That's not it all of them about the strength of the schedule.
When it comes to determining the best four teams a week, the 13 members of the football playoff selection committee also watch the feature film – that's why No. 10 Ohio State is the lowest-ranked Power team with one loss and looking up to an LSU team with two loss numbers.
The committee saw the state of Ohio muted by Purdue 49-20 and nearly losses to Nebraska.
"They fought a bit against a 2-7 team, and that's two weeks in a row that they struggled a bit," said committee chairman Rob Mullens on the Buckeyes on Tuesday. "They still had a good victory at Penn State on the track, they defeated TCU in Texas when TCU was at full strength, but in the last few weeks Ohio was not as strong as in the middle of the year."
Ohio State's Saturday game in Michigan State can be the most dangerous for any CFP that is hopeful as far as the playoff implications are concerned, because even though the ESPN Football Power Index gives the Buckeyes a 60.2 percent chance of winning, this is the lowest percentage of all participants this weekend. If the Ohio State loses, it is done and that is why it is the top Week 11 game on the leverage index of ESPN Analytics.
Of the 10 remaining games in the season that have the biggest impact on the playoff race, half of the matches will be played on Saturday. For the future, the five most important remaining games are: 1. The SEC championship (December 1), 2. Michigan in the state of Ohio (November 24), 3. Oklahoma in West Virginia (November 23), 4. Notre Dame against Syracuse (November 17, Yankee Stadium) and 5. Notre Dame at USC (November 24). The SEC Championship match is mentioned because it is the only conference game game that has already determined league winners.
The ACC can be next, as Clemson can overtake the Atlantic division on Saturday with a victory at Boston College.
"It is a champion week for us," said Clemson trainer Dabo Swinney. "You work all year round to reach this point, and now you are four quarters away from achieving one of our main goals."
One of Notre Dame's goals this season was to win every home game, and the Irish can reach it on Saturday if they beat Florida State. Notre Dame has only three games left – and everyone belongs to the top 10 of leverage games.
While also considering their chance of winning, here is a look at who has the most to lose in the play-off race, according to ESPN's Leverage Index.
What is at stake? Everything. The state of Ohio probed Michigan with a match at the Big Ten East booth, but wins the division if it wins. The Buckeyes will have home advantage over the rival Wolverines in the final of the regular season, but the significance of that game – outside bragging – will decrease as the Ohio State loses to MSU. A second loss would likely eliminate the Buckeyes from the play-off and would make it extremely difficult for them to win their league, as Michigan would have to lose at least once before visiting Columbus. That is highly unlikely, given the next two Michigan matches at Rutgers (1-8) and at home against Indiana (4-5).
FPI says: Ohio State has a 60 percent chance of defeating Michigan State. If the Buckeyes lose, their chance to reach the playoff drops to 1.4 percent.
2. The state of Florida in Notre Dame (7.30 pm ET, NBC)
What is at stake? The minute that stumbles Notre Dame, it goes from play-off to the bubble, and the Irish will start Ian Book (rib-injury) without quarterback. If the Irish lose, they can not be counted definitively, but it would be a big blow to their playoff cv. It would all depend on what happens in the other Power 5 championship competitions. The committee could, for example, take a Notre Dame over a Washington State with one loss, especially if Notre Dame beats the USC on the road – something that Wazzu could not do. Notre Dame can also be chosen for a Big Ben champion with two losses, if that happens. However, a loss from Notre Dame may open the door for a second SEC team or assist Clemson if the Tigers lose on Saturday. The problem for Notre Dame is that a loss for FSU would be a bad loss for a 4-5 team ranked number 110 in offensive efficiency, and that could be enough to keep the Irish out.
FPI says: Notre Dame has a 91 percent chance to beat the Noles. If the Fighting Irish finish 12-0, they are a lock to reach the play-off (98 percent according to Playoff Predictor). If they lose this game, it drops to 35.3 percent.
3. Auburn at Georgia (7 pm ET, ESPN)
What is at stake? A potentially big debate. Georgia has already won the SEC East and is guaranteed to have a chance at No. 1 Alabama in the SEC title game, but the committee would take a SEC champion with two losses if Georgia stumbles this week and the best team of then raise land? It is hard to imagine that the committee omits the SEC champion – period – but if the Bulldogs can not beat Auburn, they will probably not attack Alabama. Georgia has a 41 percent chance to reach the playoff, the second best (behind Michigan) between teams at a loss.
FPI says: Georgia has a 86 percent chance to beat Auburn. The Bulldogs have a 25 percent chance of winning. If they do, Playoff Predictor says there is a 97 percent chance that they'll return to the semi-finals. If Georgia loses from Auburn, the decision-making chances decrease to 15.5 percent.
4. Clemson at Boston College (8 hours ET, ABC)
What is at stake? The Atlantic Division title and possibly the place of Clemson in the playoff. The reason this game is lower on the lever list is mainly because Clemson is so good (No. 1 in defensive efficiency, No. 7 in attacking efficiency). It may have a little more room to move than Notre Dame at a loss. (Losing Clemson on the way to a ranked BC team would surely look better than losing the Irish at home to cornered FSU.) If Clemson loses at BC, he must lose the Eagles again in the regular season to beat them for the division title, and that is not unfathomable, as the Eagles still have to travel to Tallahassee and end up at home against a rising team from Syracuse. If BC wins and the division wins, Clemson is in the same position as Alabama a year ago: a team with one loss that did not win its division, but was ranked in the top four of the committee. Clemson would have to hope that his 12-game résumé is better than that of the Power 5 conference champions and Notre Dame.
FPI says: This is the hardest remaining game from Clemson and the Tigers still have a 88.5 percent chance of winning. If Clemson loses this game and Boston College wins the league, the Tigers have a 56 percent chance to reach the playoff.
5. Oklahoma State in Oklahoma (3:30 pm ET, ABC)
What is at stake? OU shoots on the play-off. If the Sooners lose a second game, the Big 12 will officially join the Pac-12 as a side issue in the play-off race – unless one-loss West Virginia has something to say about it. Oklahoma and WVU are currently tied for the conference leadership at 5-1, but Texas and Iowa State are both behind and still live in the rankings. Even if OU would end up as a Big Ben champion with two losses, the play-off chance would drop to 15.7 percent, according to Playoff Predictor. If the Sooners lose this match and do not make the congress championship? Zero percent.
FPI says: Oklahoma has a 89 percent chance to beat the Cowboys. If the Sooners win, there is a 71 percent chance that they will reach the playoff for the third time in the last four seasons.