The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 8

The Eliminator continues to shrink the playoff-eligible field. More teams find themselves eliminated this week as conference games take their toll.

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.

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

American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Still in the hunt:

#19 SMU (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Temple

6-0 SMU will get a huge test in AAC play with Temple this weekend. Other one-loss opponents on schedule include Memphis, Navy, and a possible conference championship game against #21 Cincinnati. If the AAC East can give the Mustangs a ranked opponent in the title game, SMU could become a favorite to land a New Year’s 6 Bowl or CFP spot.

Verge of elimination:

Temple (5-1):

Loss: vs Buffalo (38-22)
Next up: @ #19 SMU

After beating a ranked Memphis team (30-28), Temple gets a tough two-week stretch with #19 SMU and UCF. #21 Cincinnati is also on schedule for late-November in a game that could decide the East.

Memphis (5-1):

Loss: @ Temple (30-28)
Next up: vs Tulane

Memphis’ loss to Temple dropped them from the top 25, but the Tigers still control their own destiny in the West. #19 SMU and #21 Cincinnati are also both on schedule in November.

Tulane (5-1):

Loss: @ #11 Auburn (24-6)
Next up: @ Memphis

Tulane can take control in the West if they can handle Memphis this weekend with UCF and #19 SMU in a potential West Division Championship to close the season.

#21 Cincinnati (5-1):

Loss: @ #4 Ohio State (42-0)
Next up: vs Tulsa

Cincinnati currently has no ranked opponents left on schedule, but should hope for #19 SMU to keep rolling in the opposite division.

Navy (4-1):

Loss: @ Memphis (35-23)
Next up: vs South Florida

Navy has the biggest chance to make noise in the AAC, but they don’t control their own destiny due to their lone loss to divisional opponent Memphis. #8 Notre Dame and #19 SMU are back-to-back games for the Midshipmen this November and they should root for #21 Cincinnati to continue to run the table in the East.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Still in the hunt:

#3 Clemson (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Louisville

After Wake Forest’s loss, Clemson shows no remaining ranked opponents on schedule. If teams ahead (and behind) the Tigers continue to win, Clemson will have to win out to make the CFP.

Verge of elimination:

Wake Forest (5-1):

Loss: vs Louisville (62-59)
Next up: vs Florida State

After losing a shootout to Louisville, Wake gets a matchup with Florida State this weekend in a game that could decide if the Demon Deacons can bounce back into the rankings before meeting #3 Clemson in a couple weeks.

Virginia (4-2):

Losses: @ #8 Notre Dame (35-20) and @ Miami (FL) (17-9)
Next up: vs Duke

Virginia fell to #8 Notre Dame and Miami in back-to-back weekends ahead of their matchup with Duke. Clemson should hope for the Cavaliers to bounce back if they want to play a ranked opponent in the conference championship game.

Louisville (4-2):

Losses: vs #8 Notre Dame (35-17) and @ Florida State (35-24)
Next up: vs #3 Clemson

Louisville can see their playoff hopes diminish this weekend at home against the #3 Tigers, just as Florida State saw this past weekend. If they can pull out a win after taking down Wake Forest, then the ACC might fall out of the CFP picture for good.

Pittsburgh (4-2):

Losses: vs Virginia (30-14) and @ #7 Penn State (17-10)
Next up: @ Syracuse (Friday)

Pitt has been in nothing but tight matchups all year and gets to take their bye week into the Carrier Dome this Friday night. No ranked teams are left on the schedule but Virginia’s loss to Miami gives Pitt a brighter hope to come out of the Coastal Division.

Duke (4-2):

Losses: @ #1 Alabama (42-3) and vs Pitt (33-30)
Next up: @ Virginia

Duke might actually have the best shot to make a statement. #8 Notre Dame and one-loss Wake Forest are both on November’s schedule, however, Pitt holds tiebreaker over the Blue Devils in the Coastal Division.

NC State (4-2):

Losses: @ West Virginia (44-27) and @ Florida State (31-13)
Next up: @ Boston College

If they can escape BC on Saturday, NC State gets Wake Forest and #3 Clemson in back-to-back weekends to make a push into the rankings. With Florida State’s most recent loss, the Wolfpack gain back control of their own destiny in the Atlantic Division.

Virginia Tech (4-2):

Losses: @ Boston College (35-28) and vs Duke (45-10)
Next up: vs UNC

VT remains the most up-and-down team in the ACC, but #8 Notre Dame and Wake Forest are both on schedule. The Hokies don’t control their own destiny in the Coastal Division, but it seems as if no other team wants to win the division anyways.

Eliminated:

Florida State (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #3 Clemson, 45-14.

FSU joins a growing list of non-ranked ACC teams.

Big XII Conference

Still in the hunt:

#5 Oklahoma (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs West Virginia

With Jalen Hurts continuing to light it up, the Sooners look like the team to beat out of the Big XII. An important November date with #18 Baylor could also push the conference forward.

#18 Baylor (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Oklahoma State

After narrowly escaping Texas Tech (33-30 in OT), the Bears get a shot at a good Oklahoma State team this weekend. #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas in back-to-back weekends will most likely show where the Big XII stands.

Verge of elimination:

#15 Texas (4-2):

Losses: vs #2 LSU (45-38) and vs #5 Oklahoma (34-27)
Next up: vs Kansas

Texas can still meet #5 Oklahoma again in a conference championship, but they’ll have to prove it against Iowa State and #18 Baylor this November.

Iowa State (4-2):

Losses: vs #23 Iowa (18-17) and @ #18 Baylor (23-21)
Next up: @ Texas Tech

The Cyclones latest victory over West Virginia (38-14) eliminated the Mountaineers, but without controlling their own destiny in the conference their CFP hopes seem weak. They’ll need Baylor to fall off twice and to beat #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas in back-to-back weeks.

TCU (3-2):

Losses: vs #19 SMU (41-38) and @ Iowa State (49-24)
Next up: @ Kansas State

In an elimination game for both teams, the Horned Frogs get to travel to K-State.

Oklahoma State (4-2):

Losses: @ #15 Texas (36-30) and @ Texas Tech (45-35)
Next up: vs #18 Baylor

The Cowboys lost control of their conference destiny with their second Big XII loss against Texas Tech. #18 Baylor can eliminate Chuba Hubbard and the OK State offense on Saturday.

Kansas State (3-2):

Losses: @ Oklahoma State (26-13) and vs #18 Baylor (31-12)
Next up: vs TCU

The Wildcats are another team that doesn’t control their own destiny. If chaos ensues, they would still have to get through #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas.

Eliminated:

Texas Tech (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #18 Baylor, 33-30.
West Virginia (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to Iowa State, 38-14.

Texas Tech and WVU will be joined next week by one of either TCU or Kansas State, depending on who wins that matchup.

Big Ten Conference (B1G)

Still in the hunt:

#6 Wisconsin (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Illinois

Wisconsin continues to be the best defensive team in the nation after shutting out Michigan State (38-0). #4 Ohio State is on schedule in two weeks in a very important game that can be seen again in the Big Ten Championship

#4 Ohio State (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Northwestern (Friday)

In a Big Ten title game rematch from last year, OSU will take on Northwestern before meeting #6 Wisconsin in a game that will feature two of the best defenses in the country. #7 Penn State and #16 Michigan are on schedule to close the season.

#7 Penn State (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs #16 Michigan

With #16 Michigan this weekend, the Nittany Lions can take control of the East Division. #20 Minnesota and #4 Ohio State are also two undefeated conference opponents that Penn State will see in November.

#20 Minnesota (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Rutgers

Minnesota has ran the table thus far and gets to face Rutgers and Maryland the next two games, so they should be able to head into their home matchup with #7 Penn State still undefeated. #23 Iowa, perennial West Division opponent Northwestern, and #6 Wisconsin all follow the Penn State game to close the season.

#16 Michigan (4-1):

Loss: @ #6 Wisconsin (35-14)
Next up: @ #7 Penn State
Although Michigan hasn’t looked like a Big Ten contender thus far, they get #7 Penn State in a game to that can put them in control in the East. #8 Notre Dame will be the following weekend with #4 Ohio State to close the season. They can also play #6 Wisconsin again in a conference championship. There probably isn’t a better schedule in the country for a team that wants to find their way back in playoff picture.

Verge of elimination:

#23 Iowa (4-2):

Losses: @ #16 Michigan (10-3) and vs #7 Penn State (17-12)
Next up: vs Purdue

The Hawkeyes have one of the best defenses in the country to go along with a subpar offense. Even though both of Iowa’s losses came at the hands of East Division teams, the Hawkeyes will have to get through #6 Wisconsin and #20 Minnesota. They will also need those two teams to fall off again to reach the Big Ten Championship.

Indiana (4-2):

Losses: vs #4 Ohio State (51-10) and @ Michigan State (40-31)
Next up: @ Maryland

Indiana’s shutout of Rutgers (35-0) won’t show much as to what this team can be. Maryland and Nebraska the next two weeks also probably won’t be too telling unless they lose. They don’t play another Big Ten East opponent until #7 Penn State and #16 Michigan in late November.

Eliminated:

Maryland (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to Purdue, 40-14.
Michigan State (4-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #6 Wisconsin, 38-0.
Nebraska (4-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #20 Minnesota, 34-7.

An abundance of Big Ten teams head to the eliminator as the top of the conference continues to heat up.

Conference USA (C-USA)

Eliminated:

The entire conference.

Independent Teams

Verge of elimination:

#8 Notre Dame (5-1):

Loss: @ #10 Georgia (23-17)
Next up: @ #16 Michigan

ND finds themselves ranked ahead of the team they lost to in the latest AP Poll, but the CFP Poll will be a lot more telling for the Irish, who have to get through #16 Michigan in impressive fashion as that is their last ranked opponent on schedule.

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 (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ BYU

Boise continues to look like one of the strongest Group of Five teams, but #19 SMU has a stronger schedule to close the season. BYU should be a tough opponent this weekend after the Broncos handled a good Hawai’i team (59-37) this past weekend.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Pac-12 Conference

Still in the hunt:

#12 Oregon (5-1):

Loss: @ #11 Auburn (27-21)
Next up: @ #25 Washington

The Ducks should be thankful that the Huskies found their way back in the top 25 ahead of their matchup this weekend. #17 Arizona State is the only other ranked team on schedule before a potential Pac-12 title game.

#17 Arizona State (5-1):

Loss: vs Colorado (34-31)
Next up: @ #13 Utah

Thanks to Colorado continuing to lose, Arizona State finds themselves back in control of their conference destiny ahead of an important ranked matchup with #13 Utah. #12 Oregon is also on schedule for late November.

Verge of elimination:

Arizona (4-2):

Losses: @ Hawai’i (45-38) and vs #25 Washington (51-27)
Next up: @ USC

In a must-win game for Arizona, they get to travel to LA. The Wildcats are still in control of their own Pac-12 South destiny and get to face #12 Oregon, #13 Utah, and #17 Arizona State in the last three weeks of the regular season.

#13 Utah (5-1):

Loss: @ USC (30-23)
Next up: vs #17 Arizona State

USC still holds tiebreakers over the Utes, but they can make a statement against a ranked Arizona State team on Saturday.

California (4-2):

Losses: vs #17 Arizona State (24-17) and @ #12 Oregon (17-7)
Next up: vs Oregon State

Cal doesn’t have a blowout loss on their resume, but like most of the Pac-12 – they still don’t control their own destiny within conference play.

Eliminated:

Colorado (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #12 Oregon, 45-3.
USC (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 30-27.
Washington State (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #17 Arizona State, 38-34.

The Pac-12 continues to beat themselves out of playoff contention. The ACC is also beating themselves out of contention, which can be good if there is chaos within the SEC and Big Ten down the stretch.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Still in the hunt:

#2 LSU (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Mississippi State

With Joe Burrow leading the offense, LSU looks like the best team in the country. #11 Auburn and #1 Alabama should be exciting SEC West matchups in the coming weeks.

#1 Alabama (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Tennessee

Alabama has a favorable schedule but has actual competition within conference play with #2 LSU looking like a battle of undefeated opponents in three weeks.

#9 Florida (6-1):

Loss: @ #2 LSU (42-28)
Next up: @ South Carolina

Florida is doing all they could without their starting quarterback in play. They control their own destiny in the East despite their loss to #2 LSU.

#10 Georgia (5-1):

Loss: vs South Carolina (20-17)
Next up: vs Kentucky

Georgia was upset by SC this weekend in a game that was all about the special teams. They can bounce back with Kentucky this weekend before they meet #9 Florida in a game that will propel someone to second in the East behind #22 Missouri.

#11 Auburn (5-1):

Loss: @ Florida (24-13)
Next up: @ Arkansas

Auburn can make a case to and still control their own conference destiny. With #2 LSU, #10 Georgia, and #1 Alabama all on schedule, there is no reason to count out the Tigers as an SEC dark horse.

Missouri (5-1):

Loss: @ Wyoming (37-31)
Next up: @ Vanderbilt

Missouri is sitting atop the SEC West and can win it outright if Kelly Bryant and company can make it past #10 Georgia and #9 Florida in November.

Eliminated:

Mississippi State (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to Tennessee, 20-10.
Texas A&M (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #1 Alabama, 47-28.

Mississippi State and Texas A&M both fall flat from the SEC, which has no teams on the verge of elimination this week.

Sun Belt Conference

Still in the hunt:

#24 App State (5-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs LA Monroe

App State continues to run the table. With South Carolina’s big win over #10 Georgia on Saturday, their November 9th matchup could be very intriguing and telling for the Mountaineers.

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 #16 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 #2 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 #15 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #20 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 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 #6 Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Charlotte: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #21 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 #22 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #11 Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #12 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 #14 Baylor, 63-14.
Western Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Michigan State, 51-17.

Eliminated in Week 3 (10 teams):

East Carolina: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Georgia State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
Georgia Tech: Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Hawai’i: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington, 52-20.
Houston: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.
Kent State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #9 Auburn, 55-16.
New Mexico: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Troy: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.
Tulsa: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Oklahoma State, 40-21.
UCLA: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #5 Oklahoma, 48-14.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #22 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 #11 Oregon, 21-6.
UConn: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.
UNC: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #21 Appalachian State, 34-31.
Vanderbilt: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #2 LSU, 66-38.
Wyoming: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

Eliminated in Week 5 (8 teams):

Arkansas: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Texas A&M, 31-27.
Kentucky: Eliminated with week 5 loss to South Carolina, 24-7.
Northwestern: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 24-15.
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 #17 Minnesota, 38-31.
Rutgers: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #19 Michigan, 52-0.
UAB: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Western Kentucky, 20-13.

Eliminated in Week 6 (5 teams):

Boston College: Eliminated with week 6 loss to Louisville, 41-39.
Miami (FL): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Virginia Tech, 42-35.
Syracuse: Eliminated with week 6 loss to NC State, 16-10.
UCF: Eliminated with week 6 loss to #18 Cincinnati, 27-24.
Utah State: Eliminated with week 6 loss to #2 LSU, 42-6.

Eliminated in Week 7 (11 teams):

Colorado: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #11 Oregon, 45-3.
Florida State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #4 Clemson, 45-14.
Maryland: Eliminated with week 7 loss to Purdue, 40-14.
Michigan State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 38-0.
Mississippi State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to Tennessee, 20-10.
Nebraska: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #17 Minnesota, 34-7.
Texas A&M: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #1 Alabama, 47-28.
Texas Tech: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #14 Baylor, 33-30.
USC: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 30-27.
Washington State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #24 Arizona State, 38-34.
West Virginia: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #23 Iowa State, 38-14.

 

 

 

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