – 14%

Big Ten East:

Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame playoff odds if:
Ohio State beats Michigan – 31%
Michigan beats Ohio State – 30%
Ohio State wins – 26%
Michigan wins – 22%

Big Ten West:


Notre Dame playoff odds if:
Wisconsin wins, wins Big Ten – 51%

Large 12:

Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame playoff odds if:
Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma – 28%
Oklahoma beats the state of Oklahoma – 35%
Oklahoma State Wins – 23%
Oklahoma wins – 29%
Oklahoma State wins but falls in Big 12 Championship against Baylor – 32% *

* We’ve heard a lot about a two-losing team in Alabama, but would a two-losing Big 12 team still have a better chance than a loss to Notre Dame? Baylor would have a 70% chance of making the playoffs in this scenario according to FiveThirtyEight and I find that incredibly unlikely.

Pac 12:

Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame playoff odds if:
Oregon beats Oregon State – 30%
Oregon wins Pac 12 – 26% *

* Oregon would have a 22% chance of obtaining a CFP place

Best combination for Notre-Dame:

Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The best things that can happen for the odds of Notre Dame:

Georgia wins (58% chance)
Cincinnati loses a game (39% chance)
Baylor wins the Big 12 (exact odds not shown as they need help getting to the Big 12 Championship Game)
Wisconsin wins Big Ten (18% chance)

If all of that happens and Notre Dame beats Stanford, FiveThirtyEight gives the Irish a 77% chance of making the CFP.

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