The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 12

Week 1 of the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings told us that the Big Ten and SEC are looked at as the two most elite conferences. It also told us that the Pac-12 and Clemson are not out of the mix by any means. The Big 12, however, could be in huge trouble down the stretch.

Teams are listed in order of if they were to win their remaining games, who has the best chance at reaching the CFP. Here is where we stand on a national level this season:

1. LSU (SEC, 9-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Ole Miss

After taking down Alabama in a game where the score did not reflect how dominant the Tigers were, QB Joe Burrow and company are looking to take on the number one spot all the way to the playoff. LSU has a favorable schedule with no ranked opponents left. They will most likely see Georgia in the SEC Championship, which may as well be a quarterfinal for the CFP.

2. Ohio State (Big Ten, 9-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Rutgers

After throttling Maryland, QB Justin Fields and RB J.K. Dobbins have the offense rolling down the stretch. DE Chase Young’s suspension could hurt them in games against Penn State and Michigan to end the season, but their defensive depth showed on Saturday.

3. Minnesota (Big Ten, 9-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Iowa

Minnesota was initially ranked 17th in the first CFP rankings. After beating previous #4 Penn State behind the accuracy of QB Tanner Morgan (18/20 for 339 yards and 3 TD), it will be interesting to see just how high they can climb. With Iowa and Wisconsin still on schedule, the race for the Big Ten West will begin to heat up.

4. Clemson (ACC, 10-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Wake Forest

Clemson finally gets their toughest test of the year as they host Wake Forest. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Wake Forest just lost big to Virginia Tech (36-14). Clemson certainly cannot afford a blemish on their resume, and that includes in the ACC Championship, because there are about ten teams waiting behind them for their shot at the playoff.

5. Baylor (Big XII, 9-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Oklahoma

Baylor continues to narrowly escape their opponents as it needed overtime to take down TCU. With Oklahoma on schedule this weekend, the Bears can finally make a meaningful statement and possibly jump Pac-12 hopefuls Oregon and Utah.

6. Georgia (SEC, 8-1):

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

Georgia can eliminate Auburn outright this weekend and then can take a breather heading into the SEC Championship, which will most likely be against LSU. If Georgia runs the table, they’d be a sure-fire bet to be the most impressive one-loss team – and that includes ahead of Oregon and Utah.

7. Oklahoma (Big XII, 8-1):

Loss: Kansas State (48-41)
Next up: @ Baylor

Oklahoma narrowly escaped Iowa State, but they can make a huge mark on their CFP chances by taking down an undefeated Baylor squad on the road this Saturday night. QB Jalen Hurts has been efficient, but the defensive issues have arose as they’ve given up 41 points in each of the past two games.

8. Oregon (Pac-12, 8-1):

Loss: @ Auburn (27-21)
Next up: vs Arizona

Oregon shouldn’t lose these last three games against Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon State. They should continue to root for Utah’s success and also for the Big 12 champ to have multiple losses. The Ducks will need some help, but the CFP committee made it clear that the top two teams in the Pac-12 are worthy of a semifinal spot.

9. Utah (Pac-12, 8-1):

Loss: @ USC (30-23)
Next up: vs UCLA

Like Oregon, Utah should win out against UCLA, Arizona, and Colorado. The Pac-12 has been up and down all season, but if the Utes’ offense can continue to pull away from teams then they should have a high-ranking conference championship match against Oregon.

10. Penn State (Big Ten, 8-1):

Loss: @ Minnesota (31-26)
Next up: vs Indiana

Penn State gets a surging Indiana team at home on Saturday following their loss at undefeated Minnesota. If the Nittany Lions beat Ohio State in two weeks, they can get a rematch date with Minnesota in the conference championship. Unlike Alabama, their conference title hopes still remain intact.

11. Alabama (SEC, 8-1):

Loss: vs LSU (46-41)
Next up: @ Mississippi State

Alabama is officially on the outside looking in on the CFP. With their loss to LSU and Ohio State, Clemson, Minnesota, and Baylor all still remaining undefeated, their hopes at the ultimate postseason slim down a bit.

12. Wisconsin (Big Ten, 7-2):

Loss: @ Illinois (24-23) and @ Ohio State (38-7)
Next up: @ Nebraska

By taking down Iowa, the Badgers have put themselves in serious contention for the Big Ten West title. They’d need Minnesota to lose to Iowa or Northwestern ahead of their season finale matchup. If Wisconsin can reach the title game, they’d have to look impressive by avenging their loss to Ohio State or beating Penn State.

13. Cincinnati (The American, 8-1):

Loss: @ Ohio State (42-0)
Next up: @ South Florida

Cincinnati has looked impressive all year and has found ways to win football games. They have a ranked Memphis team to close the season. If they win that, they’ll face SMU or Navy in the conference championship; both teams are currently ranked with only one loss a piece.

14. Memphis (The American, 8-1):

Loss: @ Temple (30-28)
Next up: @ Houston

By winning out and beating Cincinnati at the end of the season, the Tigers would most likely face the Bearcats again in the American Championship. This Memphis team has let up a lot of points on the defensive end, but a couple more wins and they’ll be playing in a New Year’s Six (NY6) bowl.

15. Navy (The American, 7-1):

Loss: @ Memphis (35-23)
Next up: @ Notre Dame

Navy has a unique schedule to end the season: ranked teams Notre Dame and SMU are followed by Houston and Army. If the Midshipmen win out, they’d need Memphis to lose (most likely to Cincinnati) to reach the conference championship game against the Bearcats.

16. SMU (The American, 9-1):

Loss: @ Memphis (54-48)
Next up: BYE

Like Navy, SMU’s conference championship hopes ride on Memphis losing to Cincinnati at year’s end. If that happens and they can get through a strong Navy team, then the Mustangs would officially be back in business in NY6 bowl play chances.

17. Florida (SEC, 8-2):

Loss: @ LSU (42-28) and vs Georgia (24-17)
Next up: @ Missouri

Florida’s conference championship hopes are all but diminished as they’d need Georgia to lose to Auburn and Texas A&M. However, the Gators could still play in a NY6 bowl game barring any major chaos ahead of them.

18. Auburn (SEC, 7-2):

Losses: @ Florida (24-13) and @ LSU (23-20)
Next up: vs Georgia

Auburn most likely won’t be playing for the SEC Championship, but they can certainly play the ‘spoiler role’ with Georgia and Alabama still on slate. A NY6 bowl bid is not out of the question, and their resume keeps them highly ranked if things go wrong ahead of them.

19. Michigan (Big Ten, 7-2):

Loss: @ Wisconsin (35-14) and @ Penn State (28-21)
Next up: vs Michigan State

Michigan State, Indiana, and Ohio State are on schedule to close the season. Michigan would need Penn State to falter twice and for Ohio State to find a loss outside of their season-ending rivalry game. However, this scenario happening to both the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes would be a tall order as they play each other. Consider this: Michigan would need Rutgers (0-6 in Big Ten play) to beat one of these two teams. Michigan’s NY6 chances are still alive, but they would need chaos ahead of them.

20. Indiana (Big Ten, 7-2):

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

Indiana has a shot at finishing second in the Big Ten East as Penn State and Michigan are still on schedule. The Hoosiers have looked good since their mid-season loss to Michigan State. As they continue to climb in the rankings, they can start to eye a NY6 bid.

Eliminated:

Iowa (Big Ten, 6-3): Eliminated with week 11 loss to Wisconsin, 24-22.
Kansas State (Big XII, 7-3): Eliminated with week 11 loss to Texas, 27-24.
Wake Forest (ACC, 7-2): Eliminated with week 10 loss to Virginia Tech, 36-17.

Iowa and Kansas State found their third loss each as Wake Forest finds themselves in the elimination column due to their mathematical elimination from conference championship contention as a two-loss team.

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 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 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 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 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH): Eliminated with week 1 loss to Iowa, 38-14.
Middle Tennessee: Eliminated with week 1 loss to 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 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
Bowling Green: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kansas State, 52-0.
Buffalo: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to 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 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas: Eliminated with week 2 loss to SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois: Eliminated with week 2 loss to 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 (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 Auburn, 55-16.
New Mexico: Eliminated with week 3 loss to 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 Oklahoma, 48-14.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force: Eliminated with week 4 loss to 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 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 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 Wisconsin, 24-15.
Ole Miss: Eliminated with week 5 loss to 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 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 Cincinnati, 27-24.
Utah State: Eliminated with week 6 loss to LSU, 42-6.

Eliminated in Week 7 (11 teams):

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

Eliminated in Week 8 (11 teams):

Arizona: Eliminated with week 8 loss to USC, 41-14.
#22 Boise State: Eliminated with week 8 loss to BYU, 28-25.
California: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Oregon State, 21-17.
Duke: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Virginia, 48-14.
NC State: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Boston College, 45-24.
Louisville: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Clemson, 45-10.
Oklahoma State: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Baylor, 45-27.
TCU: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Kansas State, 24-17.
Temple: Eliminated with week 8 loss to SMU, 45-21.
Tulane: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Memphis, 47-17.
Washington: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Oregon, 35-31.

Eliminated in Week 9 (7 teams):

Arizona State: Eliminated with week 9 loss to UCLA, 42-32.
Iowa State: Eliminated with week 9 loss to Oklahoma State, 34-27.
Missouri: Eliminated with week 9 loss to Kentucky, 29-7.
#16 Notre Dame: Eliminated with week 9 loss to Michigan, 45-14.
Pittsburgh: Eliminated with week 9 loss to Miami (FL), 16-12.
Texas: Eliminated with week 9 loss to TCU, 37-27.
Virginia: Eliminated with week 9 loss to Louisville, 28-21.

Eliminated in Week 10 (2 teams):

Virginia Tech: Eliminated with week 10 loss to Notre Dame, 21-20.
Appalachian State: Eliminated with week 10 loss to Georgia Southern, 24-21.

Eliminated in Week 11 (3 teams):

Iowa: Eliminated with week 11 loss to Wisconsin, 24-22.
Kansas State: Eliminated with week 11 loss to Texas, 27-24.
Wake Forest: Eliminated with week 10 loss to Virginia Tech, 36-17 and inability to control conference destiny.

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