College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 10

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ELIMINATOR – WEEK 10

An upset-minded Purdue took down another top-five team in Michigan State; they’ll get Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday. In a week where nobody in the thick of the playoff race – outside of Georgia – looked like they wanted a spot in the College Football Playoff (CFP), it looks as if the postseason race has dropped a lot of contenders out. Boise State’s clobbering of Fresno State probably eliminated them completely from New Years’ Six contention.

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

  1. Three-loss Power Five teams: A two-loss Power Five team that finds itself playing for a conference championship can also be playing for a CFP spot. Texas A&M, who eliminated Auburn this past week, still has some control in SEC play.
  1. Two-loss Group of Five teams: One-loss is enough to eliminate a Group of Five team from playoff contention. However, we will keep around the teams that can still finish the season undefeated or as a one-loss conference champion – which could be enough to get them into a New Years’ Six (NY6) bowl.
  1. Strength of schedule issues: The longer the season goes on, the clearer the picture gets as far as a team’s strength of schedule is concerned. Cincinnati continues to cling onto that win over Notre Dame, but the Irish keep winning and bolstering the Bearcat’s resume.

CONTROLLING THEIR OWN DESTINY (4 TEAMS)

#1 Georgia (9-0)

Georgia is the strongest team in college football right now. Not that they will, but if they were to lose, they would still find themselves in the CFP conversation. For the sixth time this year, their defense allowed seven points or fewer in dominating fashion over Missouri, 43-6. Tennessee and Georgia Tech are the only remaining threats on the schedule for the Bulldogs, but they have the SEC East locked up.

#2 Alabama (8-1): lost to Texas A&M, 41-38 (Week 6)

Bama’s six-point win over LSU was just one of the many close calls that teams in the playoff hunt experienced in Week 10.  QB Bryce Young (24/37, 302 yards, 2 TD) didn’t hurt his Heisman chances, but it is clear that there are some struggles that Arkansas and Auburn can take advantage of down the stretch.

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

The Michigan State loss certainly helped the Ducks, who took down Washington 26-16. The remaining opponents for Oregon all have winning records – Washington State, Utah, and Oregon State. The Pac-12 Championship doesn’t look like it’ll be a ranked opponent as Oregon’s only ranked win right now is Ohio State, which should keep them above the Buckeyes until further notice.

#4 Ohio State (8-1): lost to Oregon, 35-28 (Week 6)

Ohio State escaped a Nebraska team that has one-possession losses to three top-ten teams in Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Michigan. QB CJ Stroud (36/54, 405 yards, 2 TD / 2 INT) struggled against the Cornhusker’s defense but was able to pull away for the win. With Purdue, Michigan State, and Michigan still on schedule, the Buckeyes will have multiple opportunities to impress the committee. It’s simply – win out and you’re in.

WILL NEED SOME HELP IF THEY WIN OUT (6 TEAMS)

#7 Michigan State (8-1): lost to Purdue, 40-29 (Week 10)

Purdue’s thumping of Michigan State pushed them out of controlling their own destiny in the CFP race. With Ohio State and Penn State still on slate, there are still opportunities to impress the committee. RB Kenneth Walker III (146 yards, 1 TD) played well, but a classic Boilermaker upset consisted of the Spartans playing catch-up all game.

#5 Cincinnati (9-0)

Cincinnati escaped Tulsa on Homecoming with College GameDay in town. QB Desmond Ridder (3 total TD) almost gave the game away in the fourth quarter by fumbling in his own five-yard line. The Bearcat defense played tough down the stretch, but CFP hopes were greatly diminished with SMU losing to Memphis.

#8 Oklahoma (9-0)

Oklahoma had a bye last week and has to get through Baylor, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State before a rematch with one of those teams in the Big XII Championship. It’ll be interesting to see how the committee views an undefeated Sooners squad compared to a Cincinnati or one-loss champion in another conference.

#6 Michigan (8-1): lost to Michigan State, 37-33 (Week 9)

Michigan clobbered Indiana before their noon matchup with Penn State on Saturday. With Ohio State to close the season, there is still an outside shot that the Wolverines can be playing for the Big Ten Championship. RB Hassan Haskins (168 yards, 1 TD) leads a run-heavy offense into the final stretch of the season and a shot at the postseason.

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

Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are still on a collision course to close the season; they can potentially meet in two straight weeks if the Cowboys can get by TCU and Texas Tech. The defense has looked impressive all season, never allowing more than 24 points in a game this year. By winning out, there is a legitimate shot that the Big XII can sneak into the playoff, but they will need some help.

#12 Wake Forest (8-1)

Wake lost to UNC in a shootout, 58-55. QB Sam Hartman (25/51, 398 yards, 5 TD (2 rush) / 2 INT) pushed his Heisman chances. This week’s game against NC State should decide the Atlantic Division, where they’ll likely meet Pitt for a NY6 bowl bid. A playoff spot is not out of reach, but it isn’t looking likely.

CHAOS WOULD HAVE TO OCCUR (1 TEAM)

#9 Notre Dame (8-1): lost to Cincinnati, 24-13 (Week 5)

The Irish handled Navy, 34-6, behind an efficient game from QB Jack Coan (23/29, 269 yards, 1 TD). The Irish will continue to move up but be subjected to a lower ranking thanks to their home loss to Cincinnati. Right now, the shaky conference play from top-ten teams is what Notre Dame needs to root for ahead of their final three games against Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Stanford.

WOULD NEED TO BE A TWO-LOSS CONFERENCE CHAMP (6 TEAMS)

#11 Texas A&M (7-2): lost to Arkansas, 20-10 (Week 4) & Mississippi State, 26-22 (Week 5)

It’s not over yet and as far as two-loss conference champions go, Texas A&M would have the best case out of any team if they can win-out and Alabama can find a loss (either to Arkansas or Auburn). With Ole Miss and LSU still on schedule, the Aggies will have to take care of business first.

#13 Baylor (7-2): lost to Oklahoma State, 24-14 (Week 5) & TCU, 30-28 (Week 10)

Baylor has had a good season so far, and the Big XII title is still not out of reach if they can continue to rely on the ground game of RB Abram Smith (1,055 yards, 11 TD). A CFP spot is extremely out of reach, but chaos could still occur as the November slate is destined for losses in other conferences.

#15 Ole Miss (7-2): lost to Alabama, 42-21 (Week 5) & Auburn, 31-20 (Week 9)

The win over Liberty helped and QB Matt Corral (20/27, 324 yards, 1 TD) played a clean game. Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State are still on schedule, but the Rebels will need additional assistance to make the conference championship game. Alabama and Auburn both claim tiebreaker in a competitive SEC West.

#16 NC State (7-2): lost to Mississippi State, 24-10 (Week 2) & Miami, 31-30 (Week 8)

Wake Forest, Syracuse, and UNC stand in the way of the Wolfpack making the ACC Championship game. That schedule will be tough enough to make them one of the better two-loss teams heading into championship weekend. Right now, they would probably meet want to meet a ranked Pitt team in that game.

#21 Pittsburgh (7-2): lost to Western Michigan, 44-41 (Week 3) & Miami, 38-34 (Week 9)

Pitt’s losses are questionable for a Panthers squad that has looked like a top-15 team at times. A big win at Duke behind QB Kenny Pickett (28/43, 416 yards, 4 total TD) keeps them in the lead of the Coastal. UNC, Virginia, and Syracuse stand in the way of a shot at the ACC Championship.

#20 Iowa (7-2): lost to Purdue, 24-7 (Week 7) & Wisconsin, 27-7 (Week 9)

Iowa doesn’t control their own destiny in the Big Ten West – that honor belongs to the Badgers of Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes are unimpressive, dull, and prone to random close-games and losses. Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska are three of the most frustrating teams to play in the Big Ten to close the year.

G5 & INDEPENDENTS WITH AN OUTSIDE SHOT AT A NY6 (6 TEAMS)

#14 BYU (8-2): lost to Boise State, 26-17 (Week 6) & Baylor, 38-24 (Week 7)

BYU plays Georgia Southern and USC on the road to finish out a strong season, but a playoff spot is pretty much out of reach. Two losses and no conference championship to play for won’t be enough for a CFP bid, but the committee hasn’t ruled out a NY6 spot thanks to the Cougars’ surprising ranking.

#23 UTSA (9-0)

It’s been a historic season for the Roadrunners, who took down 6-3 UTEP behind QB Frank Harris’ four touchdowns. They are undefeated and have an outside shot at a NY6 if they can beat UAB (the last remaining opponent with a winning record) to take the C-USA West Division.

(NR) Houston (8-1): lost to Texas Tech, 38-21 (Week 1)

Houston’s offense is electric (39 PPG) and they are the last remaining hope for Cincinnati to play a ranked team in the American if both reach the conference championship game. Winners of eight straight, the future Big XII-member Cougars can still make it to a NY6 bowl if they win out.

(NR) Louisiana (8-1): lost to Texas, 38-18 (Week 1)

The Ragin’ Cajuns dismantled Appalachian State in mid-October; that is by far their best win of the year. With Liberty still on the schedule and the possibility of facing App State or Coastal Caroline for the Sun Belt title, this is a team that can make a case for themselves in the NY6 bidding.

#22 San Diego State (8-1): lost to Fresno State, 30-20 (Week 9)

SDSU remains atop the Mountain West… um… West Division…. This weekend’s game against Nevada (7-2) will decide that division. A 17-10 victory of Hawai’i keeps the Aztecs ranked as one of the highest Group of Five teams, and Fresno State’s blowout loss to Boise only helped their NY6 chances.

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

The Chanticleers are without star QB Grayson McCall, but a balanced triple-option attack was good enough to beatdown Georgia Southern, 28-8. They need App State to drop a game to South Alabama, Troy, or Georgia Southern to get back in the conference championship mix.

HONORABLE MENTION – TEAMS HAVING GOOD SEASONS

Appalachian State (7-2), Utah State (7-2)

THE ELIMINATED

WEEK 10 (4 TEAMS)

Auburn: eliminated with loss to Texas A&M, 20-3 (Week 10)

Liberty: eliminated with loss to Ole Miss, 27-14 (Week 10)

Minnesota: eliminated with loss to Illinois, 14-6 (Week 10)

SMU: eliminated with loss to Memphis, 28-25 (Week 10)

WEEK 9 (7 TEAMS)

Arizona State: eliminated with loss to Washington State, 34-21 (Week 9)

Iowa State: eliminated with loss to West Virginia (Week 9)

Kentucky: eliminated with Georgia clinching the SEC East (Week 9)

Oregon State: eliminated with loss to California, 39-25 (Week 9)

Penn State: eliminated with loss to Ohio State, 33-24 (Week 9)

UTEP: eliminated with loss to Florida Atlantic, 28-25 (Week 9)

Virginia: eliminated with loss to BYU, 66-49 (Week 9)

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)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: