The mere fact that the College Football Playoff selection panel announced that the Oregon Ducks had been ranked No. Many people were surprised to hear that the Oregon Ducks ranked No. 4 in their playoff rankings last week. It was a sign that the Ducks had a chance of making the playoffs at the end.
Since the initial rankings were released, Michigan State was ranked number one. The Ducks lost to the Huskies, so they will likely move up following a win over them.
With the victory, FiveThirtyEight updated their playoff predictions, giving the Ducks an increased chance to get into the final four.
Oregon now sits with a 37% chance to make the playoff, according to FiveThirtyEight, which is up for just 23% a week ago. This percentage chance is fifth in the country, after Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma.
While all four of those teams have tough, top-10 rated games left on the schedule, the Ducks should reasonably be able to get out of the regular season without another mark on their record, with remaining games against Washington State, Utah, and Oregon State. While all three games could be troublesome for Oregon, the Ducks will enter each contest with an improved roster and a reasonable expectation of winning.
We will find out if the playoff committee moves up the Ducks on Tuesday night, when the official rankings will be released for the second consecutive time.