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Predicting the playoff field

Oregon improved its playoff odds by getting past Michigan State on Saturday. Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Each week throughout the season, the Playoff Predictor will use ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) and human logic (i.e., the eye test) to determine which teams are still alive in the chase for the inaugural College Football Playoff. These rankings take into account perceived team strength (including injuries) and remaining schedule difficulty (including prospective conference championship games).

The Playoff Predictor is not intended to be a forecast of the selection committee's weekly Top 25, which will be released every Tuesday starting Oct. 28. It is a projection of which teams have the best chance to be in the top four come December.


First four
The teams best positioned to reach the playoff after Week 2.

1. Florida State Seminoles

FPI's chance of winning out: 13.2 percent
FPI's chance of winning the conference: 56.2 percent

According to FPI, the chance for Florida State to go unbeaten decreased significantly over the weekend thanks to dominant performances by the four teams that figure to give FSU its biggest challenges -- Louisville, Clemson, Notre Dame and Florida. But with three of those four games (all but Louisville) being in Tallahassee, it's still hard not to like FSU's playoff chances better than any other team's.