CFP projections: Why this year’s Red River matters, and can Kentucky pull off the upset?

Just how big is this year’s Red River rivalry game between No. 3 Texas and No. 12 Oklahoma?

It’s big. It could be the last time a Big 12 showdown occurs between Texas and Oklahoma unless they meet again in the conference championship game. Next year, they will be in the SEC. Both teams enter Saturday’s game (noon ET, ABC/ESPN App) unbeaten, and the winner takes a big step toward the Big 12 title contest.

Texas-Oklahoma also has massive implications on the College Football Playoff race: It’s the second-most impactful remaining game before conference championships, behind only Penn StateOhio State on Oct. 21, according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor.

Currently, Oklahoma (53%) and Texas (50%) are the second- and third-most likely teams to reach the CFP, behind only Ohio State (54%).

Here are the chances for Oklahoma and Texas to reach the College Football Playoff, depending on Saturday’s result:

Oklahoma with a win: 72%
Oklahoma with a loss: 30%
Texas with a win: 73%
Texas with a loss: 29%

Oklahoma also has a chance to win out. The Sooners have a 24% chance to finish the regular season 12-0. They have more than an 88% chance to beat each of their remaining non-Texas games in the regular season (and a 54% chance to beat Texas).

The game also has substantial leverage on the chance to reach the Big 12 championship game:

Oklahoma with a win: 96%
Oklahoma with a loss: 70%
Texas with a win: 91%
Texas with a loss: 67%

The incredible parity in the playoff race is still holding strong: There are 10 teams with at least a 20% chance to reach the CFP and 13 teams with at least a 5% probability.

Meanwhile, in the SEC …

Another race with a leverage game is KentuckyGeorgia in the SEC East. The Bulldogs are heavy favorites (86% chance to win) but if Kentucky pulls off the upset there will be major implications.

Chance to win SEC East, depending on result:

Kentucky with a win: 38%
Kentucky with a loss: 1%
Georgia with a win: 87%
Georgia with a loss: 40%

Similarly, AlabamaTexas A&M has big consequences in the SEC West. Alabama has a 66% possibility to win the game, per FPI.

Chance to win SEC West, depending on result:

Alabama with a win: 86%
Alabama with a loss: 34%
Texas A&M with a win: 42%
Texas A&M with a loss: 2%

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