Bama can't afford a loss
These four teams likely need to run the table for relief on selection day
During the BCS and other previous eras of college football, a major complaint about the preseason polls was that they created a pecking order among teams that made it very difficult for any one outside of the top 10 to survive a loss and still win a national title.
Last year's Auburn Tigers, however, didn't appear on a single preseason ballot, suffered their only loss in September and still played Florida State in the BCS Championship Game. And now that the College Football Playoff will give four teams a shot at a national title -- and since the selection committee won't even begin to discuss the teams until late October -- there's little reason to believe that preconceived notions in August should have anything more than a minuscule effect on the postseason picture moving forward.
But while preseason rankings now have less impact on a team's postseason outlook, some teams will still have a tougher time overcoming a loss than others.
Of the top 15 teams in the ESPN Power Rankings, these four will likely suffer the most.
To see which College Football Playoff contenders can't afford a loss, become an Insider.
College Football on Insider
Todd McShay breaks down the top NFL prospects at the Senior Bowl. Read »
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Nike Youth Ohio State Buckeyes #5 Scarlet Football Game Jersey