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One and done?

Not in the College Football Playoff.

One loss isn't only acceptable, it should be expected. Three of the four teams in last season's top four had a loss, and the national champion, Ohio State, had one of the worst losses in the country, at home in Week 2 to Virginia Tech.

There will be more of the same in Year 2, as the selection committee's first ranking of the season had a one-loss Alabama team at No. 4, ahead of eight undefeated teams. Here's a look at which remaining one-loss teams have the best shot at finishing in the committee's top four based on what we've seen so far, ranked in order from most to least likely:


1. Alabama: The No. 4 Tide were the committee's top one-loss team in its initial ranking in spite of a home loss to Ole Miss, and it should stay that way after their dominating performance in Saturday's win over LSU. In short, Bama is three wins away from returning to the CFP. Bama smothered Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette while Tide running back Derrick Henry strengthened his own Heisman campaign, and with the win, Alabama regained the lead in the SEC West after Ole Miss lost in overtime to Arkansas. Alabama has two of its final three games on the road -- at Mississippi State and at Auburn -- but will be favored to win out.


2. Notre Dame: At No. 5 this week, the Irish are right on the playoff bubble, and a win at Pitt certainly shouldn't do anything to damage that position. Notre Dame's only loss so far was on the road against what is now the committee's No. 1 team: Clemson. If the Irish can win out, knocking off Stanford along the way, there's a good chance they can bump the Pac-12 out of the playoff picture. Notre Dame, though, has to hope that Stanford wins the Pac-12 title so it has a head-to-head win over the league champ. That wouldn't be the case if Utah won the Pac-12. Notre Dame also needs to hope that nobody in the Big 12 finishes undefeated.


3. Stanford: The Cardinal can overcome their Week 1 loss to Northwestern if they win the Pac-12 title and knock off Notre Dame along the way. The loss to Northwestern certainly doesn't look as bad as it did early on, considering the Wildcats are now a seven-win team and their only two losses are to undefeated Iowa and a ranked Michigan team. Notre Dame's loss to Clemson, though, still looks better than Stanford's loss. A two-loss Stanford team, even if it wins the conference championship, would likely be out because the committee would factor in Notre Dame's head-to-head win.


4. Utah: The Utes' only loss was on the road to USC, and after winning at Washington, their toughest games are behind them. ESPN's Football Power Index favors Utah in each of its remaining games by at least 55 percent. If the Utes win out, and they beat a ranked Stanford team to win the Pac-12 title, they're right back in the playoff conversation. The biggest remaining concern in that situation -- assuming there are undefeated Power 5 champs from the Big Ten and ACC and a one-loss Alabama in the top four -- would be an undefeated Big 12 champ. The Utes would likely need the Big 12's best to stumble.

 


5. Oklahoma: With their loss to Texas, the Sooners are in a must-win situation every week and have a chance to make a statement Saturday at Baylor. ESPN's FPI gives OU only a 42.1 percent chance to win that game, though. If OU can overcome the odds and finish the season with three straight wins against ranked opponents Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State, it should be considered by the committee, but would also need some help. It needs to be most concerned about comparing résumés with a Pac-12 champ and a one-loss Notre Dame team. OU is ranked ahead of TCU here in large part because of the eye test, even though it has suffered a worse loss.


6. Florida: The Gators looked average at best in their win against Vanderbilt, but they clinched the East and could impress the selection committee with an upset of the SEC West champ in the conference title game. The problem? If the Gators continue to play like they did against Vandy, there's no way they pull the upset in the SEC championship game, which right now looks like it will feature Bama.


7. TCU: The Horned Frogs certainly didn't look like a top-four team in their loss to Oklahoma State, as they were outplayed in every phase of the game and had a season-high four turnovers that led to 21 points. TCU's defense has been questioned all season, and while it seemed to take a step forward in its win against West Virginia last week, it took three steps back against Oklahoma State -- the first ranked team it has faced this year. The Frogs should rebound against Kansas, but end the season at Oklahoma and at home against Baylor.

 

8. Michigan State: If the Spartans win out, they will still go to the Big Ten championship game, holding wins over Michigan and Ohio State. With a win over an undefeated Iowa team to win the Big Ten title, the selection committee would definitely still consider Michigan State for a top-four spot despite its loss to Nebraska.


9. LSU: In order for the Tigers to get back into the SEC West conversation, Alabama has to lose to Mississippi State or Auburn and LSU needs to win out. LSU still has to face Ole Miss. The loss to Alabama was a true dagger in LSU's playoff hopes.


10. North Carolina: The Tar Heels are a long shot, having to overcome a bad season-opening loss to South Carolina and more importantly, their terrible strength of schedule. UNC would have to win the ACC and pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season in the process. Even if it did, it's hard to believe the selection committee would put a one-loss ACC champ in ahead of a one-loss Pac-12 champ, one-loss Notre Dame or Big 12 champ because the win in the ACC title game would be UNC's only win over a ranked opponent