Halloween is just a few days away, and this time of year is always good for two things: nightmares and football. For some college football fanbases, their season has been worse than nightmares. For others, there is still the hope of making the coveted college football playoff. Just because a team is in contention for the playoff doesn’t mean that the season will end with the playoff dream becoming a reality. With that being said, here are the nightmare scenarios for each team with a realistic chance at making the college football playoff.
Alabama: Another wild Iron Bowl
Who can forget the 2013 Iron Bowl which ended with Chris Davis’ miraculous kick six which prevented the Crimson Tide’s chance at a national championship three-peat. This year, the Tide is steamrolling its way through the season and a heartbreaking loss on the road against their arch rivals is a nightmare worse than Freddy Krueger for the Alabama fan base.
Penn State: “One loss Urban”
Over his time as a head coach, Urban Meyer has been known to be even more dominant when his team has one loss. This weekend, Penn State has to visit one-loss Ohio State who is seeking revenge for the Nittany Lions 24-21 victory a year before. If things go the Buckeyes way, it might be a long shot for Penn State to make the playoffs.
Georgia: A loss in Gainesville
The Bulldogs of Georgia have looked red hot and well on their way to a showdown with Alabama in the SEC Championship. However, the Bulldogs know they can’t overlook bitter rivals Florida. In the last 27 meetings the Gators are 22-5, and if things go their way again, Georgia’s playoff dreams could fly out the window.
TCU: Losing the Big XII championship
With the new Big XII championship set up, TCU seems likely to find themselves playing in Arlington come December. A loss in the title game would all but end the Horned Frogs bid at the playoffs.
Wisconsin: Their schedule
Wisconsin is flying through the season right now sitting at 7-0. However, the Badgers have still yet to face a team with a winning record, and could stroll to the Big Ten championship without playing any ranked opponents. Due to the Badgers uninspiring strength of schedule, the selection committee could leave the Badgers outside looking in.
Ohio State: Being Penn State’d
If Ohio State beats Penn State this week, but falls later on to Michigan, the Buckeyes would still find themselves in the Big Ten championship. Even if the Buckeyes win the Big Ten title, they could find themselves on the outside looking in to a one loss Penn State, similar to what happened to Penn State just a year ago.
Clemson: Kelly Bryant’s injury
Prior to their encounter with Syracuse on Friday the 13th, Clemson looked well on their way to securing their second consecutive championship. In their loss, starting quarterback Kelly Bryant went down with an ankle injury. If Bryant’s injury proves to be serious, the Tigers could be in serious trouble.
Miami: Close games
So far, the Hurricanes are 6-0 and could be on their way to their first ever ACC Championship appearance. However, the Hurricanes struggled to beat Georgia Tech and Florida State, and they might not be as lucky in a close game against Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.
Notre Dame: Unbeaten SEC Championship
Notre Dame is coming off a 49-14 demolition of USC, and don’t look like slowing down anytime soon. Despite the Fighting Irish’s fantastic run of form, there is a good chance they could find themselves being left out of the playoffs. If Alabama topples Georgia in the SEC championship, the committee could still prefer a 12-1 Bulldog team over the 11-1 Irish due to Georgia’s early season win in South Bend.
Oklahoma State: Bedlam
Oklahoma State has struggled with beating Oklahoma, as the sooners have a 86-18-7 record in the rivalry. The Cowboys electric offense led by Heisman candidate Mason Rudolph struggled with Texas this past weekend. Also with Oklahoma’s inconsistent defense, Oklahoma State is hoping that the Sooners defense doesn’t show up in Stillwater.
Oklahoma: Another Iowa State-esque loss
The Sooners have arguably the best win the country, as they defeated Ohio State on the road. However, their home loss to Iowa State has quickly negated the strength of that win. If Oklahoma slips up again against inferior competition, their playoff chances would disappear.
Washington: No two loss Power 5 champions
Last year, Washington found themselves in the playoffs, mainly due to the Big XII failing to produce any one loss, or undefeated teams. With every other power 5 conference, apart from the Pac-12 still having an undefeated team, the Huskies could run the table and still find themselves outside of the playoffs.
Virginia Tech: Embarrassment to Virginia
The Hokies haven’t lost to their in-state rivals since 2003. This year is unlike others, as the Cavaliers find themselves 5-2, which is their best start since 2007. With Virginia Tech flying through the ACC coastal so far, their worst nightmare would be an embarrassing loss on the road against Virginia.
NC State: Clemson
NC State is the surprise team of the year. After losing to South Carolina in week one, the Wolfpack have rallied off six consecutive wins. However, their showdown with Clemson may derail the Wolfpack’s dream season.
Washington State: Turnovers
Washington State had serious playoff buzz a few weeks ago. They had knocked off USC, and had a high scoring offense. However, their 37-3 blowout loss to Cal, where they turned the ball over seven times, has put a dent in the Cougars playoff hopes. If they can’t get secure the football, they may just fumble their playoff hopes.
Michigan State: November 4th and 11th
Michigan State has to play two playoff contenders in Penn State and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks. If things don’t go Sparty’s way in those games, then you can go ahead and cancel Michigan State’s playoff hopes.
USF/UCF: Not being a Power 5
One of the teams from the “War on I-4” will likely finish the season undefeated. Despite a possible undefeated season, neither UCF or USF will find themselves in the playoffs, due to their allegiance to the American conference. If more group of five teams, such as UCF, USF, Houston, and Western Michigan, have continued success, maybe one day one of them can sneak into the playoffs.