College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 6

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ELIMINATOR – WEEK 6

Halfway. Through. The. Season.

An Alabama loss, a Big Ten flexing show, and a lack of faith in the rest of the Power Five has pushed the national college football scene so far this year. Cincinnati continues to impress and two-loss teams are saying “It’s not over until it’s over.” More teams head to the eliminator this week as MACtion and the Fun Belt Sun Belt will provide virtually nonstop football for the remainder of the season.

Let’s run through the CFP Eliminator criteria before breaking down the conferences:

  1. Three-loss Power Five teams: Two-loss teams are still in contention, especially in a season like this. The Power Five may have multiple conference champions with two or more losses, especially as the heat of conference play is right around the corner.
  1. Two-loss Group of Five teams: It’ll take one loss for a Group of Five team to lose their playoff hopes, but we’ll keep the one-loss teams on the board for now as New Years’ Six (NY6) bowl bids are still on the table.
  1. Strength of schedule issues: BYU’s loss to Boise State was huge, as their schedule was tough enough to get them into the AP Top 10 in the first place. However, those Pac-12 wins are looking weaker by the game.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (3 TEAMS)

Cincinnati has a favorable schedule ahead of them. Good news for them is that SMU is ranked and still unbeaten while Houston, who avoids the Bearcats in the regular season, can provide a great championship game matchup if they continue to play well on offense (37 PPG).

The stars of the season (2 teams):

#3 Cincinnati (5-0)

#23 SMU (6-0)

Current bubble (1 team):

Houston (5-1): lost to Texas Tech, 38-21 (Week 1)

ACC (7 TEAMS)

An overtime thriller against Syracuse kept Wake Forest undefeated. NC State still controls their own destiny in the Atlantic as Clemson is on the outside looking in. Pitt gets Virginia Tech and Clemson back-to-back in crucial games for all three programs. Massive carnage took out Duke, Louisville, Syracuse, and UNC – all taking their third loss of the year.

Still trotting along (1 team):

#16 Wake Forest (6-0)

Need to make a move (3 teams):

#22 NC State (4-1): lost to Mississippi State, 24-10 (Week 2)

Pittsburgh (4-1): lost to Western Michigan, 44-41 (Week 3)

Boston College (4-1): lost to Clemson, 19-13 (Week 5)

Current bubble (3 teams):

Virginia Tech (3-2): lost to West Virginia, 27-21 (Week 3) & Notre Dame, 32-29 (Week 6)

Virginia (4-2): lost to UNC, 59-39 (Week 3) & Wake Forest, 37-17 (Week 4)

Clemson (3-2): lost to Georgia, 10-3 (Week 1) & NC State, 27-21 (OT) (Week 4)

BIG XII CONFERENCE (8 TEAMS)

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State remain unbeaten, which could be great for their late-season showdown if both could start to beat teams rather than just scrape by. Texas fell a tad after blowing a huge lead against the Sooners in Dallas as the eliminator claims nobody in this week’s edition.

On a collision course (2 teams):

#4 Oklahoma (6-0)

#12 Oklahoma State (5-0)

Time to bounce back (1 team):

Baylor (5-1): lost to Oklahoma State, 24-14 (Week 5)

Will need some massive help (5 teams):

#25 Texas (4-2): lost to Arkansas, 40-21 (Week 2) & Oklahoma, 55-48 (Week 6)

TCU (3-2): lost to SMU, 42-34 (Week 4) & Texas 32-27 (Week 5)

Iowa State (3-2): lost to Iowa, 27-17 (Week 2) & Baylor, 31-29 (Week 4)

Kansas State (3-2): lost to Oklahoma State, 31-20 (Week 4) & Oklahoma, 37-31 (Week 5)

Texas Tech (4-2): lost to Texas, 70-35 (Week 4) & TCU, 52-31 (Week 6)

BIG TEN CONFERENCE (8 TEAMS)

Iowa’s signature win is Penn State, and that will remain the same as they play in an abysmal Big Ten West. The Big Ten East will sort itself out as #10 Michigan State, #8 Michigan, #7 Penn State, and #6 Ohio State all get to play each other. This is a conference that will surely send at least one team to the playoff this year, and both the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes control their own destiny until further notice. Rutgers ran through a buzz saw of Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State to drop three straight and head to the gauntlet.

Controlling their destiny (5 teams):

#2 Iowa (6-0)

#8 Michigan (6-0)

#10 Michigan State (6-0)

#7 Penn State (5-1): lost to Iowa, 23-20 (Week 6)

#6 Ohio State (5-1): lost to Oregon, 35-28 (Week 6)

Doesn’t get easier ahead (3 teams):

Minnesota (3-2): lost to Ohio State, 45-31 (Week 1) & Bowling Green, 14-10 (Week 4)

Purdue (3-2): lost to Notre Dame, 27-13 (Week 3) & Minnesota, 20-13 (Week 5)

Maryland (4-2): lost to Iowa, 51-14 (Week 5) & Ohio State, 66-17 (Week 6)

CONFERENCE USA (2 TEAMS)

UTSA remains unbeaten after a shootout with Western Kentucky. UTEP also stayed within reach in C-USA with a 13-point win over Southern Miss. Those two teams will meet in early November.

Miracle workers (1 team):

UTSA (6-0)

Don’t mind the Miners (1 team):

UTEP (5-1): lost to Boise State, 54-13 (Week 2)

INDEPENDENTS (FBS) (4 TEAMS)

BYU’s loss to Boise State was troubling after the Cougars’ strong start to the season. They play Baylor this Saturday and would need the teams they already beat to make a little more noise. Notre Dame, Liberty, and Army would all need additional assistance. The Fighting Irish’s remaining opponents are USC, UNC, Navy, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Stanford. The Flames still have Ole Miss on the schedule and Army still has Wake Forest before the two meet towards the end of the year, giving those two teams a greater current upside than BYU – for the time being.

Um . . .  Let’s keep playing (4 teams):

#14 Notre Dame (5-1): lost to Cincinnati, 24-13 (Week 5)

Liberty (5-1): lost to Syracuse, 24-21 (Week 4)

Army (5-1): lost to Ball State, 28-16 (Week 5)

#19 BYU (5-1): lost to Boise State, 26-17 (Week 6)

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE (0 TEAMS)

Everyone in the MAC has two or more losses after Ball State’s beatdown of Western Michigan, 45-20. This conference’s NY6 hopes are officially dead, but I’ll be enjoying their games on weekday nights.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE (4 TEAMS)

San Diego State keeps winning and even though the schedule isn’t strong, they still have one-loss Air Force and one-loss Nevada on slate. Wyoming’s first loss came on the road against Air Force, pushing them out of controlling their own destiny in the Mountain Division.

Just keep winning and see what happens (1 team):

#24 San Diego State (5-0)

A conference championship could keep them in NY6 play (3 teams):

Nevada (4-1): lost to Kansas State, 38-17 (Week 3)

Air Force (5-1): lost to Utah State, 49-45 (Week 3)

Wyoming (4-1): lost to Air Force, 24-14 (Week 6)

PAC-12 CONFERENCE (5 TEAMS)

Arizona State is catching stride behind QB Jayden Daniels and the elimination of Stanford this past weekend, but this is still Oregon’s conference to lose. The Sun Devil’s schedule is favorable, but this is the current bottom of Power Five conferences and the winner may still be behind Cincinnati. USC’s loss to Utah eliminates the Trojans and propels the Utes to continue to stay in control of their conference destiny.

Can start to make a case (2 teams):

#18 Arizona State (5-1): lost to BYU, 27-17 (Week 3)

#8 Oregon (4-1): lost to Stanford, 31-24 (OT) (Week 5)

Out-the-door (3 teams):

Utah (3-2): lost to BYU, 26-17 (Week 2) & San Diego State, 33-31 (OT) (Week 3)

Oregon State (4-2): lost to Purdue, 30-21 (Week 1) & Washington State, 31-24 (Week 6)

UCLA (4-2): lost to Fresno State, 40-37 (Week 3) & Arizona State, 42-23 (Week 5)

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE (10 TEAMS)

Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M still keeps the Crimson Tide in contention, but Georgia remains the belle of the ball. The Bulldogs meet undefeated Kentucky, who eliminated LSU last week, on Saturday for control of the SEC East. Ole Miss moved back up after beating Arkansas, but they’ll remain behind Alabama all season which won’t help their case. South Carolina is 0-3 in SEC play and has left the realm of possible contention.

Still in the thick of it (3 teams):

#1 Georgia (6-0)

#5 Alabama (5-1): lost to Texas A&M, 41-38 (Week 6)

#11 Kentucky (6-0)

Bounced back (1 team):

#13 Ole Miss (4-1): lost to Alabama, 42-21 (Week 5)

It will take some chaos (6 teams):

Tennessee (4-2): lost to Pitt, 41-34 (Week 2) & Florida, 38-14 (Week 4)

Auburn (4-2): lost to Penn State, 28-20 (Week 3) & Georgia, 34-10 (Week 6)

Mississippi State (3-2): lost to Memphis, 31-29 (Week 3) & LSU, 28-25 (Week 4)

#20 Florida (4-2): lost to Alabama, 31-29 (Week 3) & Kentucky, 20-13 (Week 5)

#17 Arkansas (4-2): lost to Georgia, 37-0 (Week 5) & Ole Miss, 52-51 (Week 6)

#21 Texas A&M (4-2): lost to Arkansas, 20-10 (Week 4) & Mississippi State, 26-22 (Week 5)

SUN BELT CONFERENCE (2 TEAMS)

Coastal Carolina continues to rip through opponents. They get App State, who will be coming off an elimination loss to Louisiana (Week 7 Tuesday night game). South Alabama also suffered their second loss of their season, leaving it between Louisiana and Coastal. The Chanticleer’s schedule is mighty favorable, so it’ll have to be the eye test that pushes them to a higher ranking. Louisiana continuing to win (and a matchup with independent Liberty on their schedule) will push the Ragin’ Cajuns to a ranking ahead of a possible Sun Belt Championship Game matchup.

Still soaring (1 team):

#15 Coastal Carolina (6-0)

Current bubble (1 team):

Louisiana (5-1): lost to Texas, 38-18 (Week 1)

THE ELIMINATED

WEEK 7 (1 TEAM SO FAR***)

Appalachian State: eliminated with loss to Louisiana, 41-13 (Week 7)

WEEK 6 (11 TEAMS)

Duke: eliminated with loss to Georgia Tech, 31-27 (Week 6)

Louisville: eliminated with loss to Virginia, 34-33 (Week 6)

LSU: eliminated with loss to Kentucky, 42-21 (Week 6)

Rutgers: eliminated with loss to Michigan State, 31-13 (Week 6)

South Alabama: eliminated with loss to Texas State, 33-31 (OT) (Week 6)

South Carolina: eliminated with loss to Tennessee, 45-20 (Week 6)

Stanford: eliminated with loss to Arizona State, 28-10 (Week 6)

Syracuse: eliminated with loss to Wake Forest, 40-37 (OT) (Week 6)

UNC: eliminated with loss to Florida State, 35-25 (Week 6)

USC: eliminated with loss to Utah, 42-26 (Week 6)

Western Michigan: eliminated with loss to Ball State, 45-20 (Week 6)

WEEK 5 (16 TEAMS)

Charlotte: eliminated with loss to Illinois, 24-14 (Week 5)

Eastern Michigan: eliminated with loss to Northern Illinois (Week 5)

Fresno State: eliminated with loss to Hawai’i, 27-24 (Week 5)

Georgia Tech: eliminated with loss to Pitt, 52-21 (Week 5)

Indiana: eliminated with loss to Penn State, 24-0 (Week 5)

Louisiana-Monroe: eliminated with loss to Coastal Carolina, 59-6 (Week 5)

Memphis: eliminated with loss to Temple, 34-31 (Week 5)

Miami: eliminated with loss to Virginia, 30-28 (Week 5)

Missouri: eliminated with loss to Tennessee, 62-24 (Week 5)

Northwestern: eliminated with loss to Nebraska, 56-7 (Week 5)

UAB: eliminated with loss to Liberty, 36-12 (Week 5)

UCF: eliminated with loss to Navy, 34-30 (Week 5)

Utah State: eliminated with loss to BYU, 34-20 (Week 5)

Washington: eliminated with loss to Oregon State, 27-24 (Week 5)

West Virginia: eliminated with loss to Texas Tech, 23-20 (Week 5)

Wisconsin: eliminated with loss to Michigan, 38-17 (Week 5)

WEEK 4 (12 TEAMS)

California: eliminated with loss to Washington, 31-24 (OT) (Week 4)

Colorado: eliminated with loss to Arizona State, 35-13 (Week 4)

Florida Atlantic: eliminated with loss to Air Force, 31-7 (Week 4)

Kansas: eliminated with loss to Duke, 52-33 (Week 4)

Marshall: Eliminated with loss to Appalachian State, 31-30 (Week 4)

Nebraska: eliminated with loss to Michigan State, 23-20 (Week 4)

New Mexico: eliminated with loss to UTEP, 20-13 (Week 4)

San Jose State: eliminated with loss to Western Michigan (Week 4)

Troy: eliminated with loss to Louisiana-Monroe, 29-16 (Week 4)

Vanderbilt: eliminated with loss to Georgia, 62-0 (Week 4)

Washington State: eliminated with loss to Utah, 24-13 (Week 4)

Western Kentucky: eliminated with loss to Indiana, 33-31 (Week 4)

WEEK 3 (21 TEAMS)

Arizona: eliminated with loss to Northern Arizona, 21-19 (Week 3)

Arkansas State: eliminated with loss to Washington, 52-3 (Week 3)

Ball State: eliminated with loss to Wyoming, 45-12 (Week 3)

Boise State: eliminated with loss to Oklahoma State, 21-20 (Week 3)

Buffalo: eliminated with loss to Coastal Carolina, 28-25 (Week 3)

Central Michigan: eliminated with loss to LSU, 49-21 (Week 3)

FIU: eliminated with loss to Texas Tech, 54-21 (Week 3)

Florida State: eliminated with loss to Wake Forest, 35-14 (Week 3)

Georgia Southern: eliminated with loss to Arkansas, 45-10 (Week 3)

Illinois: eliminated with loss to Maryland, 20-17 (Week 3)

Kent State: eliminated with loss to Iowa, 30-7 (Week 3)

Louisiana Tech: eliminated with loss to SMU, 39-37 (Week 3)

Middle Tennessee: eliminated with loss to UTSA, 27-13 (Week 3)

Northern Illinois: eliminated with loss to Michigan, 63-10 (Week 3)

North Texas: eliminated with loss to UAB, 40-6 (Week 3)

Old Dominion: eliminated with loss to Liberty, 45-17 (Week 3)

Southern Miss: eliminated with loss to Troy, 21-9 (Week 3)

Temple: eliminated with loss to Boston College, 28-3 (Week 3)

Texas State: eliminated with loss to Incarnate Word, 42-34 (Week 3)

Toledo: eliminated with loss to Colorado State, 22-6 (Week 3)

Tulane: eliminated with loss to Ole Miss, 61-21 (Week 3)

WEEK 2 (15 TEAMS)

Akron: eliminated with loss to Temple, 45-24 (Week 2)

Bowling Green: eliminated with loss to South Alabama, 22-19 (Week 2)

Colorado State: eliminated with loss to Vanderbilt, 24-21 (Week 2)

East Carolina: eliminated with loss to South Carolina, 20-17 (Week 2)

Georgia State: eliminated with loss to UNC, 59-17 (Week 2)

Hawai’i: eliminated with loss to Oregon State, 45-27 (Week 2)

Miami (OH): eliminated with loss to Minnesota, 31-26 (Week 2)

Navy: eliminated with loss to Air Force, 23-3 (Week 2)

Ohio: eliminated with loss to Duquesne, 28-26 (Week 2)

Rice: eliminated with loss to Houston, 44-7 (Week 2)

Tulsa: eliminated with loss to Oklahoma State, 28-23 (Week 2)

UConn: eliminated with loss to Holy Cross, 38-28 (Week 2)

UMass: eliminated with loss to Boston College, 45-28 (Week 2)

UNLV: eliminated with loss to Arizona State, 37-10 (Week 2)

USF: eliminated with loss to Florida, 42-20 (Week 2)

WEEK 1 (1 TEAM)

New Mexico State: eliminated with loss to San Diego State, 28-10 (Week 1)

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