College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 7

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ELIMINATOR – WEEK 7

Iowa’s 24-7 home loss to Purdue added an extra element to the Big Ten West race, but the East is still the most competitive division in football. The SEC is a clear-cut two-way race between Alabama and Georgia, even with the remaining schedule. The questions remain on who can run the table in the Big Ten, what will happen to Oregon in the Pac-12, the quarterback situation at Oklahoma, and what will happen if Cincinnati continues to dominant their opponents.

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

  1. Three-loss Power Five teams: Two-loss Power Five champions will be able to make a case this year. If the SEC or Big Ten has a two-loss champion, they can absolutely make a case for being a top-four team by season’s end.
  1. Two-loss Group of Five teams: One-loss Group of Five teams can still make a run at a New Years’ Six (NY6) bowl, but a College Football Playoff (CFP) bid rides on chaos and an unblemished schedule.
  1. Strength of schedule issues: It’ll be tough for two-loss Army, BYU, and Liberty to make a case as Independents without a conference slate. A NY6 bid is not out of reach, but it will take some serious chaos.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (3 TEAMS)

After smacking around UCF 56-21 behind four Jerome Ford touchdowns, Cincinnati has established the expectation of beating up on their conference to further their playoff hopes as they reach their highest AP ranking in program history (No. 2). SMU continues to stay unbeaten but has allowed their weaker opponents to stick around late in games. Houston has washed all of their opponents after a Week 1 loss to Texas Tech, and they’ll take on SMU in two weeks for an opportunity to play for a conference title.

Moving on up (2 teams):

#2 Cincinnati (6-0)

#21 SMU (6-0)

Current bubble (1 team):

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

ACC (6 TEAMS)

Wake Forest is the ACC’s only unbeaten; but even then, they haven’t looked as dominant as some of the other undefeated teams in the country. Pitt joined NC State in the AP Poll after QB Kenny Pickett’s three touchdown performance eliminating Virginia Tech. Clemson is still in contention and has a huge matchup at Pitt on Saturday. Virginia, despite their two losses in conference play, has the toughest remaining schedule as they play BYU, Notre Dame, Pitt, and Virginia Tech at the close of their season.

Will need some help (1 team):

#16 Wake Forest (6-0)

Need to continue to impress (2 teams):

#18 NC State (5-1): lost to Mississippi State, 24-10 (Week 2)

#23 Pittsburgh (5-1): lost to Western Michigan, 44-41 (Week 3)

Current bubble (3 teams):

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

Virginia (5-2): lost to UNC, 59-39 (Week 3) & Wake Forest, 37-17 (Week 4)

Boston College (4-2): lost to Clemson, 19-13 (Week 5) & NC State, 33-7 (Week 7)

BIG XII CONFERENCE (5 TEAMS)

Oklahoma eliminated TCU behind new QB Caleb Williams (18/25 for 295 yards, 4 TD) and Oklahoma State eliminated Texas with a strong rushing attack (220 yards on the ground). Those two sit atop of the conference and can meet in back-to-back weeks if they run the table together. Kansas State was also eliminated at the hands of Iowa State.

On a collision course (2 teams):

#3 Oklahoma (7-0)

#8 Oklahoma State (6-0)

Still in conference control (1 team):

#20 Baylor (6-1): lost to Oklahoma State, 24-14 (Week 5)

Not much love (2 teams):

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

Texas Tech (5-2): lost to Texas, 70-35 (Week 4) & TCU, 52-31 (Week 6)

BIG TEN CONFERENCE (8 TEAMS)

Iowa’s loss to Purdue opened the door for other teams in the West Division. The Big Ten East now has four AP Top 10 teams, all of which control their own playoff destiny based on the strength of the division. No teams were eliminated this week, but division play looms large over the conference.

Controlling their destiny (4 teams):

#6 Michigan (6-0)

#9 Michigan State (7-0)

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

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

Hurting Hawkeyes (1 team):

#11 Iowa (6-1): lost to Purdue, 24-7 (Week 7)

Rough road ahead (3 teams):

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

#25 Purdue (4-2): 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 is ranked in the AP Poll for the first time in program history. Louisiana Tech is a tricky opponent for the Roadrunners before they travel to El Paso to face UTEP in a midseason game that can decide the West Division. A NY6 bid is absolutely in play for both of these programs if one of them can run the table.

Running the road (1 team):

#24 UTSA (7-0)

Don’t mind the Miners (1 team):

UTEP (6-1): lost to Boise State, 54-13 (Week 2)

INDEPENDENTS (FBS) (4 TEAMS)

An abundance of chaos in the Independent market as Army, Liberty, and BYU all suffered their second losses of the year. Liberty faces Ole Miss and Army takes on unbeaten Wake Forest this weekend, but the November 27th matchup between the Flames and Black Knights was heavily diminished in Week 7. BYU’s second straight loss at the hands of Baylor took them out of the AP Poll. Their schedule is stronger than a lot of other teams still in NY6 contention.

Will need all of the help (1 team):

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

Outside shot at NY6 (3 teams):

Liberty (5-2): lost to Syracuse, 24-21 (Week 4) & Louisiana-Monroe, 31-28 (Week 7)

Army (4-2): lost to Ball State, 28-16 (Week 5) & Wisconsin, 20-14 (Week 7)

BYU (5-2): lost to Boise State, 26-17 (Week 6) & Baylor, 38-24 (Week 7)

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE (0 TEAMS)

MACtion starts in two weeks.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE (3 TEAMS)

San Diego State takes on Air Force while Nevada visits Fresno State on Saturday. The Mountain West’s best chance is with the Aztecs as Wyoming suffered their second loss of the year and is finally eliminated.

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

#22 San Diego State (6-0)

A conference championship could keep them in NY6 play (2 teams):

Nevada (5-1): lost to Kansas State, 38-17 (Week 3)

Air Force (6-1): lost to Utah State, 49-45 (Week 3)

PAC-12 CONFERENCE (5 TEAMS)

It’ll be extremely difficult for anyone from the Pac-12 to make the playoff. Oregon is still the best bet, but even then, Cincinnati has been more impressive. Arizona State suffered their second loss, this time at the hands of Utah in a heated South Division race. Oregon and UCLA will be a huge test for both programs this weekend as College GameDay comes to town.

The conference isn’t doing them any favors (1 team):

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

Will need to look like they want to win (4 teams):

Utah (4-2): 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)

Arizona State (5-2): lost to BYU, 27-17 (Week 3) & Utah, 35-21 (Week 7)

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

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE (6 TEAMS)

Georgia took care of business against Kentucky, a team that can get jumped as the season goes on because they don’t control their conference destiny. Ole Miss is in a similar spot, as Alabama holds firm control of the SEC West, despite their elimination of Tennessee this past weekend. The Crimson Tide eliminated Mississippi State, LSU eliminated Florida, and Auburn eliminated Arkansas (who lost three straight games).

Controlling their destiny (2 teams):

#1 Georgia (7-0)

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

Not in control of their division destiny, but is that such a bad thing? (2 teams):

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

#15 Kentucky (6-1): lost to Georgia, 30-13 (Week 7)

Controlling their (division) destiny (1 team):

#19 Auburn (5-2): lost to Penn State, 28-20 (Week 3) & Georgia, 34-10 (Week 6)

It’ll take some chaos (1 team):

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

SUN BELT CONFERENCE (2 TEAMS)

Coastal Carolina gets two-loss Appalachian State Wednesday night in their last true test of the season. An impressive win on the road could go a long way for their NY6 chances and an outside playoff shot. Louisiana is 5-1 with their lone loss being to Texas in Week 1. If the Ragin Cajuns run the table and can get through out-of-conference Liberty, this will be a ranked conference championship game matchup.

Still soaring (1 team):

#14 Coastal Carolina (6-0)

Current bubble (1 team):

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

THE ELIMINATED

WEEK 7 (10 TEAMS)

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

Arkansas: eliminated with loss to Auburn, 38-23 (Week 7)

Florida: eliminated with loss to LSU, 49-42 (Week 7)

Kansas State: eliminated with loss to Iowa State, 33-20 (Week 7)

Mississippi State: eliminated with loss to Alabama, 49-9 (Week 7)

TCU: eliminated with loss to Oklahoma, 52-31 (Week 7)

Tennessee: eliminated with loss to Ole Miss, 31-26 (Week 7)

Texas: eliminated with loss to Oklahoma State, 32-24 (Week 7)

Virginia Tech: eliminated with loss to Pitt, 28-7 (Week 7)

Wyoming: eliminated with loss to Fresno State, 17-0 (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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