College football playoff photo for week 12: Ohio State-UC battles for last place
Georgia are the only undefeated Power 5 team.
The Bulldogs seem to be the best bet for making the college football playoffs. Cincinnati, one of the two unbeaten in the Group of 5, is still in the game. The other top 10 contenders have a loss.
The third round of CFP rankings will take place on Tuesday. How are they going to fix this one-loss mess?
The Big 12 took the final blow when Oklahoma suffered a 27-14 loss to Baylor in Week 11. The Sooners might not fall much in the standings, but the top 10 hierarchy is changing. The Big Ten still have a stalemate with a loss with the states of Ohio, Michigan and Michigan to be resolved over the next two weeks as well. Cincinnati got some help with the Sooners’ loss. Will they get more in the last three weeks?
Each week we will break down the playoff picture based on how we think the CFP committee should rank the top 10 teams. As we saw last week, the committee might not agree with these rankings.
BENDER: OR will not be forgiven this time by the CFP committee
Future results are not projected:
Four in the college football qualifiers
1. Georgia (10-0)
Remaining time: vs. Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech
Tennessee scored a touchdown in the first quarter and hit a season-high points in points against the Bulldogs. Georgia has consistently roughed up their 41-17 rival and enjoyed the backing of a rushed offense that racked up 274 yards on 6.7 yards per carry. Georgia have four wins over ranked opponents and have closed a perfect regular season in SEC play. There is no doubt who is No. 1 at the moment.
2. Alabama (9-1)
Remaining time: against Arkansas, in Auburn
Alabama covered a 51.5-point lead in a 59-3 win over New Mexico State in a pre-season tune-up against Arkansas and Auburn. Bryce Young finished 21 of 23 for 270 yards and five touchdowns in a stat-padder performance, and Jameson Williams continued a stellar season with six catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns. There is nothing new to learn about the Crimson Tide in this victory that the next two weeks will not clarify. As a result, Alabama will remain in second place.
MORE: Young remains at the heart of the Heisman race
3. Oregon (9-1)
Remaining time: in Utah, against the State of Oregon
Oregon and Washington were tied at halftime, but the Ducks escaped in the third quarter and held on for a 38-24 victory. The CFP committee could get tricky and put Ohio State third, but we will retain the Oregon head-to-head victory on September 11. Anthony Brown continues to evolve as a double threat. He finished with 135 passing yards and 123 rushing yards, and the tag team of Travis Dye (88 yards, TD) and Byron Cardwell (98 yards, 2 TDs) are more than enough to support the game. race. Kayvon Thibodeaux also came with a red zone clutch bag. The biggest Pac-12 test will take place in week 12 in Utah.
4. Ohio State (9-1)
Remaining time: against Michigan State, Michigan
Spoilers? Not really. Ohio State hammered Purdue 59-31 to add a second win over a ranked opponent to his resume. The committee favors the Buckeyes over the Bearcats, and it will stay that way on Tuesday. Ohio State racked up 386 yards in the first half and took a 45-17 lead. CJ Stroud finished 31 of 38 for 361 yards and five touchdowns. The Buckeyes racked up 624 yards in their most complete offensive performance in a month. Ohio State gets a top-10 matchup against Michigan State and Michigan over the next two weeks. The Buckeyes remain the team to beat in the Big Ten.
5. Cincinnati (10-0)
Remaining time: against SMU, in East Carolina
There is a “shaming score” with the Bearcats. Cincinnati led South Florida 31-7 in the third quarter, but the Bulls reduced the lead to 10 in the second half in a 45-28 loss. Does the score matter? It’s a battle of perception that Cincinnati might not win the American Athletic Conference, and this was the third week in a row the Bearcats didn’t cover a wide gap. Of the 10 teams Cincinnati beat, only Notre Dame has a Power 5 victory. Is that top 10 victory over Notre Dame enough? The reality is that Cincinnati will need one of the states of Alabama, Oregon, or Ohio to lose.
6. Michigan State (9-1)
Remaining time: in Ohio State, against Penn State
Unlike the CFP committee, we always honor the Spartans’ victory over the Wolverines. That’s a problem that will resolve itself when the states of Michigan and Ohio meet at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. The Spartans posted a balanced attack in a 40-21 blowout against Maryland. Kenneth Walker III rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns to continue his Heisman push, and Payton Thorne had 287 yards and four touchdowns. The Spartans are the last Big Ten school to win on the road at Ohio State; a victory which led to a CFP place in 2015. Will history repeat itself?
Four to watch
7. Michigan (9-1)
Remaining time: vs. Maryland, Ohio
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh deserves credit for leading Michigan to a 21-17 clutch road victory at Penn State. Cade McNamara threw the winning TD pass to Erick All, and Hassan Haskins rushed 31 times for 156 yards. Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo combined five of the Wolverines’ seven sacks. Michigan can put up a 10-1 battle against Ohio State if both teams go about business this week. The Wolverines close their road schedule in Maryland.
MORE: James Franklin Explains False FG Fail Against Michigan
8. Notre-Dame (9-1)
Remaining time: against Georgia Tech, at Stanford
Notre Dame is starting to enter the playoff conversation. The Irish didn’t have much trouble with Virginia, who didn’t have quarterback Brennan Armstrong (ribs). Notre Dame took a 28-3 victory, its fourth consecutive double-digit victory. The Irish are still hampered by the loss to Cincinnati, and they would need the Big Ten East champion to lose a potential clash with Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. Remember, the Irish beat the Badgers 41-13. Notre-Dame is not yet outdone.
9. Oklahoma State (9-1)
Remaining time: at Texas Tech, vs. Oklahoma
The Cowboys beat Baylor. This is going to be a key piece in the potential tiebreaks for the Big 12 championship game. Oklahoma State continued what has become a dominant defensive stretch in a 63-17 blowout against TCU. The Cowboys allowed just 7.7 points per game. in three wins since the loss to Iowa State on Nov. 23. Oklahoma State has yet to prove it by breaking a six-game losing streak at Bedlam, but the Sooners haven’t looked good in their last two road games. The CFP committee will respect the Oklahoma state curriculum vitae a little more; at least for this week.
10. Oklahoma (9-1)
Remaining time: against the state of Iowa, in the state of Oklahoma
The Sooners lost 27-14 to Baylor in a loss that put their CFP hopes on fire. Sure, each of Oklahoma’s four CFP races since 2015 came after a loss in a conference game, but the committee didn’t like them much with an unbeaten record. Baylor ran for 296 yards and Lincoln Riley rocked quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler through a shocking loss to the Bears. The Sooners are still in control of their destiny to return to the Big 12 Championship game, but they are near the back of the line of contenders for a loss for the CFP.
MORE: QB shuffle doesn’t work in losing OU to Baylor