The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 9

After a week of upsets and conference-telling games, the Eliminator returns to knock out more teams.

Teams are listed in order of if they were to win their remaining games, who has the best chance at reaching the College Football Playoff (CFP). Here is where we stand on a national level this season:

1. #2 LSU (SEC, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs #9 Auburn

In a huge SEC West stretch, LSU gets #9 Auburn and #1 Alabama in back-to-back games with a bye week in between. QB Joe Burrow continues to look like the best available offensive player in this year’s NFL draft, but getting LSU over the hump within the SEC will be the ultimate goal for the transfer QB.

2. #1 Alabama (SEC, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Arkansas

Arkansas is on slate before the bye week that will set up a home contest against #2 LSU; surely, this will be the biggest game of the college football season if both teams stay unbeaten through one more game. #9 Auburn is also an important game to end the year in the West. With QB Tua Tagovailoa out this week, it’ll be interesting to see how the offense adjusts to a slower pace of play.

3. #3 Ohio State (Big Ten, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs #13 Wisconsin

After rolling Northwestern (52-3) on Friday night, the only question remains is if they Buckeyes can stay focused against formidable opponents all year. With #13 Wisconsin coming off an embarrassing upset loss to Illinois, Ohio State has to be able to capitalize. The good news is that potential number-one overall draft pick DE Chase Young has mentioned multiple times how he wants to reach the CFP.

4. #6 Penn State (Big Ten, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Michigan State

After controlling the #19 Michigan offense on Saturday, the Nittany Lions will have to go through the two remaining undefeated teams in the Big Ten (#17 Minnesota and #3 Ohio State). Their offense will have to be more impressive down the stretch to earn the right to win the conference.

5. #17 Minnesota (Big Ten, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Maryland

Minnesota keeps winning football games and has finally established a more sustainable defense in the last three weeks. #6 Penn State, #20 Iowa, and #13 Wisconsin will all be huge tests to see if the Gophers can get a Big Ten Championship matchup with #3 Ohio State (or a rematch with Penn State).

6. #5 Oklahoma (Big XII, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Kansas State

Jalen Hurts continues to look like the favorite for the Heisman trophy based on his stats alone. With Iowa State earning the #23 ranking and #14 Baylor continuing to stay unbeaten, the Big XII is looking more like the third best conference behind the SEC and Big Ten.

7. #14 Baylor (Big XII, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: BYE

As #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas loom in November, Baylor will have to find a way to take down a chippy WVU squad. With a steady offense and a better-then-usual defense, the Bears are not only in control of their conference hopes, but possibly even their CFP chances.

8. #4 Clemson (ACC, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Boston College

#25 Wake Forrest is the only remaining ranked team on the schedule for the Tigers, who cannot afford a blemish even with QB Trevor Lawrence not playing up to his own standard.

9. #7 Florida (SEC, 7-1):

Loss: @ #2 LSU (42-28)
Next up: BYE

In a game that will decide who leads the East, #10 Georgia travels to The Swamp. The Florida run game and dual-QB system has worked so far after QB Feleipe Franks’ injury. This is an important game for both Florida and Georgia as both have one loss already on the season. Another loss will surely diminish their CFP hopes, although there are not many other teams that have a better shot at making a semifinal with two losses other than these two.

10. #9 Auburn (SEC, 6-1):

Loss: @ Florida (24-13)
Next up: @ #2 LSU

Auburn still controls the outcome of the SEC West and can prove if they can compete with the top as they take on #2 LSU in Death Valley. They also play #10 Georgia and #1 Alabama, giving them arguably the toughest SEC route to the playoff.

11. #10 Georgia (SEC, 6-1):

Loss: vs South Carolina (20-17)
Next up: BYE

Georgia and #7 Florida meet in two weeks to decide who leads the East, but the Bulldogs also have to go through Missouri and #9 Auburn after their matchup with the Gators. With the offense looking stifled in the last two weeks, it’ll be interesting to see if they can bounce back against better defenses or if the hype surrounding Georgia was built up for nothing.

12. #11 Oregon (Pac-12, 6-1):

Loss: @ #9 Auburn (27-21)
Next up: vs Washington State

The Ducks just took down Washington (35-31) and can make a statement by winning out and controlling the Pac-12 outright. If they do so, they should be rooting for #9 Auburn to win the SEC and for the Big Ten to have one, preferably undefeated (#3 Ohio State, #6 Penn State, or #17 Minnesota) champion.

13. #13 Wisconsin (Big Ten, 6-1):

Loss: @ Illinois (24-23)
Next up: @ #3 Ohio State

After Illinois’ stunning victory on Saturday, questions started being raised about the potency of the Badgers’ offense. RB Jonathan Taylor and company will have to run the table and hope that the SEC only finds one team they can put ahead of them.

14. #12 Utah (Pac-12, 6-1):

Loss: @ USC (30-23)
Next up: vs California

Utah is not in control of the Pac-12 South and has a weak schedule as well. If Utah can win out, they’d face a highly-ranked Oregon team in a Pac-12 Championship if USC finds another conference loss.

15. #8 Notre Dame (Independent, 5-1):

Loss: @ #10 Georgia (23-17)
Next up: @ #19 Michigan

ND can eliminate #19 Michigan outright this weekend and then do the same to Virginia Tech the following week. With a favorable schedule in which they should be favored in every game to end the season, the Fighting Irish should be rooting for chaos and two-loss champions within the SEC, Big Ten, and Big XII.

16. #25 Wake Forest (ACC, 6-1):

Loss: vs Louisville (62-59)
Next up: BYE

The Demon Deacons are on pace for a historic season for their program. If they can continue to sneak by ACC opponents and find new ways to win games, they can attempt to give #4 Clemson a run for their money in an ACC Atlantic title game. After Louisville’s loss to Clemson this past weekend, Wake Forrest takes back control of their conference destiny.

17. #16 SMU (The American, 7-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Houston

After Boise State’s loss to BYU, the Mustangs of SMU now have sole control of their destiny in getting to a New Years’ Six (NY6) bowl game. Even if #21 Appalachian State beats South Carolina and wins the Sun Belt, SMU will have a more impressive resume overall. A tough Houston team and Memphis will be important contests in the coming weeks.

18. #19 Michigan (Big Ten, 5-2):

Loss: @ #13 Wisconsin (35-14) and @ #6 Penn State (28-21)
Next up: vs #8 Notre Dame

With #8 Notre Dame and #3 Ohio State still on schedule, it’s not impossible that the Wolverines find themselves in a playoff discussion. However, they won’t be able to do it without a conference championship. With two conference losses and being ranked third in their own division, teams ahead of them will have to lose multiple games down the stretch.

19. #15 Texas (Big XII, 5-2):

Losses: vs #2 LSU (45-38) and vs #5 Oklahoma (34-27)
Next up: @ TCU

Texas can still meet #5 Oklahoma again in the conference title game, but they’ll have #23 Iowa State and #14 Baylor standing in their way in back-to-back weeks. The Big XII is probably the third-likeliest conference to have a two-loss team make the playoff behind the SEC and Big Ten, respectfully.

20. #20 Iowa (Big Ten, 5-2):

Losses: @ #19 Michigan (10-3) and vs #6 Penn State (17-12)
Next up: vs Purdue

The Hawkeyes have a better shot at the Big Ten title than #19 Michigan (a team Iowa lost to) because Iowa gets to play all three teams that are ahead of them in the West Division (#13 Wisconsin, #17 Minnesota, and Nebraska). If they can continue to be impressive on defense and get QB Nate Stanley to play more effectively on offense, this Iowa team could be tough down the stretch.

21. #23 Iowa State (Big XII, 5-2):

Losses: vs #20 Iowa (18-17) and @ #14 Baylor (23-21)
Next up: vs Oklahoma State

The Cyclones have two very close and very applaudable losses (see above) that have kept them out of a higher ranking. They can make up for it by taking down #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas in back-to-back weekends and winning a Big XII title.

22. Navy (The American, 5-1):

Loss: @ Memphis (35-23)
Next up: vs Tulane

After Tulane and UConn, Navy gets matchups with #8 Notre Dame, #16 SMU, and Army. Amongst every Group of Five team with one loss, they can make the best case to reach a NY6 bowl.

23. Missouri (SEC, 5-2):

Losses: @ Wyoming (37-31) and @ Vanderbilt (21-14)
Next up: @ Kentucky

Missouri has two very embarrassing losses on their schedule, but still maintain sole control of their SEC title hopes. If QB Kelly Bryant and the offense can get the ball going on the ground, they’d have to take down #10 Georgia and #7 Florida in back-to-back weeks.

24. Virginia Tech (ACC, 5-2):

Losses: @ Boston College (35-28) and vs Duke (45-10)
Next up: BYE

In an elimination game for both teams in two weeks, #8 Notre Dame hosts Virginia Tech in a crucial game that will decide the entire season for both program’s slim playoff hopes.

25. #21 App State (Sun Belt, 6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ South Alabama

App State’s toughest remaining game is against South Carolina, with little-to-no hope at getting into a semifinal. If other conferences produce two-loss champions (which is more likely in the ACC, Big XII, and Pac-12) then there can be a case as long as the Big Ten and SEC provide only one truly dominant team.

26. Memphis (The American, 6-1):

Loss: @ Temple (30-28)
Next up: @ Tulsa

Memphis will find themselves back in the top 25 if they can take down Tulsa ahead of their huge AAC matchup with #16 SMU. The Tigers are currently receiving the most votes to be ranked again and will need some help in controlling their NY6 hopes.

27. #18 Cincinnati (The American, 6-1):

Loss: @ #3 Ohio State (42-0)
Next up: BYE

Cincinnati controls their own AAC East destiny and can continue to move up in the polls. The truly telling story will be where Luke Fickell and his Bearcats defense rank when the CFP rankings come out.

28. Kansas State (Big XII, 4-2):

Losses: @ Oklahoma State (26-13) and vs #14 Baylor (31-12)
Next up: vs #5 Oklahoma

The Wildcats can make statements with #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas still on schedule, but they will need multiple teams to lose conference games to reach a Big XII Championship.

29. Virginia (ACC, 5-2):

Losses: @ #8 Notre Dame (35-20) and @ Miami (FL) (17-9)
Next up: @ Louisville

Virginia bounced back from their two-straight losing skip to beatdown Duke (48-14). No ranked teams remain on schedule, but the Hokies control their own fate in the Coastal Division.

30. Pittsburgh (ACC, 5-2):

Losses: vs Virginia (30-14) and @ #6 Penn State (17-10)
Next up: vs Miami (FL)

Due to their loss to Virginia, Pitt doesn’t control their conference destiny. They can pull themselves into the rankings and hope that Virginia falters in a dead-even Coastal Division.

31. #24 Arizona State (Pac-12, 5-2):

Loss: vs Colorado (34-31) and vs #12 Utah (21-3)
Next up: @ UCLA

Herm Edward’s offense decided not to show up against the Utes in Saturday’s Pac-12 South loss. Arizona State will have to fight to make up ground, but they’d still need Utah to lost twice in order to reach the conference championship game.

32. Indiana (Big Ten, 5-2):

Losses: vs #3 Ohio State (51-10) and @ Michigan State (40-31)
Next up: @ Nebraska

Indiana is having an above average season despite a blowout loss to the Buckeyes early in the year. A lot would need to happen for them to reach a conference championship, which just isn’t that likely this season.

Eliminated:

Arizona (Pac-12, 4-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to USC, 41-14.
#22 Boise State (Mountain West, 6-1): Eliminated with week 8 loss to BYU, 28-25.
California (Pac-12, 4-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to Oregon State, 21-17.
Duke (ACC, 4-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to Virginia, 48-14.
NC State (ACC, 4-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to Boston College, 45-24.
Louisville (ACC, 4-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to #4 Clemson, 45-10.
Oklahoma State (Big XII, 4-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to #14 Baylor, 45-27.
TCU (Big XII, 3-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to Kansas State, 24-17.
Temple (The American, 5-2): Eliminated with week 8 loss to #16 SMU, 45-21.
Tulane (The American, 5-2): Eliminated with week 8 loss to Memphis, 47-17.
Washington (Pac-12, 5-3): Eliminated with week 8 loss to #11 Oregon, 35-31.

All teams that were eliminated this week (with the exception of #22 Boise State) lost to conference opponents as this list continues to grow. Boise is not out of the NY6 bowl discussion, but they would need a ton of help and should expect to get jumped in the rankings throughout the season.

Here is a complete list of teams that have been eliminated this season:

Eliminated in Week 0/1 (21 teams):

Akron: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Illinois, 42-3.
Arkansas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #16 SMU, 37-30.
Ball State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Indiana, 34-24.
Coastal Carolina: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan, 30-23.
Colorado State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Colorado, 52-13.
Florida Atlantic: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #3 Ohio State, 45-21.
Florida International: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Tulane, 42-14.
Fresno State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to USC, 31-23.
Georgia Southern: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #2 LSU, 55-3.
LA-Lafayette: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Mississippi State, 38-28.
Liberty: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Syracuse, 24-0.
Louisiana Tech: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #15 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #20 Iowa, 38-14.
Middle Tennessee: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #19 Michigan, 40-12.
New Mexico State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Washington State, 58-7.
Rice: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Army, 14-7.
South Alabama: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Nebraska, 35-21.
Texas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Texas A&M, 41-7.
Toledo: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Kentucky, 38-24.
UMass: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Rutgers, 48-21.
Western Kentucky: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Central Arkansas, 35-28.

Eliminated in Week 2 (21 teams):

Army: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #19 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
Bowling Green: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kansas State, 52-0.
Buffalo: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #6 Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Charlotte: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #21 Appalachian State, 56-41.
Eastern Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kentucky, 38-17.
LA-Monroe: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Florida State, 45-44 (OT).
Marshall: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #22 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #11 Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #12 Utah, 35-17.
Ohio: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, 20-10.
Old Dominion: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Virginia Tech, 31-17.
San Jose State: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Tulsa, 34-16.
South Florida: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Georgia Tech, 14-10.
Southern Mississippi: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Mississippi State, 38-15.
Tennessee: Eliminated with week 2 loss to BYU, 29-26.
UNLV: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Arkansas State, 43-17.
UTEP: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Texas Tech, 38-3.
UTSA: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #14 Baylor, 63-14.
Western Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Michigan State, 51-17.

Eliminated in Week 3 (10 teams):

East Carolina: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Georgia State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
Georgia Tech: Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Hawai’i: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington, 52-20.
Houston: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.
Kent State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #9 Auburn, 55-16.
New Mexico: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Troy: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.
Tulsa: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Oklahoma State, 40-21.
UCLA: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #5 Oklahoma, 48-14.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #22 Boise State, 30-19.
BYU: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Washington, 45-19.
Illinois: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Nebraska, 42-38.
Kansas: Eliminated with week 4 loss to West Virginia, 29-24.
San Diego State: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Utah State, 23-17.
South Carolina: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Missouri, 34-14.
Stanford: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #11 Oregon, 21-6.
UConn: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.
UNC: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #21 Appalachian State, 34-31.
Vanderbilt: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #2 LSU, 66-38.
Wyoming: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

Eliminated in Week 5 (8 teams):

Arkansas: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Texas A&M, 31-27.
Kentucky: Eliminated with week 5 loss to South Carolina, 24-7.
Northwestern: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 24-15.
Ole Miss: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #1 Alabama, 59-31.
Oregon State: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Stanford, 31-28.
Purdue: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #17 Minnesota, 38-31.
Rutgers: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #19 Michigan, 52-0.
UAB: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Western Kentucky, 20-13.

Eliminated in Week 6 (5 teams):

Boston College: Eliminated with week 6 loss to Louisville, 41-39.
Miami (FL): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Virginia Tech, 42-35.
Syracuse: Eliminated with week 6 loss to NC State, 16-10.
UCF: Eliminated with week 6 loss to #18 Cincinnati, 27-24.
Utah State: Eliminated with week 6 loss to #2 LSU, 42-6.

Eliminated in Week 7 (11 teams):

Colorado: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #11 Oregon, 45-3.
Florida State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #4 Clemson, 45-14.
Maryland: Eliminated with week 7 loss to Purdue, 40-14.
Michigan State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 38-0.
Mississippi State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to Tennessee, 20-10.
Nebraska: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #17 Minnesota, 34-7.
Texas A&M: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #1 Alabama, 47-28.
Texas Tech: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #14 Baylor, 33-30.
USC: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 30-27.
Washington State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #24 Arizona State, 38-34.
West Virginia: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #23 Iowa State, 38-14.

Eliminated in Week 8 (11 teams):

Arizona: Eliminated with week 8 loss to USC, 41-14.
#22 Boise State: Eliminated with week 8 loss to BYU, 28-25.
California: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Oregon State, 21-17.
Duke: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Virginia, 48-14.
NC State: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Boston College, 45-24.
Louisville: Eliminated with week 8 loss to #4 Clemson, 45-10.
Oklahoma State: Eliminated with week 8 loss to #14 Baylor, 45-27.
TCU: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Kansas State, 24-17.
Temple: Eliminated with week 8 loss to #16 SMU, 45-21.
Tulane: Eliminated with week 8 loss to Memphis, 47-17.
Washington: Eliminated with week 8 loss to #11 Oregon, 35-31.

The College Football Playoff Eliminator: Week 8

The Eliminator continues to shrink the playoff-eligible field. More teams find themselves eliminated this week as conference games take their toll.

For reference, Power Five teams who are not in control of their conference championship destiny are put in the verge of elimination column. Group of Five teams with any loss, with the exception of the American, are eliminated. Two losses doesn’t eliminate any Power Five teams unless one of those losses is to a Group of Five / FCS opponent with the exception of the American.

Here’s where we stand, conference-by-conference, after seven weeks of the college football season:

American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Still in the hunt:

#19 SMU (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Temple

6-0 SMU will get a huge test in AAC play with Temple this weekend. Other one-loss opponents on schedule include Memphis, Navy, and a possible conference championship game against #21 Cincinnati. If the AAC East can give the Mustangs a ranked opponent in the title game, SMU could become a favorite to land a New Year’s 6 Bowl or CFP spot.

Verge of elimination:

Temple (5-1):

Loss: vs Buffalo (38-22)
Next up: @ #19 SMU

After beating a ranked Memphis team (30-28), Temple gets a tough two-week stretch with #19 SMU and UCF. #21 Cincinnati is also on schedule for late-November in a game that could decide the East.

Memphis (5-1):

Loss: @ Temple (30-28)
Next up: vs Tulane

Memphis’ loss to Temple dropped them from the top 25, but the Tigers still control their own destiny in the West. #19 SMU and #21 Cincinnati are also both on schedule in November.

Tulane (5-1):

Loss: @ #11 Auburn (24-6)
Next up: @ Memphis

Tulane can take control in the West if they can handle Memphis this weekend with UCF and #19 SMU in a potential West Division Championship to close the season.

#21 Cincinnati (5-1):

Loss: @ #4 Ohio State (42-0)
Next up: vs Tulsa

Cincinnati currently has no ranked opponents left on schedule, but should hope for #19 SMU to keep rolling in the opposite division.

Navy (4-1):

Loss: @ Memphis (35-23)
Next up: vs South Florida

Navy has the biggest chance to make noise in the AAC, but they don’t control their own destiny due to their lone loss to divisional opponent Memphis. #8 Notre Dame and #19 SMU are back-to-back games for the Midshipmen this November and they should root for #21 Cincinnati to continue to run the table in the East.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Still in the hunt:

#3 Clemson (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Louisville

After Wake Forest’s loss, Clemson shows no remaining ranked opponents on schedule. If teams ahead (and behind) the Tigers continue to win, Clemson will have to win out to make the CFP.

Verge of elimination:

Wake Forest (5-1):

Loss: vs Louisville (62-59)
Next up: vs Florida State

After losing a shootout to Louisville, Wake gets a matchup with Florida State this weekend in a game that could decide if the Demon Deacons can bounce back into the rankings before meeting #3 Clemson in a couple weeks.

Virginia (4-2):

Losses: @ #8 Notre Dame (35-20) and @ Miami (FL) (17-9)
Next up: vs Duke

Virginia fell to #8 Notre Dame and Miami in back-to-back weekends ahead of their matchup with Duke. Clemson should hope for the Cavaliers to bounce back if they want to play a ranked opponent in the conference championship game.

Louisville (4-2):

Losses: vs #8 Notre Dame (35-17) and @ Florida State (35-24)
Next up: vs #3 Clemson

Louisville can see their playoff hopes diminish this weekend at home against the #3 Tigers, just as Florida State saw this past weekend. If they can pull out a win after taking down Wake Forest, then the ACC might fall out of the CFP picture for good.

Pittsburgh (4-2):

Losses: vs Virginia (30-14) and @ #7 Penn State (17-10)
Next up: @ Syracuse (Friday)

Pitt has been in nothing but tight matchups all year and gets to take their bye week into the Carrier Dome this Friday night. No ranked teams are left on the schedule but Virginia’s loss to Miami gives Pitt a brighter hope to come out of the Coastal Division.

Duke (4-2):

Losses: @ #1 Alabama (42-3) and vs Pitt (33-30)
Next up: @ Virginia

Duke might actually have the best shot to make a statement. #8 Notre Dame and one-loss Wake Forest are both on November’s schedule, however, Pitt holds tiebreaker over the Blue Devils in the Coastal Division.

NC State (4-2):

Losses: @ West Virginia (44-27) and @ Florida State (31-13)
Next up: @ Boston College

If they can escape BC on Saturday, NC State gets Wake Forest and #3 Clemson in back-to-back weekends to make a push into the rankings. With Florida State’s most recent loss, the Wolfpack gain back control of their own destiny in the Atlantic Division.

Virginia Tech (4-2):

Losses: @ Boston College (35-28) and vs Duke (45-10)
Next up: vs UNC

VT remains the most up-and-down team in the ACC, but #8 Notre Dame and Wake Forest are both on schedule. The Hokies don’t control their own destiny in the Coastal Division, but it seems as if no other team wants to win the division anyways.

Eliminated:

Florida State (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #3 Clemson, 45-14.

FSU joins a growing list of non-ranked ACC teams.

Big XII Conference

Still in the hunt:

#5 Oklahoma (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs West Virginia

With Jalen Hurts continuing to light it up, the Sooners look like the team to beat out of the Big XII. An important November date with #18 Baylor could also push the conference forward.

#18 Baylor (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Oklahoma State

After narrowly escaping Texas Tech (33-30 in OT), the Bears get a shot at a good Oklahoma State team this weekend. #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas in back-to-back weekends will most likely show where the Big XII stands.

Verge of elimination:

#15 Texas (4-2):

Losses: vs #2 LSU (45-38) and vs #5 Oklahoma (34-27)
Next up: vs Kansas

Texas can still meet #5 Oklahoma again in a conference championship, but they’ll have to prove it against Iowa State and #18 Baylor this November.

Iowa State (4-2):

Losses: vs #23 Iowa (18-17) and @ #18 Baylor (23-21)
Next up: @ Texas Tech

The Cyclones latest victory over West Virginia (38-14) eliminated the Mountaineers, but without controlling their own destiny in the conference their CFP hopes seem weak. They’ll need Baylor to fall off twice and to beat #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas in back-to-back weeks.

TCU (3-2):

Losses: vs #19 SMU (41-38) and @ Iowa State (49-24)
Next up: @ Kansas State

In an elimination game for both teams, the Horned Frogs get to travel to K-State.

Oklahoma State (4-2):

Losses: @ #15 Texas (36-30) and @ Texas Tech (45-35)
Next up: vs #18 Baylor

The Cowboys lost control of their conference destiny with their second Big XII loss against Texas Tech. #18 Baylor can eliminate Chuba Hubbard and the OK State offense on Saturday.

Kansas State (3-2):

Losses: @ Oklahoma State (26-13) and vs #18 Baylor (31-12)
Next up: vs TCU

The Wildcats are another team that doesn’t control their own destiny. If chaos ensues, they would still have to get through #5 Oklahoma and #15 Texas.

Eliminated:

Texas Tech (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #18 Baylor, 33-30.
West Virginia (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to Iowa State, 38-14.

Texas Tech and WVU will be joined next week by one of either TCU or Kansas State, depending on who wins that matchup.

Big Ten Conference (B1G)

Still in the hunt:

#6 Wisconsin (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Illinois

Wisconsin continues to be the best defensive team in the nation after shutting out Michigan State (38-0). #4 Ohio State is on schedule in two weeks in a very important game that can be seen again in the Big Ten Championship

#4 Ohio State (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Northwestern (Friday)

In a Big Ten title game rematch from last year, OSU will take on Northwestern before meeting #6 Wisconsin in a game that will feature two of the best defenses in the country. #7 Penn State and #16 Michigan are on schedule to close the season.

#7 Penn State (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs #16 Michigan

With #16 Michigan this weekend, the Nittany Lions can take control of the East Division. #20 Minnesota and #4 Ohio State are also two undefeated conference opponents that Penn State will see in November.

#20 Minnesota (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Rutgers

Minnesota has ran the table thus far and gets to face Rutgers and Maryland the next two games, so they should be able to head into their home matchup with #7 Penn State still undefeated. #23 Iowa, perennial West Division opponent Northwestern, and #6 Wisconsin all follow the Penn State game to close the season.

#16 Michigan (4-1):

Loss: @ #6 Wisconsin (35-14)
Next up: @ #7 Penn State
Although Michigan hasn’t looked like a Big Ten contender thus far, they get #7 Penn State in a game to that can put them in control in the East. #8 Notre Dame will be the following weekend with #4 Ohio State to close the season. They can also play #6 Wisconsin again in a conference championship. There probably isn’t a better schedule in the country for a team that wants to find their way back in playoff picture.

Verge of elimination:

#23 Iowa (4-2):

Losses: @ #16 Michigan (10-3) and vs #7 Penn State (17-12)
Next up: vs Purdue

The Hawkeyes have one of the best defenses in the country to go along with a subpar offense. Even though both of Iowa’s losses came at the hands of East Division teams, the Hawkeyes will have to get through #6 Wisconsin and #20 Minnesota. They will also need those two teams to fall off again to reach the Big Ten Championship.

Indiana (4-2):

Losses: vs #4 Ohio State (51-10) and @ Michigan State (40-31)
Next up: @ Maryland

Indiana’s shutout of Rutgers (35-0) won’t show much as to what this team can be. Maryland and Nebraska the next two weeks also probably won’t be too telling unless they lose. They don’t play another Big Ten East opponent until #7 Penn State and #16 Michigan in late November.

Eliminated:

Maryland (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to Purdue, 40-14.
Michigan State (4-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #6 Wisconsin, 38-0.
Nebraska (4-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #20 Minnesota, 34-7.

An abundance of Big Ten teams head to the eliminator as the top of the conference continues to heat up.

Conference USA (C-USA)

Eliminated:

The entire conference.

Independent Teams

Verge of elimination:

#8 Notre Dame (5-1):

Loss: @ #10 Georgia (23-17)
Next up: @ #16 Michigan

ND finds themselves ranked ahead of the team they lost to in the latest AP Poll, but the CFP Poll will be a lot more telling for the Irish, who have to get through #16 Michigan in impressive fashion as that is their last ranked opponent on schedule.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Mid-American Conference (MAC)

Eliminated:

The entire conference.

Mountain West Conference

Still in the hunt:

#14 Boise State (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ BYU

Boise continues to look like one of the strongest Group of Five teams, but #19 SMU has a stronger schedule to close the season. BYU should be a tough opponent this weekend after the Broncos handled a good Hawai’i team (59-37) this past weekend.

Eliminated:

No new teams added this week.

Pac-12 Conference

Still in the hunt:

#12 Oregon (5-1):

Loss: @ #11 Auburn (27-21)
Next up: @ #25 Washington

The Ducks should be thankful that the Huskies found their way back in the top 25 ahead of their matchup this weekend. #17 Arizona State is the only other ranked team on schedule before a potential Pac-12 title game.

#17 Arizona State (5-1):

Loss: vs Colorado (34-31)
Next up: @ #13 Utah

Thanks to Colorado continuing to lose, Arizona State finds themselves back in control of their conference destiny ahead of an important ranked matchup with #13 Utah. #12 Oregon is also on schedule for late November.

Verge of elimination:

Arizona (4-2):

Losses: @ Hawai’i (45-38) and vs #25 Washington (51-27)
Next up: @ USC

In a must-win game for Arizona, they get to travel to LA. The Wildcats are still in control of their own Pac-12 South destiny and get to face #12 Oregon, #13 Utah, and #17 Arizona State in the last three weeks of the regular season.

#13 Utah (5-1):

Loss: @ USC (30-23)
Next up: vs #17 Arizona State

USC still holds tiebreakers over the Utes, but they can make a statement against a ranked Arizona State team on Saturday.

California (4-2):

Losses: vs #17 Arizona State (24-17) and @ #12 Oregon (17-7)
Next up: vs Oregon State

Cal doesn’t have a blowout loss on their resume, but like most of the Pac-12 – they still don’t control their own destiny within conference play.

Eliminated:

Colorado (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #12 Oregon, 45-3.
USC (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 30-27.
Washington State (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #17 Arizona State, 38-34.

The Pac-12 continues to beat themselves out of playoff contention. The ACC is also beating themselves out of contention, which can be good if there is chaos within the SEC and Big Ten down the stretch.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Still in the hunt:

#2 LSU (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: @ Mississippi State

With Joe Burrow leading the offense, LSU looks like the best team in the country. #11 Auburn and #1 Alabama should be exciting SEC West matchups in the coming weeks.

#1 Alabama (6-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs Tennessee

Alabama has a favorable schedule but has actual competition within conference play with #2 LSU looking like a battle of undefeated opponents in three weeks.

#9 Florida (6-1):

Loss: @ #2 LSU (42-28)
Next up: @ South Carolina

Florida is doing all they could without their starting quarterback in play. They control their own destiny in the East despite their loss to #2 LSU.

#10 Georgia (5-1):

Loss: vs South Carolina (20-17)
Next up: vs Kentucky

Georgia was upset by SC this weekend in a game that was all about the special teams. They can bounce back with Kentucky this weekend before they meet #9 Florida in a game that will propel someone to second in the East behind #22 Missouri.

#11 Auburn (5-1):

Loss: @ Florida (24-13)
Next up: @ Arkansas

Auburn can make a case to and still control their own conference destiny. With #2 LSU, #10 Georgia, and #1 Alabama all on schedule, there is no reason to count out the Tigers as an SEC dark horse.

Missouri (5-1):

Loss: @ Wyoming (37-31)
Next up: @ Vanderbilt

Missouri is sitting atop the SEC West and can win it outright if Kelly Bryant and company can make it past #10 Georgia and #9 Florida in November.

Eliminated:

Mississippi State (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to Tennessee, 20-10.
Texas A&M (3-3): Eliminated with week 7 loss to #1 Alabama, 47-28.

Mississippi State and Texas A&M both fall flat from the SEC, which has no teams on the verge of elimination this week.

Sun Belt Conference

Still in the hunt:

#24 App State (5-0):

Loss: None
Next up: vs LA Monroe

App State continues to run the table. With South Carolina’s big win over #10 Georgia on Saturday, their November 9th matchup could be very intriguing and telling for the Mountaineers.

Eliminated:

The rest of the conference has already been eliminated.


Here is a complete list of teams that have been eliminated this season:

Eliminated in Week 0/1 (21 teams):

Akron: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Illinois, 42-3.
Arkansas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #16 SMU, 37-30.
Ball State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Indiana, 34-24.
Coastal Carolina: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan, 30-23.
Colorado State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Colorado, 52-13.
Florida Atlantic: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #3 Ohio State, 45-21.
Florida International: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Tulane, 42-14.
Fresno State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to USC, 31-23.
Georgia Southern: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #2 LSU, 55-3.
LA-Lafayette: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Mississippi State, 38-28.
Liberty: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Syracuse, 24-0.
Louisiana Tech: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #15 Texas, 45-14.
Miami (OH): Eliminated with week 1 loss to #20 Iowa, 38-14.
Middle Tennessee: Eliminated with week 1 loss to #19 Michigan, 40-12.
New Mexico State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Washington State, 58-7.
Rice: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Army, 14-7.
South Alabama: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Nebraska, 35-21.
Texas State: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Texas A&M, 41-7.
Toledo: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Kentucky, 38-24.
UMass: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Rutgers, 48-21.
Western Kentucky: Eliminated with week 1 loss to Central Arkansas, 35-28.

Eliminated in Week 2 (21 teams):

Army: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #19 Michigan, 24-21 (OT).
Bowling Green: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kansas State, 52-0.
Buffalo: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #6 Penn State, 45-13.
Central Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 61-0.
Charlotte: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #21 Appalachian State, 56-41.
Eastern Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Kentucky, 38-17.
LA-Monroe: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Florida State, 45-44 (OT).
Marshall: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #22 Boise State, 14-7.
Nevada: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #11 Oregon, 77-6.
North Texas: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #16 SMU, 49-27.
Northern Illinois: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #12 Utah, 35-17.
Ohio: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, 20-10.
Old Dominion: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Virginia Tech, 31-17.
San Jose State: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Tulsa, 34-16.
South Florida: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Georgia Tech, 14-10.
Southern Mississippi: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Mississippi State, 38-15.
Tennessee: Eliminated with week 2 loss to BYU, 29-26.
UNLV: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Arkansas State, 43-17.
UTEP: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Texas Tech, 38-3.
UTSA: Eliminated with week 2 loss to #14 Baylor, 63-14.
Western Michigan: Eliminated with week 2 loss to Michigan State, 51-17.

Eliminated in Week 3 (10 teams):

East Carolina: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Navy, 42-10.
Georgia State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Western Michigan, 57-10.
Georgia Tech: Eliminated with week 3 loss to The Citadel, 27-24 (OT).
Hawai’i: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington, 52-20.
Houston: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Washington State, 31-24.
Kent State: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #9 Auburn, 55-16.
New Mexico: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 66-14.
Troy: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Southern Miss, 47-42.
Tulsa: Eliminated with week 3 loss to Oklahoma State, 40-21.
UCLA: Eliminated with week 3 loss to #5 Oklahoma, 48-14.

Eliminated in Week 4 (11 teams):

Air Force: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #22 Boise State, 30-19.
BYU: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Washington, 45-19.
Illinois: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Nebraska, 42-38.
Kansas: Eliminated with week 4 loss to West Virginia, 29-24.
San Diego State: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Utah State, 23-17.
South Carolina: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Missouri, 34-14.
Stanford: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #11 Oregon, 21-6.
UConn: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Indiana, 38-3.
UNC: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #21 Appalachian State, 34-31.
Vanderbilt: Eliminated with week 4 loss to #2 LSU, 66-38.
Wyoming: Eliminated with week 4 loss to Tulsa, 24-21.

Eliminated in Week 5 (8 teams):

Arkansas: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Texas A&M, 31-27.
Kentucky: Eliminated with week 5 loss to South Carolina, 24-7.
Northwestern: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 24-15.
Ole Miss: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #1 Alabama, 59-31.
Oregon State: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Stanford, 31-28.
Purdue: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #17 Minnesota, 38-31.
Rutgers: Eliminated with week 5 loss to #19 Michigan, 52-0.
UAB: Eliminated with week 5 loss to Western Kentucky, 20-13.

Eliminated in Week 6 (5 teams):

Boston College: Eliminated with week 6 loss to Louisville, 41-39.
Miami (FL): Eliminated with week 6 loss to Virginia Tech, 42-35.
Syracuse: Eliminated with week 6 loss to NC State, 16-10.
UCF: Eliminated with week 6 loss to #18 Cincinnati, 27-24.
Utah State: Eliminated with week 6 loss to #2 LSU, 42-6.

Eliminated in Week 7 (11 teams):

Colorado: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #11 Oregon, 45-3.
Florida State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #4 Clemson, 45-14.
Maryland: Eliminated with week 7 loss to Purdue, 40-14.
Michigan State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #13 Wisconsin, 38-0.
Mississippi State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to Tennessee, 20-10.
Nebraska: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #17 Minnesota, 34-7.
Texas A&M: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #1 Alabama, 47-28.
Texas Tech: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #14 Baylor, 33-30.
USC: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #8 Notre Dame, 30-27.
Washington State: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #24 Arizona State, 38-34.
West Virginia: Eliminated with week 7 loss to #23 Iowa State, 38-14.

 

 

 

One

It is in our hearts that we
Can be repumped
With blood
To find again
What we lost

It is in our hearts that we
Can forge our memory
To allow for more
Breathes
Of new life

It is in our hearts that we
Can chase what is true
While allowing
Our hearts
To stop beating

For while they stop beating
While the Earth reverses
Its rotation
We are born again
A new life
A new life

Afraid

At one point we were all very afraid
To take that moment
And let it go, to become stronger;
As people, we were weak.

Another time, we stopped counting
And instead, started running.
To take our time, we said
Ruined us.

The last time we were on the bridge
Seeing heights above moving currents
We stopped for a moment.
We were strong

And jumped.

The Edge

One time I walked
Along to the edge
And the devil came down
To sit close to the ledge.

He told me hello
And acted so kind.
He said that knowing my future
Could ease my mind.

I asked him, “what if
I don’t want to know my fate?”
He answered, “but knowing this
Could lead to something great.”

He stepped forward towards me
And leaned in real close,
Handed me a pill, and said,
“Just take a small dose.”

For with it I would know
What my future would hold
And without it, well, how
My life would be cold.

I stopped for a moment
Before taking his hand
And told him how I
Had one last demand.

If I knew my fate,
Would I be able to change?
Or is it impossible
To fix or rearrange?

He said, “fate is what’s true.
It is what lives as you die.”
And that’s the moment I knew
All he said was a lie.

The Door

“Down the hall and on the left,”
the attendant says.
She hands the key to the room
hanging from the slot
marked as room one.

She helps you with your luggage,
none of which belonged to you
in the first place.
The silent elevator
brings you to the top floor.

She mentions
to have a nice stay
as she
disappears
behind closing elevator doors.

Walking down the hotel hall,
confusing carpet schemes
keep you moving,
but you refuse
to find the door on the left.

The other doors,
barricaded by loud noises,
scream their secrets.
The temptation to open them
all take its toll on you.

Rushing to each one to see
if the key fits.
It doesn’t.
Over and over again,
the key refuses to fit.

There are no turns
in the rotation.
There are no turns
in the hall.
Just the door on the left.

Lights flicker to fade
as more doors are passed.
Locks bolted in place
in front of
loud scenes.

The door on the left
is not locked.
In fact, it never was.
It has always been shut,
awaiting to be opened.

As approached,
it cracks open.
Awaiting to reveal
what is behind it,
lights burn out.

Wasteland

As rough patches fill with
endless waste,
an unlit candle appears.
Wax drips
from the cold wick and
ponders its next move.

Sliding down
the barren hill;
this is a wasteland.

While winds blow and halt
to stops only to begin again,
paper flies.
In circles and wisps,
words are elevated
off the pages.

Meanwhile, the candle of cold air
sits dripping, shrinking;
this is a wasteland.

The sand is picked up
by cloud’s gusts and
pelts all objects.
In fluid motion,
light gets erased by nature’s
bright colors.

All at once,
trees fall;
this is a wasteland.

Again, the candle shrinks
as the top diminishes
into rubble.
A fate awaits
the broken patch of land
that once accompanied it.

Who is to say
that the path of the land
lays in the path of the candle?
Although it is true
that grass will still grow;
this is a wasteland.

The candle,
on its last strike,
is still unlit.
Cold and forgotten,
it rests
at last.

A small stream of smoke
rises from its resting place;
this was a wasteland.