But one more regular season loss could prove costly, even if the Bulldogs were to win the SEC Championship Game.
The College Football Playoff rankings have sparked an exciting new element of college football over the past few years. And the committee wasted minor time in doing the job everyone into a froth by ranking defending champion Clemson at No. five, below in the same way undefeated Ohio Condition, LSU, Alabama and Penn Condition.
The chance to play spoiler and to be back home for any game, the Wolfpack has been on the road since October 10, is what Doeren wants his team to focus on. In the end, what it came down to - again, much debate - Penn State has the marquee win over 14th-ranked MI and a road win at 18th-ranked Iowa.
No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) - Unlike LSU, Alabama has had a relatively easy walk through the first eight weeks of the season, playing just one ranked team - No. 24 Texas A&M. The Tigers are at No. 2 and the Crimson Tide are at No. 3 while Penn State is at No. 4 ahead of Clemson at No. 5. The Dawgs are the highest ranked one-loss team.
Utah was eighth and Oklahoma, the highest-ranked team from the Big 12, was ninth.
"After Week 10, the Committee felt Penn State was a notch above [Clemson]".
On the strength of running back Travis Etienne (1,102 rushing yards), quarterback Trevor Lawrence (2,027 yards, 20 TDs) and a rebuilt defense (ACC-best 11.7 points per game), the Tigers have won their six ACC games this season by an average of 32 points.
Another one of the 2019 Week 11 college football predictions from the model: No. 12 Baylor (-2.5) covers on the road at TCU.
LSU (8-0) has the quality victory card. LSU is the #2 team, Alabama is #3. The Tigers' only shot for a ranked win may come against Wake Forest in Week 12. But what's interesting is that with Penn State at No. 4 - the reason was the schedule. Based on who's receiving votes in the AP and/or Coaches Polls, it can be assumed that Texas (5-3) and Iowa State (5-3) are knocking on the door.
Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy vs. LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.: We normally try to make sure the matchup of the week isn't from our game of the week, but the LSU-Alabama showdown is big enough to warrant the extra attention. However, Clemson's narrow escape of North Carolina shows how vulnerable they truly are.