Breaking down the many College Football Playoff scenarios

Instead of winding down and heading into what would typically be conference championship weekend, college football is rolling right into another month of games.

The College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal its second of five rankings Tuesday night, and there shouldn't be too much of a shakeup, as the top seven teams all either won this past weekend or didn't play (Ohio State and Cincinnati).

That doesn't mean anyone should get comfortable (except maybe Alabama).

Multiple scenarios can still unfold between now and Selection Day on Dec. 20, as most teams have one or two regular-season games remaining, and there are makeup games along with the conference championships. The X factor is Ohio State, which is struggling with a COVID-19 outbreak within its program and might not be eligible for the Big Ten championship game.

According to the Big Ten, a team must play at least six games to participate in the conference title game. The Buckeyes are 4-0 with two games left on the schedule. If the average number of games played in the league drops to six or below, that benchmark will also be lower.

In September, the Big Ten revealed "a ninth game for all 14 teams during a newly created Big Ten Champions Week the weekend of December 19." So while Ohio State might miss its opportunity against Michigan State on Saturday, it will have another game on either Dec. 18 or 19 that will count toward its overall record.

The scenarios that follow which include Ohio State in the top four assume the Buckeyes either qualify for and win the Big Ten title or still finish 6-0 because of the additional opportunity during Champions Week, even without the conference title. Any scenario without Ohio State predicts the Buckeyes finish 5-0 with no title.

Here's a look at the most realistic possibilities still remaining, with the four teams grouped in no particular order:

*The Allstate Playoff Predictor is based on scenarios where currently scheduled games take place, and cannot take cancellations into account.

Status quo
Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Ohio State

How we get there: Alabama beats Florida in the SEC championship game to eliminate the Gators with their second loss. Clemson beats Notre Dame in the ACC championship game, and they both remain in the top four because their only loss is to each other, and Ohio State either wins the Big Ten championship or finishes at least 6-0.

Allstate Playoff Predictor says: All four of these teams would have at least a 63% chance to finish in the top four under those scenarios. The ACC has a 25% chance to send multiple teams to the playoff, the best among the Power 5 conferences.