Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings have inspired much talk about what the remainder of the season has in store, and some of the nation's top teams will have to navigate harsher weather than others to reach the promised land.
So, who has the toughest road to the playoff? Here are four programs who could stake claim to such an honor.
No. 2 Alabama
Alabama may be the most dominant team in college football, but that doesn't mean its next four games are a walk through Central Park.
- Nov. 4th vs. No. 19 LSU
- Nov. 11th @ No. 16 Mississippi State
- Nov. 18th vs. Mercer
- Nov. 25th @ No. 14 Auburn
Aside from an outlier against Mercer, the Crimson Tide can't afford to bring anything but its best against three teams currently ranked in the CFP top 25. Alabama has been the powerhouse of college football for the better part of a decade, and it will need to play that role more than ever to hold its ground into the postseason.
No. 5 Oklahoma
A Bedlam Series victory will go a long way toward pushing Oklahoma over the edge and into the playoff, but it won't be the last tall order of the season for Lincoln Riley and the Sooners.
- Nov. 4th @ No. 11 Oklahoma State
- Nov. 11th vs. No. 8 TCU
- Nov. 18th @ Kansas
- Nov. 25th vs. West Virginia
Should Riley lead his band of merry men past Oklahoma State this week, another conference foe will await them around the next bend. If Oklahoma and TCU meet with clashing 8-1 records, the stakes will be high as the loser will see national title dreams evaporate.
No. 10 Miami
The mission for Miami is simple. Win out.
- Nov. 4th vs. No. 13 Virginia Tech
- Nov. 11th vs. No. 3 Notre Dame
- Nov. 18th vs. Virginia
- Nov. 24th @ Pittsburgh
Miami is one of only four undefeated teams in the CFP top 10, but with conference rival Clemson ranked at No. 4 with a loss, the Hurricanes will need to run the table in order to keep their postseason dreams alive. A win over Virginia Tech will build momentum, and Mark Richt's squad will need all it can get to combat Notre Dame.
No. 11 Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are a leg behind in the playoff chase out of the Big 12, but the script can be flipped with one solid performance against an in-state rival.
- Nov. 4th vs. No. 5 Oklahoma
- Nov. 11th @ No. 15 Iowa State
- Nov. 18th vs. Kansas State
- Nov. 25th vs. Kansas
Oklahoma State will wave goodbye to its playoff hopes if it can't knock off Oklahoma this week, so it's go-time for Mason Rudolph and Co. If the Cowboys can dispatch of the devil they know, their next obstacle will be the devil they don't as Matt Campbell appears to have Iowa State playing on a level the conference hasn't seen from the Cyclones in recent memory.
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