One

It is in our hearts that we
Can be repumped
With blood
To find again
What we lost

It is in our hearts that we
Can forge our memory
To allow for more
Breathes
Of new life

It is in our hearts that we
Can chase what is true
While allowing
Our hearts
To stop beating

For while they stop beating
While the Earth reverses
Its rotation
We are born again
A new life
A new life

The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 7

The Eliminator has stricken more victims after six weeks of the college football season and sees more teams enter the verge of elimination with half of a season still remaining.

For reference, Power Five teams who are not in control of their conference championship destiny are put in the verge of elimination column. Group of Five teams with any loss, with the exception of the American, are eliminated. Two losses doesn’t eliminate any Power Five teams unless one of those losses is to a Group of Five / FCS opponent with the exception of the American (see Pittsburgh) or if those two losses are just flat-out embarrassing (see Syracuse).

Here’s where we stand, conference-by-conference, after five weeks of the college football season:

American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Still in the hunt:

#21 SMU (6-0):

After a triple-OT thriller against Tulsa where the Mustangs came back from down 21 points in the fourth quarter to win 43-37, SMU is moving up in the rankings ahead of their much-deserved bye week. #23 Memphis looks to be a worthy opponent in AAC West play in early November.

#23 Memphis (5-0):

This Memphis team is exciting to watch on the offensive end of the ball and they get Temple this weekend (one week before the Owls take on SMU). Their November 2nd matchup with SMU should hope to be an AAC West Championship.

Verge of elimination:

Temple (4-1):

Temple took down East Carolina (27-17) to remain in the hunt, with their lone loss being an embarrassing 38-22 knockout by Buffalo. #23 Memphis, #21 SMU, and UCF in the next three weeks provide one of the toughest stretches of games in the country. #25 Cincinnati is also on slate for late November.

Tulane (4-1):

Tulane just took down Army (42-33) and only hold one loss to #12 Auburn (24-6). With #23 Memphis, UCF, and #21 SMU all on schedule, the Green Wave have a chance to make a real impact in the West.

#25 Cincinnati (4-1):

Cincinnati’s only loss is a 42-0 shutout to a surging #3 Ohio State team. They just eliminated UCF (27-24) and can make the AAC a more prominent conference with #23 Memphis in an East-West game to end the regular season.

Navy (3-1):

Navy doesn’t control their own destiny in the West courtesy of a 35-23 loss to #23 Memphis. However, #9 Notre Dame, #21 SMU, and Army can all be impact games for the Midshipmen.

Eliminated:

UCF (4-2): Eliminated with week 6 loss to #25 Cincinnati, 27-24.

Here’s a place that UCF hasn’t been in for three seasons thanks to their second loss of the year, this time to newly-ranked Cincinnati.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Still in the hunt:

#2 Clemson (5-0):

Clemson will take the bye week into a formidable stretch of ACC games starting with Florida State. #19 Wake Forest is their lone remaining ranked opponent in the regular season.

#19 Wake Forest (5-0):

The Demon Deacons get Louisville and can only move up in the rankings ahead of their meeting with #2 Clemson in Death Valley to potentially decide the ACC Atlantic.

#20 Virginia (4-1):

Virginia has a decent loss against #9 Notre Dame, 35-20. However, they will need a lot of help as they have zero remaining ranked opponents outside of if they make the conference championship.

Verge of elimination:

Florida State (3-2):

FSU lost to #14 Boise State (36-31), #20 Virginia (31-24), and will most likely see their shot at a playoff spot eliminated at #2 Clemson on Saturday. If they can win, they get #19 Wake Forest the following weekend to keep propelling forward. Oh, and #7 Florida is their regular season nightcap.

Louisville (3-2):

After eliminating BC with a 41-39 victory, the Cardinals get a triple date with #19 Wake Forest, #2 Clemson, and #20 Virginia to close out October. Losses to #9 Notre Dame (35-17) and Florida State (35-24) will definitely come to bite them from behind.

Pittsburgh (3-2):

Pitt just beat Duke (33-30) and has looked sloppy in nearly every game this season. #20 Virginia and #10 Penn State both beat Pitt 30-14 and 17-10, respectfully. There are no remaining ranked opponents on the schedule for the Panthers.

Duke (3-2):

Duke lost 42-3 to #1 Alabama and just took another to Pitt (33-30). They would need a ton of help but actually have a difficult remaining schedule: #20 Virginia, #9 Notre Dame, #19 Wake Forest, and a potential #2 Clemson in an ACC Championship if they were to make it.

NC State (3-2):

NC State lost to West Virginia (44-27) and Florida State (31-13). Syracuse is up on Thursday night with #19 Wake Forest and #2 Clemson on schedule to kickstart November.

Virginia Tech (3-2):

VT is about as up-and-down as an ACC team can get; BC and Duke both beat the Hokies 35-28 and 45-10, respectfully. #9 Notre Dame, #19 Wake Forest, and #20 Virginia will all have to be statement games if they make it that far in contention.

Eliminated:

Boston College (3-3): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Louisville, 41-39.
Miami (2-3): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Virginia Tech, 42-35.

BC and Miami join a field of ACC teams that can only grow from here.

Big XII Conference

Still in the hunt:

#6 Oklahoma (5-0):

It took a while for the offense to get going, but Oklahoma took down Kansas (45-20) this past weekend to set up a Red River showdown with #11 Texas in a very telling matchup for the Big XII.

#22 Baylor (5-0):

After taking down K-State (31-22), the Bears get Texas Tech. #6 Oklahoma and #11 Texas will be back-to-back November weekends for Baylor’s Big XII title hopes.

#11 Texas (4-1):

Texas’ lone fault is a 45-38 loss to #5 LSU, who many consider to be the best team in the country. Their noon matchup with #6 Oklahoma will tell a lot about where this team can go (and if they can make the playoff).

Verge of elimination:

West Virginia (3-2):

Losing to Missouri 38-7 didn’t look good as it is. Add that in with a 42-31 loss to #11 Texas and that puts the Mountaineers in a tough spot ahead of their elimination game this Saturday vs Iowa State.

Iowa State (2-2):

The Cyclones lost to #17 Iowa (18-17) and Baylor (23-21) to setup an elimination game with West Virginia this weekend. The loser is out.

TCU (3-2):

TCU lost to #21 SMU (41-38) and Iowa State (49-24). Another elimination game for the Big XII will be next Saturday when they face two-loss Kansas State.

Texas Tech (2-2):

TTU’s 28-14 loss to #18 Arizona State and 55-16 loss to #6 Oklahoma put the Red Raiders on elimination watch, but then they beat Oklahoma State (45-35) to remain slightly in contention before they face #22 Baylor on Saturday.

Oklahoma State (4-2):

The Cowboys have been an up-and-down team all season with a loss to #11 Texas (36-30) looking pretty decent compared to their most recent against Texas Tech (45-35). After the bye, they’ll face off against #22 Baylor.

Kansas State (3-2):

Two straight drops for the Wildcats came at the hands of Oklahoma State (26-13) and #22 Baylor (31-12). After the bye, they’ll face TCU in an elimination game for both teams.

Eliminated:

No new teams will be added with Kansas for now, but one of either Iowa State or West Virginia will find themselves here next week. More Big XII teams will mathematically join the others this month as well.

Big Ten Conference (B1G)

Still in the hunt:

#8 Wisconsin (5-0):

Wisconsin shutout their third opponent of the year by beating Kent State, 48-0. Michigan State will be a tough test this weekend with #3 Ohio State also on schedule this month in what could be a game we see again in December.

#3 Ohio State (6-0):

Ohio State remains one of the most balanced teams in the country ahead of their bye week. #8 Wisconsin, #10 Penn State, and #16 Michigan should be circled games for the Buckeyes to close this season.

#10 Penn State (5-0):

Penn State did what they had to do against Purdue with a 35-7 victory. The Nittany Lions are everything but flashy, but that’s the way coach James Franklin likes it. #17 Iowa, #16 Michigan, Michigan State, and undefeated Minnesota should be good predictors for how good this team truly is.

Minnesota (5-0):

Minnesota finally won a game by more than one possession by beating Illinois, 40-17. The remaining stretch of games is pretty manageable before they face #10 Penn State, #17 Iowa, and #8 Wisconsin in a gauntlet of games to close to season.

#16 Michigan (4-1)

Michigan continues to look simply above-average after they lost to #8 Wisconsin (35-14) by barely scraping any offense together against #17 Iowa (10-3). #10 Penn State and #9 Notre Dame are both on schedule for this month.

#17 Iowa (4-1):

Iowa lost to #16 Michigan (10-3) in a defensive showcase. They can make it up with another Big Ten East opponent – #10 Penn State – at home this weekend.

Verge of elimination:

Michigan State (4-2):

Michigan State lost to #18 Arizona State (10-7) and looked helpless in a 34-10 beatdown by #3 Ohio State on Saturday night. It won’t get easier, with #8 Wisconsin having the chance to eliminate the Spartans this weekend.

Maryland (3-2):

Maryland’s losses to Temple (20-17) and #10 Penn State (59-0) should have been enough to put the Terrapins in elimination, but #16 Michigan and #3 Ohio State are both on schedule to start November.

Nebraska (4-2):

After getting embarrassed by #3 Ohio State (48-7) and losing to Colorado in the beginning of the season (34-31), the Huskers came back to beat Northwestern (13-10). Up next is undefeated Minnesota.

Indiana (3-2):

Losing to #3 Ohio State (51-10) and Michigan State (40-31) keep the Hoosiers on red alert heading into a matchup against Rutgers.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Conference USA (C-USA)

Eliminated:

The entire conference.

Independent Teams

Verge of elimination:

#9 Notre Dame (4-1):

ND bounced back after losing a tough one to #3 Georgia, 23-17. USC is up next in an elimination game this weekend.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Mid-American Conference (MAC)

Eliminated:

The entire conference.

Mountain West Conference

Still in the hunt:

#14 Boise State (5-0):

Boise continues to move up in the AP Poll with their most recent victim being UNLV, 38-13. A tough Hawai’i and BYU back-to-back should be statement games in the eyes of Broncos’ fans.

Eliminated:

Utah State (3-2): Eliminated with week 6 loss to #5 LSU, 42-6.

Utah State hung around for a while, but LSU QB Joe Burrow laid the Aggies to rest.

Pac-12 Conference

Still in the hunt:

#13 Oregon (4-1):

Oregon put Cal away, 17-7. No ranked teams remain on the schedule, so the Ducks should be hoping for chaos in the other conferences.

Arizona (4-1):

Their opening weekend loss to Hawai’i (45-38) is the only thing holding the Wildcats back. The good news for Arizona is that they get all three ranked Pac-12 opponents in #13 Oregon, #15 Utah, and #18 Arizona State to close the season.

Verge of elimination:

USC (3-2):

USC lost to BYU (30-27) and Washington (28-14) in their most recent bout. #9 Notre Dame will be a huge test and elimination game for both teams this Saturday night.

#15 Utah (4-1):

Utah’s loss is to USC (30-23) and they get a cakewalk with Oregon State this week.

#18 Arizona State (4-1):

The Sun Devils’ lone drop of the season was a 34-31 loss to Colorado. Thanks to some Colorado mishaps, the Sun Devils can come back into Pac-12 title contention with Wazzu on schedule for Saturday.

California (4-2):

Cal’s back-to-back losses to #18 Arizona State (24-17) and #13 Oregon (17-7) have the Golden Bears reeling. They should be able to bounce back after the bye with Oregon State ahead of their matchup at #15 Utah.

Washington State (3-2):

Wazzu’s back-to-back losses to UCLA (67-63) and #15 Utah (38-13) leave them on the brink ahead of their matchup at #18 Arizona State in a game that could end any playoff hope.

Colorado (3-2):

Colorado’s loss to Air Force (30-23) and most recent loss to Arizona (35-30) put the Buffaloes on heavy elimination watch ahead of their Friday night date with #13 Oregon.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Still in the hunt:

#7 Florida (6-0):

Florida’s controlled victory over #12 Auburn (24-13) has them atop the SEC with #5 LSU and #3 Georgia still on schedule in two out of their next three games.

#5 LSU (5-0):

LSU eliminated Utah State (42-6) and looks to Saturday night’s showdown with #7 Florida. #12 Auburn and #1 Alabama will both be huge SEC West games in the middle of the season.

#3 Georgia (5-0):

Georgia handled Tennessee (43-14) and don’t get a true test until #7 Florida in November. #12 Auburn will also be a strong late-season opponent.

#1 Alabama (5-0):

Bama gets #24 Texas A&M this weekend in an elimination game for the Aggies. Games against #5 LSU and #12 Auburn will decide how the SEC West plays out this November.

#12 Auburn (5-1):

Auburn’s loss at #7 Florida (24-13) put them in the back seat and have them fighting to claw their way back in. Lucky for them, there are a ton of chances as #5 LSU, #3 Georgia, and #1 Alabama are all on the late-season schedule.

Missouri (4-1):

Wyoming took down Missouri (37-31) to open the season, but the Tigers have only bounced back. #3 Georgia and #7 Florida will be crucial East Division games if the Tigers can make it through their cakewalk of October opponents (Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky).

Verge of elimination:

Texas A&M (3-2):

A&M’s losses are the strongest in the country (24-10 against #2 Clemson and 28-20 to #12 Auburn), but their home game against #1 Alabama will still be an elimination game if they were to lose.

Mississippi State (3-2):

The Bulldogs got upset by Kansas State (31-24) and then lost to #12 Auburn (56-23) two weeks later. #5 LSU, #24 Texas A&M, and #1 Alabama will be a difficult three-out-of-four game stretch for Mississippi State.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Sun Belt Conference

Still in the hunt:

App State (4-0):

App State isn’t favored in Thursday’s matchup at LA-Lafayette. South Carolina is the only remaining Power Five team on their schedule, but the Mountaineers have already beaten UNC (34-31).

Eliminated:

The rest of the conference has already been eliminated.


Here is a complete list of teams that have been eliminated this season:

Eliminated in Week 0/1 (21 teams):

Akron: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Illinois, 42-3.
Arkansas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #21 SMU, 37-30.
Ball State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Indiana, 34-24.
Coastal Carolina: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan, 30-23.
Colorado State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Colorado, 52-13.
Florida Atlantic: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #3 Ohio State, 45-21.
Florida International: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Tulane, 42-14.
Fresno State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to USC, 31-23.
Georgia Southern: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #5 LSU, 55-3.
LA-Lafayette: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Mississippi State, 38-28.
Liberty: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Syracuse, 24-0.
Louisiana Tech: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #11 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #17 Iowa, 38-14.
Middle Tennessee: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #16 Michigan, 40-12.
New Mexico State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Washington State, 58-7.
Rice: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Army, 14-7.
South Alabama: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Nebraska, 35-21.
Texas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #24 Texas A&M, 41-7.
Toledo: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Kentucky, 38-24.
UMass: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Rutgers, 48-21.
Western Kentucky: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Central Arkansas, 35-28.

Eliminated in Week 2 (21 teams):

Army: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
Bowling Green: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kansas State, 52-0.
Buffalo: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #10 Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #8 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Charlotte: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Appalachian State, 56-41.
Eastern Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kentucky, 38-17.
LA-Monroe: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Florida State, 45-44 (OT).
Marshall: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #14 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #21 SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #15 Utah, 35-17.
Ohio: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, 20-10.
Old Dominion: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Virginia Tech, 31-17.
San Jose State: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Tulsa, 34-16.
South Florida: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Georgia Tech, 14-10.
Southern Mississippi: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Mississippi State, 38-15.
Tennessee: Eliminated with week 2 loss to BYU, 29-26.
UNLV: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Arkansas State, 43-17.
UTEP: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Texas Tech, 38-3.
UTSA: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Baylor, 63-14.
Western Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Michigan State, 51-17.

Eliminated in Week 3 (11 teams):

New Mexico: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #9 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Hawai’i: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington, 52-20.
Troy: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.
Syracuse: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #2 Clemson, 41-6.
Kent State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #12 Auburn, 55-16.
East Carolina: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Tulsa: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Oklahoma State, 40-21.
Georgia Tech: Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Georgia State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
UCLA: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #6 Oklahoma, 48-14.
Houston: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #14 Boise State, 30-19.
BYU: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Washington, 45-19.
Illinois: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Nebraska, 42-38.
Kansas: Eliminated with week 4 loss to West Virginia, 29-24.
San Diego State: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Utah State, 23-17.
South Carolina: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Missouri, 34-14.
Stanford: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #13 Oregon, 21-6.
UConn: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.
UNC: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Appalachian State, 34-31.
Vanderbilt: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #5 LSU, 66-38.
Wyoming: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

Eliminated in Week 5 (6 teams):

Kentucky: Eliminated with week 5 loss to South Carolina, 24-7.
Ole Miss: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #1 Alabama, 59-31.
Oregon State: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Stanford, 31-28.
Purdue: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Minnesota, 38-31.
Rutgers: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #16 Michigan, 52-0.
UAB: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Western Kentucky, 20-13.

Eliminated in Week 6 (4 teams):

Boston College (3-3): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Louisville, 41-39.
Miami (2-3): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Virginia Tech, 42-35.
UCF (4-2): Eliminated with week 6 loss to #25 Cincinnati, 27-24.
Utah State (3-2): Eliminated with week 6 loss to #5 LSU, 42-6.

The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 6

The second stint of the Eliminator has returned with few victims after week 5 of gameplay. Some teams on the verge of elimination have fallen off, while some are hanging on by a thread. As teams continue to win at the top of the college football landscape, the chances for the teams on the brink has diminished significantly.

Next weekend should be a huge week for eliminating teams, as many two-loss Power Five competitors head into the conference gauntlet.

For reference, Power Five teams who are not in control of their conference championship destiny are put in the verge of elimination column. Group of Five teams with any loss, with the exception of the American, are eliminated. Two losses doesn’t eliminate any Power Five teams unless one of those losses is to a Group of Five / FCS opponent with the exception of the American (see Pittsburgh). Two-loss teams in the Power Five can also be eliminated if their losses are just flat-out embarrassing (see Syracuse).

Here’s where we stand, conference-by-conference, after five weeks of the college football season:

American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Still in the hunt:

#24 SMU (5-0):

SMU is officially back after a dominating 5-0 start to the season that include wins at TCU and a 48-21 tromping of South Florida over the weekend.

Memphis (4-0):

Memphis took down an undefeated Navy team 35-23 to remain unbeaten on the season. They have an AAC West date with #24 SMU this November.

Verge of elimination:

#18 UCF (4-1):

UCF bounced back in a big way by dominating UConn 56-21 before their date with Cincinnati next weekend. As long as the West Division doesn’t self-destruct, UCF should be facing a ranked opponent in December’s conference championship.

Tulane (3-1):

Tulane’s lone loss – #7 Auburn, 24-6. They have to go through a much tougher AAC West schedule and #18 UCF this season. They had a bye last week before their matchup with Army this weekend.

Cincinnati (3-1):

Cincinnati’s lone loss comes at the hand of #4 Ohio State, 42-0. The Bearcats would need a lot of help, but can make a statement against #18 UCF on Friday night.

Temple (3-1):

The Owls’ lone loss is an embarrassing 38-22 upset against Buffalo. They bounced back by taking care of Georgia Tech, 24-2. They have very small CFP chances, but play #24 SMU and #18 UCF in back-to-back weeks in late-October.

Navy (2-1):

Navy took a big hit with a 35-23 loss to Memphis this past weekend and is no longer in control of their own destiny within conference play. However, #9 Notre Dame and #24 SMU are waiting in back-to-back November weekends.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Still in the hunt:

#2 Clemson (5-0):

Clemson struggled against Mack Brown’s Tar Heels this weekend but came out on top, 21-20. Their schedule is quite favorable, with the only remaining ranked opponent being #22 Wake Forest this November.

#22 Wake Forest (5-0):

The Demon Deacons took down Boston College 27-24 to remain unbeaten and only have one ranked opponent left on their schedule in #2 Clemson.

Duke (3-1):

Duke’s lone loss is a 42-3 romping by new-#1 Alabama. Duke took it to Virginia Tech 45-10 on Friday night and still have #23 Virginia, #9 Notre Dame, #22 Wake Forest, and a potential #2 Clemson in an ACC Championship game in the midst.

#23 Virginia (4-1):

Virginia’s luck ran out against #9 Notre Dame in Saturday’s 35-20 loss. Their remaining schedule is mighty weak, which could set up a showdown with #2 Clemson in an ACC Championship.

Verge of elimination:

Florida State (3-2):

With losses to #16 Boise State (36-31) and #23 Virginia (31-24), the Seminoles would need to make huge statements against #2 Clemson next weekend, #22 Wake Forest the week after, and #10 Florida at the end of the season.

Pittsburgh (3-2):

Pitt’s two losses are a 30-14 beatdown by #23 Virginia and a tough 17-10 loss at #12 Penn State, but then they beat #18 UCF 35-34. They almost lost to Delaware (17-14) this past weekend, but they did have multiple starters, including QB Kenny Pickett, out for the game. The Panthers would need a lot of help and there are zero ranked teams left on their schedule.

Boston College (3-2):

BC’s 48-24 loss to Kansas and 27-24 loss to #22 Wake Forest this weekend put them on heavy elimination alert heading into their game at Louisville. #9 Notre Dame is also still on the schedule, along with #2 Clemson in ACC Atlantic play.

Louisville (2-2):

With losses to #9 Notre Dame (35-17) and Florida State (35-24), the Cardinals have little chance to make the cut with three straight weekends of #22 Wake Forest, #2 Clemson, and #23 Virginia this October.

Miami (2-2):

The Hurricanes started 0-2 with losses to #9 Florida (24-20) and UNC (28-25) and has shown little promise so far this season. They head into heavy conference play with the unlikely ability that they will turn their season around.

NC State (3-2):

NC State’s 44-27 loss to West Virginia and recent 31-13 beatdown by Florida State move NC State to the bottom and their chances diminish with #22 Wake Forest and #2 Clemson coming up.

Virginia Tech (2-2):

VT is 0-2 in conference play with Duke’s 45-10 victory being the most recent. They don’t control their own destiny in a weak ACC Coastal and could struggle late in the season with #9 Notre Dame, #22 Wake Forest, and #23 Virginia.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Big XII Conference

Still in the hunt:

#6 Oklahoma (4-0):

Jalen Hurts came out strong after the bye week with a 55-16 rollover of Texas Tech. The rest of the Big XII, with #11 Texas in two weeks, are waiting in the midst.

Baylor (4-0):

Nobody is talking about the undefeated Bears, who just took down Iowa State 23-21 and can demolish any playoff hopes that the wildcats of K-State have next weekend in Manhattan, KS.

#11 Texas (3-1):

Texas’ loss to #4 LSU looks good thus far, with the true conference test against #6 Oklahoma coming next weekend.

TCU (3-1):

TCU bounced back after their loss to #24 SMU in a big way against Kansas, taking down the Jayhawks 51-14 to set up a date with Iowa State on Saturday.

West Virginia (3-1):

WVU is coming off the bye with a home date against #11 Texas. Their lone loss is 38-7 to Missouri in week 2.

#21 Oklahoma State (4-1):

The Cowboys almost beat #11 Texas (36-30) and then beat K-State 26-13 to knock them out of the top-25 and propel themselves in. They can eliminate Texas Tech this Saturday.

Kansas State (3-1):

K-State drops to the bottom of the Big XII and out of the top-25 with their helpless 26-13 loss to #21 Oklahoma State.

Verge of elimination:

Iowa State (2-2):

The Cyclones lost to Baylor 23-21 this weekend and will need a lot of help to combat a lot of adversity with #21 Oklahoma State, #6 Oklahoma, and #11 Texas in three straight weekends starting in late-October.

Texas Tech (2-2):

TTU’s 28-14 loss to Arizona State and 55-16 loss to #6 Oklahoma put the Red Raiders on elimination watch before their matchup with #21 Oklahoma State this weekend.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Big Ten Conference (B1G)

Still in the hunt:

#8 Wisconsin (4-0):

Wisconsin has the #1 defense in the country and they showed it in Saturday’s 24-15 win against Northwestern. They have many chances to prove themselves with #25 Michigan State and #4 Ohio State this October.

#4 Ohio State (5-0):

As #8 Wisconsin has the top offense in the country, Ohio State has the #2. They put on a show with a beatdown of Nebraska in Lincoln and finally get a ranked opponent in #25 Michigan State on Saturday night.

#12 Penn State (4-0):

Penn State will have to wait another week to play a ranked opponent as Purdue comes to town this weekend. However, their 59-0 shutout of Maryland should not go unnoticed.

#14 Iowa (4-0):

Iowa is usually slept on to start the year, but their noon game at #19 Michigan should tell a lot about not only the Hawkeyes – but also the Wolverines.

Minnesota (4-0):

Minnesota has only won by a combined 20 (yes, 20) points this season in their 4-0 start. They get a miserable Illinois team this weekend and don’t have a true test until #12 Penn State in November.

#25 Michigan State (4-1):

Their lone loss was to a decent #21 Arizona State team, 10-7. Michigan State can treat their showdown with #4 Ohio State as pretty much an elimination game. As the two only teams from the Big Ten to ever make the CFP, there is a lot riding within the Big Ten East on Saturday night. MSU is coming off an unimpressive 40-31 win against Indiana, a team OSU beat soundly.

#19 Michigan (3-1)

Michigan bounced back from their 35-14 loss to #8 Wisconsin by handling Rutgers, 52-0. They get #14 Iowa in an important Big Ten showcase.

Verge of elimination:

Indiana (3-2):

Losing to #4 Ohio State (51-10) and #25 Michigan State (40-31) put the Hoosiers on red alert heading into a matchup against Rutgers.

Maryland (2-2):

Maryland couldn’t get any offense in #12 Penn State’s 59-0 win on Saturday. They’d have to beat #19 Michigan and #4 Ohio State in back-to-back weekends in November to make any noise.

Nebraska (3-2):

Nebraska got handled too heavily against #4 Ohio State (48-7) to make a case that they belong. However, they still control their own destiny in the West.

Eliminated:

Purdue (1-3): Eliminated with week 5 loss to Minnesota, 38-31.
Rutgers (1-3): Eliminated with week 5 loss to #10 Michigan, 52-0.

Purdue lost to Nevada (34-31), TCU (34-13), and Minnesota (38-31) to prove they are nowhere near what people thought they could be this season and Rutgers dropped three straight to join Illinois and Northwestern in the elimination pile.

Conference USA (C-USA)

Eliminated:

UAB (3-1): Eliminated with week 5 loss to Western Kentucky, 20-13.

And with UAB’s loss to Western Kentucky, Conference USA is put to rest.

Independent Teams

Verge of elimination:

#9 Notre Dame (3-1):

ND bounced back after losing to #3 Georgia (23-17) by beating #23 Virginia (35-20) and remaining in the top-10. Not having a conference might come to bite the Irish in the end.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Mid-American Conference (MAC)

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week, as it is the entire conference that has already been eliminated.

Mountain West Conference

Still in the hunt:

#16 Boise State (4-0):

Boise is coming off a 30-19 win against Air Force and still has Hawai’i, BYU, and Utah State on schedule.

Verge of elimination:

Utah State (3-1):

Utah State’s lone loss was to Wake Forest (38-35) in the season opener, but they just took down Colorado State, 34-24. Utah State is the lone one-loss, non-American Conference Group of Five team that hasn’t been eliminated; the sole reason is because of their matchup with #4 LSU this weekend, which is a must win.

Eliminated:

For now, no addition teams are joining the ranks of the eliminated.

Pac-12 Conference

Still in the hunt:

Oregon (3-1):

Oregon takes on Cal in an important Pac-12 showdown this weekend. Their lone loss is to an Auburn team that looks better by the week.

USC (3-1):

Like Cal, USC drops out of the top-25 after a 28-14 loss to #15 Washington. #9 Notre Dame is up next in a huge playoff-indicator battle for both teams.

Arizona (3-1):

The Wildcats struggled to take down UCLA (20-17) and get Colorado this weekend. Their loss is to a decent Hawai’i team, 45-38.

Colorado (3-1):

Coming off the bye, the Buffaloes get Arizona in a key Pac-12 South matchup. Their loss is an OT embarrassment to Air Force, 30-23.

Verge of elimination:

#17 Utah (4-1):

Utah’s loss is to USC (30-23) and they get a cakewalk with Oregon State this week.

#20 Arizona State (3-1):

The Sun Devils’ lone drop of the season was a 34-31 loss to Colorado. They don’t control their own destiny in the conference, but can root for a couple Colorado mishaps as they take on Wazzu in two weeks.

California (4-1):

Cal dropped out of the top-25 completely after being ranked 15th going into their 24-17 loss to #20 Arizona State. #13 Oregon is up this weekend in an elimination-style game.

Washington State (3-2):

Wazzu’s back-to-back losses to UCLA (67-63) and #17 Utah (38-13) put them on the brink ahead of their bye week.

Eliminated:

Oregon State (1-3): Eliminated with week 5 loss to Stanford, 31-28.

Oregon State joins the bottom of the barrel with UCLA and Stanford this week.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Still in the hunt:

#3 Georgia (4-0):

Georgia should be able to handle Tennessee, South Carolina, and Kentucky on their collision course with #10 Florida.

#5 LSU (4-0):

LSU can eliminate a good Utah State team this weekend.

#7 Auburn (5-0):

Auburn has looked strong to this point, but they get a date with #10 Florida in a crucial cross-divisional game this weekend.

#9 Florida (5-0):

Florida shutout FCS Towson (38-0) and get #7 Auburn in a game that will tell a lot more about the SEC as a whole.

#1 Alabama (5-0):

Bama gets #25 Texas A&M in two weeks in their first real test of the year.

Missouri (3-1):

Wyoming beat Missouri 37-31 in the season opener, but the Tigers have bounced back pretty big and have a very favorable schedule before their back-to-back November weekend matchups with #3 Georgia and #10 Florida.

Verge of elimination:

Texas A&M (3-2):

A&M struggled to beat Arkansas (31-27) and get to play #1 Alabama in two weeks in an elimination game for the Aggies.

Mississippi State (3-2):

The Bulldogs just got handled by #7 Auburn (56-23) and have to bounce back against Tennessee in two weeks.

Eliminated:

Kentucky (2-3): Eliminated with week 5 loss to South Carolina, 24-7.
Ole Miss (2-3): Eliminated with week 5 loss to #1 Alabama, 59-31.

Ole Miss joins the eliminated after getting crushed by #1 Alabama, 59-31. Kentucky also got crushed in conference play by the Gamecocks, 24-7.

Sun Belt Conference

Still in the hunt:

App State (4-0):

#RankAppState is officially the theme of the Sun Belt after their 56-37 win against Coastal Carolina. They have a favorable schedule, beat UNC 34-31, and get South Carolina in November.

Eliminated:

No addition teams added this week.


Here is a complete list of teams that have been eliminated this season:

Eliminated in Week 0/1 (21 teams):

Akron: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Illinois, 42-3.
Arkansas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #24 SMU, 37-30.
Ball State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Indiana, 34-24.
Coastal Carolina: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan, 30-23.
Colorado State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Colorado, 52-13.
Florida Atlantic: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #4 Ohio State, 45-21.
Florida International: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Tulane, 42-14.
Fresno State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to USC, 31-23.
Georgia Southern: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #5 LSU, 55-3.
LA-Lafayette: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Mississippi State, 38-28.
Liberty: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Syracuse, 24-0.
Louisiana Tech: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #11 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #14 Iowa, 38-14.
Middle Tennessee: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #19 Michigan, 40-12.
New Mexico State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Washington State, 58-7.
Rice: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Army, 14-7.
South Alabama: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Nebraska, 35-21.
Texas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #25 Texas A&M, 41-7.
Toledo: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Kentucky, 38-24.
UMass: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Rutgers, 48-21.
Western Kentucky: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Central Arkansas, 35-28.

Eliminated in Week 2 (21 teams):

Army: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #19 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
Bowling Green: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kansas State, 52-0.
Buffalo: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #12 Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #8 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Charlotte: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Appalachian State, 56-41.
Eastern Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kentucky, 38-17.
LA-Monroe: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Florida State, 45-44 (OT).
Marshall: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #24 SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #17 Utah, 35-17.
Ohio: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, 20-10.
Old Dominion: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Virginia Tech, 31-17.
San Jose State: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Tulsa, 34-16.
South Florida: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Georgia Tech, 14-10.
Southern Mississippi: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Mississippi State, 38-15.
Tennessee: Eliminated with week 2 loss to BYU, 29-26.
UNLV: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Arkansas State, 43-17.
UTEP: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Texas Tech, 38-3.
UTSA: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Baylor, 63-14.
Western Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #25 Michigan State, 51-17.

Eliminated in Week 3 (11 teams):

New Mexico: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #9 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Hawai’i: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #15 Washington, 52-20.
Troy: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.
Syracuse: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #2 Clemson, 41-6.
Kent State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #7 Auburn, 55-16.
East Carolina: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Tulsa: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #21 Oklahoma State, 40-21.
Georgia Tech: Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Georgia State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
UCLA: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #6 Oklahoma, 48-14.
Houston: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #16 Boise State, 30-19.
BYU: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #15 Washington, 45-19.
Illinois: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Nebraska, 42-38.
Kansas: Eliminated with week 4 loss to West Virginia, 29-24.
San Diego State: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Utah State, 23-17.
South Carolina: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Missouri, 34-14.
Stanford: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #13 Oregon, 21-6.
UConn: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.
UNC: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Appalachian State, 34-31.
Vanderbilt: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #5 LSU, 66-38.
Wyoming: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

Eliminated in Week 5 (6 teams):

Kentucky: Eliminated with week 5 loss to South Carolina, 24-7.
Ole Miss: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #1 Alabama, 59-31.
Oregon State: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Stanford, 31-28.
Purdue: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Minnesota, 38-31.
Rutgers: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #10 Michigan, 52-0.
UAB: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Western Kentucky, 20-13.

Afraid

At one point we were all very afraid
To take that moment
And let it go, to become stronger;
As people, we were weak.

Another time, we stopped counting
And instead, started running.
To take our time, we said
Ruined us.

The last time we were on the bridge
Seeing heights above moving currents
We stopped for a moment.
We were strong

And jumped.

Heisman Watch: Week 5

Throughout the middle of the season, the Heisman race will take a million turns before finally settling down into a top-5 or even less. This year is no different. Here are the players at the top of the Heisman watchlist through four weeks of college football:

1. Anthony Gordon (QB, Washington State)
QBR: 80.0
CMP: 74.9%
YDS: 1,894 passing / 40 rushing
TD: 21
INT: 4

Gordon takes over the top spot after Jalen Hurts’ bye week, with Gordon’s accounting for nine touchdowns in UCLA’s 32-point come-from-behind victory over Wazzu. He leads the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns entering heavy Pac-12 competition.

2. Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)
QBR: 96.3
CMP: 77.7%
YDS: 1,300 passing / 44 rushing
TD: 17 passing / 1 rushing
INT: 0

Tagovailoa is again playing insane for the Crimson Tide as they head into the bulk of their schedule. Saban is keeping Tagovailoa in the pocket, but he has yet to face a prominent pass rush that he’ll surely see once SEC West play kicks in.

3. Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)
QBR: 92.5
CMP: 69.5%
YDS: 880 passing / 150 rushing
TD: 13 passing / 6 rushing
INT: 0

Fields is coming off a 6-touchdown game in which he scored every touchdown in the second quarter. He deserves to have his name in the conversation for Heisman, but RB J.K. Dobbins (477 yards, 5 TD) has also been able to deliver solid numbers for the Buckeyes’ offense.

4. Joe Burrow (QB, LSU)
QBR: 93.2
CMP: 80.6%
YDS: 1,520 passing / 20 rushing
TD: 17 passing / 1 rushing
INT: 2

Burrow puts his name in a QB-heavy conversation after his 6-touchdown outing at Vanderbilt. He’s the heart of the offense and his November 9th date with Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama should be one for the ages.

5. Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma)
QBR: 96.8
CMP: 80.3%
YDS: 880 passing / 373 rushing
TD: 9 passing / 4 rushing
INT: 0

Hurts’ name drops from the number 1 spot simply because Oklahoma’s bye week. This is a week-by-week contest and Hurts will likely climb back up. The Alabama transfer has yet to throw an interception this season and unlike his predecessors, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Hurts is hoping to win if he reaches the CFP.

The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 5

Every week, teams lose their shot at the College Football Playoff (CFP). Some teams, like Alabama and Clemson, have opportunities to solidify themselves at the top even with a loss during the regular season. Other teams, like UCF and Notre Dame, don’t get that same level of leeway. After four weeks of the college football season, here is where everybody from each conference stands on their chances of making the CFP.

For reference, teams that are still in the hunt are not (yet) eliminated from playoff contention. Teams that are on the verge of elimination can be eliminated at any point, even if they continue to win. For reasons such as their schedule becoming less impressive throughout the season, or their losses looking less valuable, teams that are on the verge might find themselves in the elimination column sooner rather than later.

American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Still in the hunt:

SMU (4-0):

A win against a previously-ranked TCU (41-38) is helping the Mustangs maintain some promise within the American. Their schedule is quite favorable before Memphis, Navy, and a potential AAC Championship with #22 UCF.

Memphis (3-0):

Memphis’ big win is against Ole Miss (15-10) in week 1 of the season. Navy, Tulane, SMU, and Cincinnati will be the big games of the season with the Tigers hoping that #22 UCF can bounce back and be a ranked opponent in an AAC Championship game.

Navy (2-0):

Navy gave us a small sample size of what they can be on offense (43.5 point per game) in their first two games. An undefeated Memphis will be an elimination game this weekend, with #10 Notre Dame, an undefeated SMU, and a strong Army team all coming in three out of four weeks to close the season.

Verge of elimination:

#22 UCF (3-1):

#22 UCF saw their playoff hopes all but diminish after Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett delivered an unbelievable divergence to set up the “Pittsburgh special” in a 35-34 loss for the Knights. They should be able to shred through the AAC East, but they better hope that the AAC West provides a strong opponent in a conference title game…among other things.

Tulane (3-1):

Tulane can credit their 24-6 loss to #7 Auburn as the reason they are not officially eliminated yet. Auburn would have to win the SEC and Tulane, who plays Army, Memphis, Navy, #22 UCF, and SMU, would have to be dominant enough down the stretch.

Cincinnati (2-1):

Cincinnati took care of rival Miami (OH) (35-13) after getting shutout in Columbus at the hand of #5 Ohio State (42-0). The Bearcats would need a lot of help.

Temple (2-1):

After an impressive win at Maryland (20-17), the Owls took a loss to Buffalo (38-22) and all but squashed their playoff chances. They’ll stay on the verge for a little bit, but don’t expect them to hold this spot much longer.

Eliminated:

South Florida (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Georgia Tech, 14-10.
East Carolina (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Houston (1-3): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.
Tulsa (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Oklahoma State, 40-21.
UConn (1-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.

Multiple losses for any American conference team will lead to elimination, especially since we saw two undefeated UCF teams be a few spots out of the playoff for the past two seasons.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Still in the hunt:

#1 Clemson (4-0):

Clemson hasn’t skipped a beat this season. They can afford a loss and still see themselves in the top four at season’s end.

#18 Virginia (4-0):

Virginia keeps putting together sloppy wins, but wins, nonetheless. #10 Notre Dame is on slate for next weekend before conference play really kicks in. #1 Clemson is not on the schedule, but could be during conference championship week.

Wake Forest (4-0):

Wake Forest is off to a hot start, taking down Utah State (38-35) and UNC (24-18) to highlight their 4-0 record. The ACC schedule is about to take off and #1 Clemson is also in their division.

Boston College (3-1):

BC’s 48-24 loss to Kansas might not end up hurting them as far as playoff contention goes. They still have #10 Notre Dame and #1 Clemson on the schedule, creating opportunities to impress.

NC State (3-1):

NC State’s lone loss is to a dismal West Virginia team by a score of 44-27, but they have handled three formidable opponents to stay in contention before conference play, and #1 Clemson, kick in.

Duke (2-1):

Duke got rolled by #2 Alabama (42-3) in week 1, but has looked particularly good on defense in their past couple games. The Blue Devils won’t see #1 Clemson in the regular season, but they will see #10 Notre Dame out of conference later in the year.

Virginia Tech (2-1):

With a week 1 loss to Boston College (35-28), a less-than-stellar performance against Old Dominion (31-17), and a scare against Furman (24-17), this Hokies team has not put themselves in a position to impress the playoff committee.

Verge of elimination:

Pittsburgh (2-2):

Pitt took it to #22 UCF (35-34) this past weekend, but has ultimately struggled on offense this year in their losses to #12 Penn State (17-10) and #18 Virginia (30-14), who controls their own destiny in the ACC Coastal.

Florida State (2-2):

With losses to #16 Boise State (36-31) and #18 Virginia (31-24), the Seminoles find themselves on the verge of elimination. They still play #1 Clemson and #9 Florida, which would be must-win games.

Louisville (2-2):

With losses to #10 Notre Dame (35-17) and Florida State (35-24), the Cardinals have little chance to make up ground as they play Boston College, Wake Forest, #1 Clemson, and #18 Virginia in consecutive games.

Miami (2-2):

The Hurricanes started 0-2 with losses to #9 Florida (24-20) and UNC (28-25) and has shown little promise so far this season. They head into heavy conference play with the unlikely ability that they will turn their season around.

Eliminated:

Georgia Tech (1-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Syracuse (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #1 Clemson, 41-6.
UNC (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Appalachian State, 34-31.

For Georgia Tech, it was a loss to a FCS opponent. For Syracuse, it was two straight blowout losses to Maryland and #1 Clemson. For UNC, it was Appalachian State who yet again (see Michigan, 2007) halted a team’s national title hopes.

Big XII Conference

Still in the hunt:

#6 Oklahoma (3-0):

Jalen Hurts might bring another Heisman trophy to the Sooners, but can Oklahoma win a playoff game? Their offense seems to believe so. An early October matchup with #11 Texas should paint a better picture.

#24 Kansas State (3-0):

K-State has been great on offense this season and enters conference play with the wiggle room to lose and still make their conference championship.

Baylor (3-0):

After narrowly escaping Rice (21-13), the Bears enter conference play with little expectations.

#11 Texas (3-1):

Texas’ loss to #4 LSU looks good on paper. What looks bad is another loss, as no two-loss team has ever made the playoff.

Iowa State (2-1):

After barely escaping Northern Iowa (29-26 in OT) and losing to #14 Iowa (18-17), the Cyclones enter conference play and get back-to-back dates with #6 Oklahoma and #11 Texas in late-October.

Texas Tech (2-1):

TTU’s loss to Arizona State (28-14) in week 3 wasn’t much of a surprise, but they should view their Saturday game with #6 Oklahoma as an elimination game.

TCU (2-1):

TCU is coming off a loss to an undefeated SMU (41-38). They won’t meet #11 Texas or #6 Oklahoma until the tail end of the season, which gives them time to clean up the sloppy defense we saw on Saturday.

West Virginia (3-1):

WVU got demolished by Missouri (38-7) in week 2 of the season. However, they control their own fate in the Big XII.

Oklahoma State (3-1):

The Cowboys almost took down #11 Texas (36-30), but find themselves in the bottom of the “still in the hunt” teams as far as playoff probability goes because they do not quite control their own destiny within the conference. They can beat #6 Oklahoma, but if the Sooners beat #11 Texas, then it’s a three-way tie at the top with the fourth tiebreaker (scoring differential amongst tied teams) going into effect.

Eliminated:

Kansas (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to West Virginia, 29-24.

Despite a 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina, Kansas was not officially eliminated until they took an L against the Mountaineers.

Big Ten Conference (B1G)

Still in the hunt:

#8 Wisconsin (3-0):

After taking down #20 Michigan (35-14) in Madison, Wisconsin can only continue to impress the committee. The Badgers have #5 Ohio State on the schedule in October, but can lose that game and still see the Buckeyes in a Big Ten Championship rematch.

#5 Ohio State (4-0):

The Buckeyes look as good as ever with Justin Fields taking over QB duties. They play a top-heavy Big Ten East schedule and will have to avoid a blowout loss to be able to afford one at all.

#12 Penn State (3-0):

Penn State hasn’t had many opportunities to impress this season outside of a 17-10 win at home against Pitt. The big one will be #5 Ohio State in late-November.

#14 Iowa (3-0):

Iowa took the close win against their rival Iowa State (18-17) two weeks ago and has to run through #20 Michigan and #12 Penn State in back-to-back matchups. They wouldn’t see #5 Ohio State until a Big Ten Championship if they can get by #8 Wisconsin later in the season.

Minnesota (3-0):

Minnesota has scraped by everybody they’ve played this season (South Dakota State 28-21, Fresno State 38-35 in OT, and Georgia Southern 35-32), so they’re resume isn’t very promising. A win is a win and the Gophers have a cakewalk schedule before #12 Penn State, #14 Iowa, Northwestern, and #8 Wisconsin in consecutive weeks to close the season.

#25 Michigan State (3-1):

The lone loss is an out-of-conference game against Arizona State (10-7) and then they bounced back with a huge win at Northwestern (31-10). They have the chance to prove themselves with Big Ten East play starting this weekend.

Nebraska (3-1):

A hot pick to make the Big Ten Championship this season, the Huskers have been underachieving against average opponents, losing to Colorado 34-31 in OT. They get #5 Ohio State this weekend and can treat it as an elimination game unless they can hang tight.

Maryland (2-1):

Maryland looked fantastic on offense until they’re week 3 loss to Temple (20-17). They still control their own destiny in the Big Ten East, but getting by #20 Michigan and #5 Ohio State will seem possible if they can get their offense back on track against #12 Penn State on Saturday.

#20 Michigan (2-1)

Michigan has an ugly offense and that became even more noticeable in their big-time loss to #8 Wisconsin. The Big Ten East, along with #10 Notre Dame in October, might not be kind to them.

Verge of elimination:

Indiana (3-1):

Outside of their blowout loss to #5 Ohio State (51-10), the Hoosiers have looked impressive on the offensive end of the football. They’ll need to pick up the pace and gain some momentum against #25 Michigan State this weekend.

Purdue (1-2):

With losses to Nevada (34-31) and TCU (34-13), Purdue doesn’t have a real shot. They’ll have to look scary good down the stretch with D.J. Moore being more of a presence.

Rutgers (1-2):

Back-to-back losses against #14 Iowa (30-0) and Boston College (30-16) might seem like eliminate-able offenses, but they still hold their own destiny in the East.

Northwestern (1-2):

The Wildcats took a beatdown against #25 Michigan State (31-10), their loss against Stanford (17-7) in week 1 looks less impressive every week, and they will need a huge turnaround in their next three matchups (#8 Wisconsin, Nebraska, #5 Ohio State).

Eliminated:

Illinois (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Nebraska, 42-38.

Illinois wasn’t an immediate dropout after their 34-31 loss to Eastern Michigan, it was following it up with a 42-38 loss to Nebraska.

Conference USA (C-USA)

Still in the hunt:

UAB (3-0):

We’ll see. UAB has not beaten anybody spectacular (Alabama State, Akron, South Alabama) and has no Power Five opponents outside of… Tennessee… on their schedule. If they don’t lose, they’ll stay in the hunt for now.

Eliminated:

Florida Atlantic (2-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #5 Ohio State, 45-21.
Florida International (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Tulane, 42-14.
Louisiana Tech (3-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #11 Texas, 45-14.
Middle Tennessee (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #20 Michigan, 40-12.
Rice (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Army, 14-7.
Western Kentucky (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Central Arkansas, 35-28.
Charlotte (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Appalachian State, 56-41.
Marshall (2-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 Boise State, 14-7.
North Texas (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to SMU, 49-27.
Old Dominion (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Virginia Tech, 31-17.
Southern Mississippi (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Mississippi State, 38-15.
UTEP (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Texas Tech, 38-3.
UTSA (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Baylor, 63-14.

Anything less than undefeated with the schedules that these teams have is worthy of elimination. All of these teams found their first loss within the first two weeks of the season.

Independent Teams

Still in the hunt:

#10 Notre Dame (2-1):

The Irish have a tough schedule and looked very competitive against #3 Georgia in their 23-17 loss. #18 Virginia, #21 USC, and #20 Michigan are still on the schedule.

Eliminated:

Liberty (2-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Syracuse, 24-0.
New Mexico State (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Washington State, 58-7.
UMass (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Rutgers, 48-21.
Army (3-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #20 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
BYU (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #17 Washington, 45-19.

Army is the only team on this list that could have possibly been put in the “verge of elimination” category. However, they lost their chance at upsetting #11 Michigan and their toughest remaining game is probably Navy.

Mid-American Conference (MAC)

Eliminated:

Akron (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Illinois, 42-3.
Ball State (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Indiana, 34-24.
Miami (OH) (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #14 Iowa, 38-14.
Toledo (2-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Kentucky, 38-24.
Buffalo (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #12 Penn State, 45-13.
Bowling Green (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #24 Kansas State, 52-0.
Central Michigan (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #8 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Eastern Michigan (3-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kentucky, 38-17.
Northern Illinois (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #19 Utah, 35-17.
Ohio (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, 20-10.
Western Michigan (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #25 Michigan State, 51-17.
Kent State (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #7 Auburn, 55-16.

Kent lost to Arizona State 30-7 to kick off the season, but still had #7 Auburn and #8 Wisconsin on the schedule and would’ve obviously had to win both and have both of those teams compete for conference titles. Eastern Michigan has been the most impressive this season based on their win against Illinois (34-31), but struggled to win against Coastal Carolina (30-23) and FCS Central Connecticut State (34-29). The entire MAC is eliminated.

Mountain West Conference

Still in the hunt:

#16 Boise State (4-0):

Boise finds themselves ranked high to begin the season again, with impressive wins against Florida State (36-31) and Air Force (30-19). The rest of the schedule is winnable, with BYU and Utah State highlighting their remaining games.

Verge of elimination:

Utah State (2-1):

Utah State’s lone loss was to Wake Forest (38-35) in the season opener, but they easily have the toughest remaining conference schedule with Nevada, Air Force, Wyoming, and #16 Boise State. They also have BYU and #4 LSU, but they still should be rooting for the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest to win the ACC and stay unbeaten.

Eliminated:

Colorado State (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Colorado, 52-13.
Fresno State (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #21 USC, 31-23.
Nevada (3-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Oregon, 77-6.
San Jose State (2-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Tulsa, 34-16.
UNLV (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Arkansas State, 43-17.
Hawai’i (3-1): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #17 Washington, 52-20.
New Mexico (2-1): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #10 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Air Force (2-1): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #16 Boise State, 30-19.
San Diego State (3-1): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Utah State, 23-17.
Wyoming (3-1): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

Hawai’i played three Pac-12 teams to start the season and was able to beat two of them (Arizona, Oregon State) and Nevada has arguably the best kicker in the country and he is only a freshman. That is basically it… all of these teams are eliminated.

Pac-12 Conference

Still in the hunt:

#15 California (4-0):

Cal made a huge jump into the top-15 and has seemed to just find ways to win games. They beat UC Davis 27-13, #17 Washington 20-19, North Texas 23-17, and Ole Miss 28-20. Either way, if they continue to win they will need to find a way to impress the CFP committee.

#13 Oregon (3-1):

After hanging with #7 Auburn to start the season in a 27-21 loss, Oregon has taken care of business the past three weeks. They control their fate, but two losses coming out of the Pac-12 might not fly come selection time.

#21 USC (3-1):

Despite their week 3 loss to BYU (30-27 in OT), the Trojans find themselves in the top-25 with their next two opponents being #17 Washington and #10 Notre Dame.

Washington State (3-1):

Wazzu blew a 32-point lead to a bad UCLA team in a 67-63 shootout. However, the Cougars still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 North.

Arizona (2-1):

The Wildcats lone loss was to a tough Hawai’i team to start the season, but there were obvious defensive issues in their wins against Northern Arizona and Texas Tech. They have UCLA and Colorado back-to-back before taking on #17 Washington.

Colorado (3-1):

The Buffaloes have looked sloppy this year, especially in their 30-23 loss to Air Force. They’ll need a lot of help as they enter into the heart of conference play.

Verge of elimination:

#19 Utah (3-1):

Utah has been the hot pick to make the playoff out of the Pac-12, but the Utes took a Friday Night L to #21 USC (30-23) and no longer control their own destiny in conference play.

Arizona State (3-1):

The Sun Devils’ lone drop of the season was 34-31 loss to Colorado. They don’t control their own destiny in the conference, but Colorado is not a likely contender either.

Oregon State (1-2):

The Beavers took two losses to start the season to Oklahoma State (52-36) and Hawai’i (31-28). They will need to win out, but they can be subject to the eliminator at any point.

Eliminated:

UCLA (1-3): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #6 Oklahoma, 48-14.
Stanford (1-3): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #13 Oregon, 21-6.

UCLA upset Wazzu last week with a 32-point come-from-behind victory. Stanford lost to #21 USC (45-20) and followed it up with a 45-27 loss to #22 UCF, but the nail in the coffin was the Ducks’ getting out of Stanford Stadium with the W.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Still in the hunt:

#3 Georgia (4-0):

Georgia’s offense has been dynamite this year and they just took down #10 Notre Dame (23-17). The Bulldogs can afford a loss if they maintain the level of respect they’ve received this preseason.

#4 LSU (4-0):

The Tigers took down #11 Texas (45-38) and have a meeting with Utah State in two weeks. They can probably afford a loss and not even play in their conference championship game to still make the playoff.

#7 Auburn (4-0):

Right now, Auburn has a better win than their in-state rival and that is a 6-point victory over #13 Oregon (27-21). Unfortunately for Auburn, they have to go through #9 Florida and #3 Georgia, which are two teams #2 Alabama won’t see this season.

#9 Florida (4-0):

Florida plays three current top-10 teams in a four-game span in #7 Auburn, #4 LSU, and #3 Georgia, so there is definitely room to impress.

#2 Alabama (4-0):

Bama is, as always, starting their season extremely hot. The true test will be #4 LSU this November.

Mississippi State (3-1):

The Bulldogs’ lone loss is to #24 Kansas State (31-24) and they still have to go through a tough SEC West schedule.

Missouri (3-1):

Wyoming beat Missouri 37-31 in the season opener, but it has been all Tigers after that. Only two ranked teams remain on the schedule this season, and that’s #3 Georgia and #9 Florida in back-to-back November weekends.

Verge of elimination:

#23 Texas A&M (2-2):

A&M has two impressive losses to #1 Clemson (24-10) and #7 Auburn (28-20). However, at some point those losses have to be wins, even if it is against top-10 teams.

Ole Miss (2-2):

A week 1 loss to Memphis (15-10) and week 4 loss to #15 California (28-20) puts the Rebels on elimination watch. The good news is that they have a chance to prove themselves against #2 Alabama, #23 Texas A&M, #7 Auburn, and #4 LSU.

Kentucky (2-2):

With back-to-back losses to #9 Florida (29-21) and Mississippi State (28-13), #3 Georgia is the only ranked opponent left on schedule, the chances of a playoff spot are bleak.

Arkansas (2-2):

Losses to Mississippi (31-17) and San Jose State (31-24) put the Razorbacks on watch again.

Eliminated:

Tennessee (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to BYU, 29-26.
Vanderbilt (0-3): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #4 LSU, 66-38.
South Carolina (1-3): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Missouri, 34-14.

The Volunteers’ loss to Georgia State (38-30) to start the year immediately put them on alert, but the OT loss to BYU (29-26) the following week tipped the iceberg. Vandy has yet to find a win this season, but their third put them over the edge. For SC, it was the back-to-back conference losses after a season-opening loss to rival UNC.

Sun Belt Conference

Still in the hunt:

App State (3-0):

App State took down UNC (34-31) and also has a date with South Carolina this November. Other than that, they have a favorable league schedule.

Eliminated:

Arkansas State (2-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to SMU, 37-30.
Coastal Carolina (3-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan, 30-23.
Georgia Southern (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #4 LSU, 55-3.
LA-Lafayette (3-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Mississippi State, 38-28.
South Alabama (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Nebraska, 35-21.
Texas State (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #23 Texas A&M, 41-7.
LA-Monroe (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Florida State, 45-44 (OT).
Georgia State (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
Troy (2-1): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.

One loss was enough to eliminate nearly every Sun Belt team.


Here is a complete list of teams and when they were eliminated:

Eliminated in Week 0/1 (21 teams):

Akron (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Illinois, 42-3.
Arkansas State (2-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to SMU, 37-30.
Ball State (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Indiana, 34-24.
Coastal Carolina (3-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan, 30-23.
Colorado State (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Colorado, 52-13.
Florida Atlantic (2-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #5 Ohio State, 45-21.
Florida International (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Tulane, 42-14.
Fresno State (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #21 USC, 31-23.
Georgia Southern (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #4 LSU, 55-3.
LA-Lafayette (3-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Mississippi State, 38-28.
Liberty (2-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Syracuse, 24-0.
Louisiana Tech (3-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #11 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH) (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #14 Iowa, 38-14.
Middle Tennessee (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #20 Michigan, 40-12.
New Mexico State (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Washington State, 58-7.
Rice (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Army, 14-7.
South Alabama (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Nebraska, 35-21.
Texas State (1-3): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #23 Texas A&M, 41-7.
Toledo (2-1): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Kentucky, 38-24.
UMass (0-4): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Rutgers, 48-21.
Western Kentucky (1-2): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Central Arkansas, 35-28.

Eliminated in Week 2 (21 teams):

Army (3-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #20 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
Bowling Green (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #24 Kansas State, 52-0.
Buffalo (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #12 Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #8 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Charlotte (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Appalachian State, 56-41.
Eastern Michigan (3-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kentucky, 38-17.
LA-Monroe (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Florida State, 45-44 (OT).
Marshall (2-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada (3-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #19 Utah, 35-17.
Ohio (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, 20-10.
Old Dominion (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Virginia Tech, 31-17.
San Jose State (2-1): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Tulsa, 34-16.
South Florida (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Georgia Tech, 14-10.
Southern Mississippi (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Mississippi State, 38-15.
Tennessee (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to BYU, 29-26.
UNLV (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Arkansas State, 43-17.
UTEP (1-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Texas Tech, 38-3.
UTSA (1-3): Eliminated with week 2 loss to Baylor, 63-14.
Western Michigan (2-2): Eliminated with week 2 loss to #25 Michigan State, 51-17.

Eliminated in Week 3 (11 teams):

New Mexico (2-1): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #10 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Hawai’i (3-1): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #17 Washington, 52-20.
Troy (2-1): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.
Syracuse (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #1 Clemson, 41-6.
Kent State (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #7 Auburn, 55-16.
East Carolina (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Tulsa (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Oklahoma State, 40-21.
Georgia Tech (1-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Georgia State (2-2): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
UCLA (1-3): Eliminated with week 3 loss to #6 Oklahoma, 48-14.
Houston (1-3): Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force (2-1): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #16 Boise State, 30-19.
BYU (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #17 Washington, 45-19.
Illinois (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Nebraska, 42-38.
Kansas (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to West Virginia, 29-24.
San Diego State (3-1): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Utah State, 23-17.
South Carolina (1-3): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Missouri, 34-14.
Stanford (1-3): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #13 Oregon, 21-6.
UConn (1-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.
UNC (2-2): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Appalachian State, 34-31.
Vanderbilt (0-3): Eliminated with week 4 loss to #4 LSU, 66-38.
Wyoming (3-1): Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

The Edge

One time I walked
Along to the edge
And the devil came down
To sit close to the ledge.

He told me hello
And acted so kind.
He said that knowing my future
Could ease my mind.

I asked him, “what if
I don’t want to know my fate?”
He answered, “but knowing this
Could lead to something great.”

He stepped forward towards me
And leaned in real close,
Handed me a pill, and said,
“Just take a small dose.”

For with it I would know
What my future would hold
And without it, well, how
My life would be cold.

I stopped for a moment
Before taking his hand
And told him how I
Had one last demand.

If I knew my fate,
Would I be able to change?
Or is it impossible
To fix or rearrange?

He said, “fate is what’s true.
It is what lives as you die.”
And that’s the moment I knew
All he said was a lie.