College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 8

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ELIMINATOR – WEEK 8

Penn State’s 9-OT loss to Illinois removed them from high playoff contenders to the brink of elimination. A loss to Ohio State this weekend will eliminate them completely. Michigan and Michigan State also play in a battle of ranked Big Ten East teams with huge conference championship indications in mind. Coastal Carolina lost to App State during the week, so bouncing back would require another conference loss from the Mountaineers. Finally, Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State while Oklahoma and new QB Caleb Williams struggled with Kansas in what is shaking up to be a highly competitive Big XII race.

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

  1. Three-loss Power Five teams: Penn State is now a two-loss team. However, they still have the loaded Big Ten East in front of them.
  1. Two-loss Group of Five teams: Coastal Carolina’s loss to Appalachian State took them out of control of their conference destiny. The Chanticleers can still make a New Years Six (NY6) bowl as the highest Group of Five team, especially if they can win their conference and if Cincinnati can sneak into the playoff.
  1. Strength of schedule issues: Some teams have such a weak schedule that they might not be able to make up for it by December’s conference championship weekend – see Pitt, who is playing well in a weak ACC but has the sting of a Western Michigan loss.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (3 TEAMS)

Cincinnati struggled to beat a pesky Navy team this weekend, only winning by a touchdown; other than that, the Bearcats have been living up to the hype. Games against Tulane, Tulsa, and South Florida should be prime opportunities for them to get ready for undefeated SMU, who has been steamrolling through the conference so far. Houston is still in the conference playoff picture after an overtime scare versus East Carolina and will host SMU on Saturday night.

Moving on up (2 teams):

#2 Cincinnati (7-0)

#19 SMU (7-0)

Need to make a statement (1 team):

Houston (6-1): lost to Texas Tech, 38-21 (Week 1)

ACC (4 TEAMS)

Clemson is officially out after losing to Pitt this past weekend, 27-17; The Panthers have sole control of the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia is behind them with two conference losses; they will travel to Pittsburgh in late November. Wake Forest remained undefeated by taking down Army 70-56 in an offensive showcase by QB Sam Hartman (23/29, 458 yards, 5 TD). NC State is still in the hunt as well after a one-point loss at Miami; The Wolfpack will need a lot of help going forward. Boston College was eliminated with a third straight loss, this time to Louisville.

Running the show (1 team):

#13 Wake Forest (7-0)

Need to continue to impress (1 team):

#17 Pittsburgh (6-1): lost to Western Michigan, 44-41 (Week 3)

Current bubble (2 teams):

NC State (5-2): lost to Mississippi State, 24-10 (Week 2) & Miami, 31-30 (Week 8)

Virginia (6-2): lost to UNC, 59-39 (Week 3) & Wake Forest, 37-17 (Week 4)

BIG XII CONFERENCE (4 TEAMS)

Oklahoma looked ugly against Kansas, who is one of the worst teams in college football. Oklahoma State suffered their first loss to Iowa State, who remains in contention for the Big XII Championship. Baylor is also still in the hunt as Texas Tech fall to the eliminator after a one-point loss to Kansas State.

Alone at the top (1 team):

#4 Oklahoma (8-0)

Still in conference control (2 teams):

#15 Oklahoma State (6-1): lost to Iowa State, 24-21 (Week 8)

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

Getting back in form (1 team):

#22 Iowa State (5-2): lost to Iowa, 27-17 (Week 2) & Baylor, 31-29 (Week 4)

BIG TEN CONFERENCE (6 TEAMS)

Penn State’s 9-OT loss to Illinois was the longest game in FBS history and one that could prove pivotal if the Nittany Lions bounce back and compete in the East. Michigan and Michigan State meet this week in a top ten matchup as Ohio State hosts Penn State in a big weekend for conference championship indications. Maryland and Purdue are eliminated after losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively.

Controlling their destiny (3 teams):

#6 Michigan (7-0)

#8 Michigan State (7-0)

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

Back in conference control (1 team):

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

Rough road ahead (2 teams):

#20 Penn State (5-2): lost to Iowa, 23-20 (Week 6) & Illinois, 20-18 (9OT) (Week 8)

Minnesota (5-2): lost to Ohio State, 45-31 (Week 1) & Bowling Green, 14-10 (Week 4)

CONFERENCE USA (2 TEAMS)

UTSA is still undefeated after blowing out Louisiana Tech, 45-16. The Roadrunners get UTEP after their bye this week; the winner will be in control of the West. The Miners travel to Boca Raton to take on Florida Atlantic this Saturday.

Meep meep (1 team):

#23 UTSA (8-0)

Don’t mind the Miners (1 team):

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

INDEPENDENTS (FBS) (3 TEAMS)

Army was eliminated by Wake Forest in an offensive showdown. BYU escaped Washington State, 21-19, with Virginia coming into Provo this week. Liberty should have no problems against UMass this week before taking on No. 10 Ole Miss in an interesting matchup for the Flames. Notre Dame keeps rolling after beating USC, 31-16. The remaining schedule for the Irish is winnable and can get them back in the top ten.

Will need all of the help (1 team):

#11 Notre Dame (6-1): lost to Cincinnati, 24-13 (Week 5)

Outside shot at NY6 (2 teams):

Liberty (6-2): lost to Syracuse, 24-21 (Week 4) & Louisiana-Monroe, 31-28 (Week 7)

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

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE (0 TEAMS)

Fun fact: MAC West frontrunner Northern Illinois (6-2) won their six games by an average of 7.7 points.

One week until MACtion.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE (1 TEAM)

Nevada was eliminated by Fresno State as San Diego State eliminated the Falcons of Air Force. Ranked No. 21, the Aztecs continue to show why they are the class of the Mountain West. A matchup with Fresno State on Saturday’s backdoor slate (10:30pm) will be a huge test that has divisional impacts.

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

#21 San Diego State (7-0)

PAC-12 CONFERENCE (3 TEAMS)

Oregon continues to scrape by against lackluster competition, this time defeating and eliminating UCLA, 34-31. The Ducks’ loss to Stanford is being held against them in the AP Poll, but their win against Ohio State might keep them above the Buckeyes in CFP contention for the time being. Utah was eliminated by Oregon State, who may be the only team to challenge Oregon in the North.

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

#7 Oregon (6-1): lost to Stanford, 31-24 (OT) (Week 5)

Will need to look like they want to win (2 teams):

Oregon State (5-2): 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)

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE (6 TEAMS)

Georgia is still the nation’s top dawg, but Alabama is the clear leader in the SEC West. The Crimson Tide just have to win and they’re in, regardless of what the other conferences do. An Alabama loss in the SEC Championship will most likely open the door for another team. Ole Miss and Kentucky are still one-loss teams that can sneak in if more chaos occurs. Auburn still controls part of their conference destiny, even with two losses overall, while Texas A&M will need some help and a conference championship to get the nod.

Controlling their destiny (2 teams):

#1 Georgia (7-0)

#3 Alabama (7-1): lost to Texas A&M, 41-38 (Week 6)

Backdoor sleepers (2 teams):

#10 Ole Miss (6-1): lost to Alabama, 42-21 (Week 5)

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

Controlling their (division) destiny (1 team):

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

It’ll take some chaos (1 team):

#14 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’s Cinderella story has come to an end. Their NY6 hopes are still alive, but App State is in control of Group A after last week’s win. Louisiana is still the team to beat in Group B and the winner of this conference has an outside shot of playing in a bigger bowl game.

Far, far outside shot (2 teams):

Louisiana (6-1): lost to Texas, 38-18 (Week 1)

#24 Coastal Carolina (6-1): lost to App State, 30-27 (Week 8)

THE ELIMINATED

WEEK 8 (10 TEAMS)

Air Force: eliminated with loss to San Diego State, 20-14 (Week 8)

Army: eliminated with loss to Wake Forest, 70-56 (Week 8)

Boston College: eliminated with loss to Louisville, 28-14 (Week 8)

Clemson: eliminated with loss to Pitt, 27-7 (Week 8)

Maryland: eliminated with loss to Minnesota, 34-16 (Week 8)

Nevada: eliminated with loss to Fresno State, 34-31 (Week 8)

Purdue: eliminated with loss to Wisconsin, 30-13 (Week 8)

Texas Tech: eliminated with loss to Kansas State, 25-24 (Week 8)

UCLA: eliminated with loss to Oregon, 34-3 (Week 8)

Utah: eliminated with loss to Oregon State, 42-34 (Week 8)

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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