College Football Playoff preview from a Michigan State perspective

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Dec 30, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish platers celebrate after a win against the LSU Tigers in the Music City Bowl at LP Field. Notre Dame won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Independent/Other conferences

There are very few teams not part of the Power 5 who have a chance at the College Football Playoff.  Teams not currently in the AP Top 25 without the opportunity to build up their resumes in tough conferences, like the Pac-12 or SEC, just won’t have the profiles to break into the CFP even if they go undefeated.

Must Read: MSU Football: 5 bold predictions for the 2015 season

The only non-Power 5 teams in the preseason AP Top 25 are Independent Notre Dame and Boise State who play in the Mountain West. Notre Dame has a much better chance than Boise State because they start in a much higher position — No. 11 vs. No. 23 — and because they play a much tougher schedule.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame not only starts higher than Boise State in the AP and plays a tougher schedule, but they have the name recognition that would allow them to jump over lesser established programs.

Notre Dame is part of the ACC conference in basketball and plays a lot of ACC teams in football while preserving some of their traditional rivalries from other conferences and with the military academies.

Key Notre Dame games: Texas at Notre Dame (Sept. 5), Georgia Tech at Notre Dame (Sept. 19), Notre Dame at Clemson (Oct. 3), USC at Notre Dame (Oct. 17), Notre Dame at Stanford (Nov. 28)

Boise State University

Boise has built enough cache in the college football world over the past 10 years that an undefeated season might cause the CFP committee to pause and consider them for a spot.

Lots of things would have to go right for this to come to fruition, but they are an outside threat to a Michigan State playoff spot so we include them here. Once the Broncos get into conference play, they won’t be able to impress the committee as much, so they must win convincingly in their non-conference slate.

Key Boise State games: Washington at Boise State (Sept. 4), Boise State at Virginia (Sept 25)

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