The endless debate over the various possibilities for what could be the College Football Playoff race will become more focused following Week 12. Five of the top candidates for the semifinals will face tough opponents who are capable of removing them from consideration.
The most intense showdown is set to take place within the Big Ten as No. 4. Ohio State hosts No. 8. Michigan State. The Buckeyes defeated at home twice against Oregon. The Spartans are hoping to avoid a second loss against teams that are playoff-bound following the loss to Michigan. The winner will need another win to claim their place in the Big Ten East title.
No. 2 Alabama is expected to make it to the SEC finals and will play No. 1 Georgia but a couple of important opponents are ahead of Crimson Tide. No. 22 Arkansas is in town Saturday, hoping to extend its win streak and secure its first win in the series since 2006.
There’s also a test for No. 3. Cincinnati this weekend due to SMU visiting the city. The Mustangs were as high as No. 17 , according to the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll prior to losing consecutively, but they’re capable of scoring against unbeaten Bearcats and make this an extremely difficult match.
No. 5 Oregon will play No. 25 Utah in a tough matchup which is likely to play the opening game of two between both two schools. Both need to win to seal their divisional titles. The Utes have a record of 6-1 since the switch from Cam Rising at quarterback and the elements and their environment are difficult to conquer.
In the wild field of football in college There always are surprises and surprising outcomes. Our experts provide their predictions of what we can expect to be stunned by this weekend.
A team that may ruin one or more Big Ten hopefuls’ title ambitions is Wisconsin. The Badgers have lost three of their four initial games and looked absolutely awful as a result, losing in the face of Penn State, Notre Dame and Michigan. They’ve turned the tables lately. In the last six games, winning all of them the defense has not allowed over 14 or more points. Of course, these wins were against offensive powerhouses like Illinois, Army, Iowa and Rutgers. The next game is a tough one for losing Nebraska and another opportunity that the defensive team shines.
This is the time when in which the College Football Playoff says goodbye to the Pac-12. Oregon is in the top four spots since the very first edition of the rankings, however they Ducks have been playing almost exclusively on their road loss to Ohio State. They’ve not been particularly impressive during the month of November and losing to Stanford even if it was as overtime was probably the worst loss any single-loss Power Five playoff contender has in its record this season. Simply put, Oregon is not able to afford error. Therefore, it is bound to face Utah as the most reliable and physically demanding team in the league this week — at the Utes home. Utah is the winner of six of its last seven games with five double-digit wins in this time frame, is able to pull off the upset in order to ensure that the Pac-12 does not make the playoff for the fifth straight season.
Iowa State hands Oklahoma a second consecutive loss, and takes Oklahoma’s Sooners totally off of College Football Playoff contention. The loss places OU in the middle of the Big 12 championship game depending on the outcome that are played by Oklahoma State against Texas Tech and Baylor against Kansas State. It is a shame that the Cyclones have had a difficult year after being selected to be a contender for the playoff however they could finish in the top 25 with three consecutive wins to close out the season.
After a rousing home win with a difficult trip always a risky proposition. The same scenario was occurred earlier in the season when Baylor defeating Texas and following it the win with a loss against TCU. Now , the Bears have to face the same challenges following their loss to Oklahoma. The trip to Kansas State looms this weekend and Baylor’s mental state is crucial to leave with a victory that will keep them at the forefront of the Big 12 title race. The Wildcats have been thriving recently with four straight wins, and appear poised to make the Bears duplicate their winning streak. Watch out for Skylar Thompson as well as Deuce Vaughn to lead the offense if Kansas State pulls off an victory.
I’m sorry to hear that, Pac-12, but, to take a line from Sunday’s news, this is the conclusion of the story. Oregon’s Week 2 victory over Ohio State has apparently earned the team many questions from playoff officials, at the point of accepting the team for what has become a poor defeat to Stanford. While one loss may be overcome, a subsequent loss isn’t, and that third loss to the Ducks will come on Saturday night against Utah. Oregon could very well prevail in the match against Utah Utes within the next few weeks and win the Pac-12 title however there will still be damage. The Pac-12’s playoff drought could be a long time coming