Predicting the End of the 2018 College Football Season

Which four teams will make the 2018 college football playoff?

With the bye week here, and no actual Michigan football to preview and breakdown, let’s instead predict some football potential. Here’s how we predict the 2018 season to finish in its final month. But be warned, given we’re down to only two undefeated power five teams, and already 21 teams ranked in the AP Poll have lost to unranked teams, we’re expecting a topsy-turvy finish.

Predicted Final Big Ten East Standings

Michigan (8-1, 10-2)

Ohio State (7-2, 10-2)

Michigan State (5-4, 7-5)

Penn State (5-4, 8-4)

Maryland (4-5, 6-6)

Indiana (3-6, 6-6)

Rutgers (0-9, 1-11)

We predict a bit of a crazy finish, because it’s been crazy already. Michigan clinches the East Division before the Ohio State game, and then the Buckeyes rise up at home to upset the Wolverines. We predict Sparty to get its annual win against someone it shouldn’t beat against Ohio State at home, but lose at Maryland and at Nebraska. We also think Penn State will lose two of its three-game stretch against Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin in consecutive weeks. The Nittany Lions just aren’t efficient enough to take on those teams that make you play in a phone booth.

Predicted Final Big Ten West Standings

Iowa (7-2, 10-2)

Wisconsin (6-3, 8-4)

Northwestern (6-3, 7-5)

Purdue (6-3, 7-5)

Nebraska (3-6, 4-8)

Minnesota (2-7, 5-7)

Illinois (1-8, 3-9)

Remember when Gerry DiNardo of the Big Ten Network said at the end of their perennial bus tour there wasn’t much separation among the top teams in the West? Well, it turns out he was right about that given our projected finish. This is shaping up to be quite a race. We think Iowa goes into Happy Valley and gets the win, before losing the following week at Purdue and then winning out from there. And given the way the Boilermakers are playing, we’re guessing Hawkeye Nation would gladly take a split in those back-to-back road games. The Badgers have the toughest final stretch in the division, maybe the whole conference. We think Minnesota ambushes Purdue in the midst of its difficult November slate. Finally, we think Northwestern gives Notre Dame its only loss of the regular season in a huge win for Pat Fitzgerald.

Conference Championship Games

BIG TEN—Michigan (10-2) over Iowa (10-2)

SEC—Alabama (12-0) over Georgia (11-1)

BIG 12—Oklahoma (10-2) over Texas (10-2)

ACC—Clemson (12-0) over Virginia Tech (8-4)

PAC-12—Washington (10-2) over Utah (8-4)

Final College Playoff Rankings Top 10

  1. Alabama (13-0)

  2. Clemson (13-0)

  3. Notre Dame (11-1)

  4. Michigan (11-2)

  5. Oklahoma (11-2)

  6. Central Florida (13-0)

  7. Washington (11-2)

  8. Georgia (11-2)

  9. Florida (10-2)

  10. Ohio State (10-2)

College Football Playoffs

COTTON BOWL—Michigan vs. Alabama

ORANGE BOWL—Notre Dame vs. Clemson

New Year’s Six and Big Ten Bowls

ROSE BOWL—Ohio State vs. Washington

SUGAR BOWL—Georgia vs. Oklahoma

FIESTA BOWL—Texas vs. Central Florida

PEACH BOWL—Iowa vs. Florida

CITRUS BOWL—Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M


GATOR—Michigan State vs. Auburn

HOLIDAY—Purdue vs. Oregon

SAN FRANCISCO—Northwestern vs. Stanford

PINSTRIPE—Maryland vs. Syracuse

QUICK LANE—Indiana vs. Boston College

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

I have to say Steve I totally agree with you on your top four and the big ten championship going to Michigan. However I disagree with your prediction on The Game. I believe Michigan will beat OSU. I mean every year we take control, well almost every year. Anyways we end up giving the game back but not this year. I think we beat OSU soundly and by 17 points. Now for my in playoff prediction I will wait to give one in till after the big ten championship game. Go Blue!


I have been a Michigan fan for over 20 years but I cannot see a 2 loss Michigan (or any BIG) team getting a playoff birth with 2 losses. This Wolverine squad will continue to improve and will get the W in Columbus ending their regular season 11-1 and win a close one to Iowa in Indy setting up exactly the top 4 you have above. I do have one question Steve. Where is LSU in this picture? There's no way Georgia is going to jump them. On a side note, I look forward to your Michigan Podcast about as much as I looked forward to Saturday morning cartoons when I was 7! I could honestly watch a new episode everyday if they were available! Great job with the podcast and The Wolverine Digest! As always, GO BLUE!!!