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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | October 12, 2021

Here's the likelihood of a team making the College Football Playoff after an undefeated start through Week 6

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Every year at NCAA.com, we track the number of remaining undefeated college football teams weekly throughout the season.

Here's how many are left right now.

If you're a fan of a team that hasn't lost yet in the 2021 college football season, you might be wondering how you should interpret that data. We took a big-picture approach and examined the last seven seasons — since the start of the College Football Playoff — to analyze what percentage of undefeated teams, on a weekly basis, ultimately made the CFP.

Here's what we found.

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As you'd expect, the likelihood that an undefeated team will make the College Football Playoff gradually increases throughout the season with the biggest week-over-week jumps in percentage occurring in the second half of the season.

It takes until Week 5 for the CFP percentage to get above 20 percent, Week 9 for 30 percent, Week 12 for 40 percent and Week 13 for 50 percent.

Here's the biggest individual week-to-week increase in playoff percentage for undefeated teams.

  • Week 11 to Week 12 (+10.8%) – Maybe there's something ominous about Week 11 of the college football season or maybe it's just a random occurrence that three CFP participants (Georgia, Clemson and Washington) have lost their perfect record in Week 11 in a two-season span in 2016 and 2017.

Here is the full breakdown from the 2014 season through the 2020 season with data for how many teams were undefeated after each week, how many teams that ultimately made the CFP were still undefeated after each week and what percent of remaining undefeated teams made the CFP in their respective seasons.

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Note: We're defining "Week 1" as the week in which the majority of college football teams play their first game.

Week Undefeated Teams CFP Teams % make CFP
1 513 24 4.68%
2 305 25 8.20%
3 195 24 12.3%
4 142 25 17.6%
5 103 25 24.3%
6 83 20 24.1%
7 67 19 28.4%
8 69 19 27.5%
9 51 18 35.3%
10 51 16 31.4%
11 40 13 32.5%
12 30 13 43.3%
13 24 12 50.0%
14 20 11 55.0%
15 20 11 55.0%
16 7 5 71.4%

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