College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 12

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ELIMINATOR – WEEK 12

The list has grown shorter for teams still competing for a conference championship, New Years’ Six (NY6), and College Football Playoff (CFP) bid. The Big Ten is in a good spot for an automatic bid thanks to Ohio State and Michigan, while the SEC is in a similar spot thanks to Georgia and Alabama. Cincinnati has also entered the mix and more-than-likely controls their own destiny.

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. Although unlikely, two-loss conference champs such as Baylor still have a shot.
  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 NY6 bid – such as San Diego State.
  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 has one of the best wins among CFP contenders, which is why they control their playoff fate.

CONTROLLING THEIR OWN DESTINY (4 TEAMS)

#1 Georgia (11-0)

Georgia has the best defense in the country and will have to play an impressive Alabama offense in the conference championship game after their matchup with Georgia Tech.

What they need:

Georgia can probably afford a loss and still get in, as long as the other contenders don’t impress the committee more than the Bulldogs have all season.

#2 Ohio State (10-1): lost to Oregon, 35-28 (Week 6)

Ohio State’s Heisman frontrunner QB CJ Stroud (3,468 yards, 36 TD / 5 INT) has been on fire as of late. If he impresses against Michigan and wins the Big Ten the following week, OSU will be squarely in the number two position.

What they need:

Just win, baby. If the Buckeyes were the lose this weekend, they would need some help from the SEC, Big XII, and even Cincinnati and Notre Dame to somehow get back in the mix.

#3 Alabama (10-1): lost to Texas A&M, 41-38 (Week 6)

Alabama’s offense and Heisman QB Bryce Young (3,584 yards, 38 TD (2 rush) / 3 INT) lead a Bama offense against rival Auburn this week. They already clinched an SEC title game berth.

What they need:

Win and you’re in. If the Tide lose one to Auburn and beat Georgia, they’ll most likely still get a spot in the CFP. If they beat Auburn and make it close in a loss to Georgia, they still may have the credentials to stay in the top four (depending on what happens in the Big XII, Notre Dame, and with other contenders).

#4 Cincinnati (11-0)

Cincinnati has put it together as of late, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. If they win the American, they should be securely in the CFP.

What they need:

What they need has been what they’ve been doing all year – just winning.

Michigan (10-1): lost to Michigan State, 37-33 (Week 9)

Michigan is all business this year. Outside of the Michigan State loss, this is a Wolverines squad that controls their own destiny beyond a shadow of a doubt.

What they need:

To win the Big Ten. First, they need to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes at home.

CHAOS WOULD HAVE TO OCCUR (4 TEAMS)

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

Oklahoma State has looked like a playoff team on defense, but they’ll need to beat Oklahoma and win the Big XII to get there.

What they need:

The Pokes cannot afford a loss. They’ll need to beat two top-ten teams down the final stretch to get a shot at the top four, along with some help from the teams ahead of them.

#10 Oklahoma (10-1): lost to Baylor, 27-14 (Week 11)

Oklahoma has struggled all season long, particularly on offense, where they just can’t seem to put it all together.

What they need:

They need to take down Oklahoma State twice and hope for the same chaos ahead of them as the Cowboys do. If Cincinnati loses in their final two contests, a spot will open up for an Oklahoma team with a conference title.

#18 Wake Forest (9-2): lost to UNC, 58-55 (Week 10) & Clemson, 48-27 (Week 12)

Wake controls their own ACC destiny thanks to the play of QB Sam Hartman (3,475 yards, 31 TD (9 rush) / 9 INT) this season.

What they need:

It would take utter chaos for the Demon Deacons to reach the CFP. That train has essentially sailed, but a NY6 big is still in play as long as they win at Boston College and beat Pitt for the ACC title.

#6 Notre Dame (10-1): lost to Cincinnati, 24-13 (Week 5)

Not being in a conference could finally catch up to the Irish, who could finish the season 11-1 and outside the top four.

What they need:

If Alabama loses to Georgia, Notre Dame might have a fighting chance to reach the top four. With Ohio State and Michigan playing an elimination game this week, there is an opportunity for Notre Dame to get in. However, the Big XII contenders are sitting right behind them.

WOULD NEED TO BE A TWO-LOSS CONFERENCE CHAMP (4 TEAMS)

#8 Baylor (9-2): lost to Oklahoma State, 24-14 (Week 5) & TCU, 30-28 (Week 10)

What they need:

Baylor will need to beat Texas Tech and hope Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State to have a shot at a rematch with the Cowboys. A two-loss Big XII champ might have a case over Notre Dame, but the Bears still need some help from the SEC.

#11 Oregon (9-2): lost to Stanford, 31-24 (OT) (Week 5) & Utah, 38-7 (Week 12)

The Ducks got demolished by Utah and will need to face them again if they get by Oregon State this weekend.

What they need:

Oregon should be rooting for a combination of some of the following: Georgia to run through Alabama, Ohio State to win the Big Ten, Cincinnati to lose, Notre Dame to lose, and carnage in the Big XII.

#9 Ole Miss (10-2): eliminated with Alabama clinching the SEC West (Week 12)

What they need:

It would be difficult for the Rebels to find themselves in the CFP, although they already clinched a NY6 bowl berth. However, anything could happen on Championship Saturday – a day that Ole Miss will be watching from home.

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

Pitt QB Kenny Pickett (3,857 yards, 36 TD (4 rush) / 6 INT) still has time to impress in the Heisman race for the Panthers, who clinched the Coastal Division.

What they need:

Just like Wake Forest, the Panthers would need absolute chaos ahead of them. A NY6 bowl bid is still in play for an ACC champ.

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

What they need:

The Hawkeyes need to win the Big Ten and hope for a miracle, but a Rose Bowl berth would be more than enough for a team who has been on a downward trend all year.

G5 & INDEPENDENTS WITH AN OUTSIDE SHOT AT A NY6 (5 TEAMS)

#13 BYU (9-2): lost to Boise State, 26-17 (Week 6) & Baylor, 38-24 (Week 7)

#24 Houston (10-1): lost to Texas Tech, 38-21 (Week 1)

#22 UTSA (11-0)

Louisiana (10-1): lost to Texas, 38-18 (Week 1)

#21 San Diego State (11-1): lost to Fresno State, 30-20 (Week 9)

HONORABLE MENTION

Appalachian State (9-2)

THE ELIMINATED

WEEK 12 (1 TEAM)

Michigan State: eliminated with Ohio State or Michigan clinching the Big Ten East (Week 12)

WEEK 11 (3 TEAMS)

Coastal Carolina: eliminated with loss to Georgia State, 42-40 (Week 11)

NC State: eliminated with loss to Wake Forest, 45-42 (Week 11)

Texas A&M: eliminated with loss to Ole Miss, 29-19 (Week 11)

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)

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