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Road to Tampa: Who's In?

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The 2016 college football season is now over hitting the stretch run and the number of teams fighting for the College Football Playoff is growing smaller each week.  Each week we will take a look at the Road to Tampa.

We still have 12 contenders for the playoff this week, but a couple of teams hurt their chances this week.  Texas A&M is a long shot after losing to Alabama this weekend.  Ohio State’s loss to Penn State didn’t end their hopes, but now they must run the table.

The Washington game with Utah this weekend has huge implications for the PAC 12’s chances of making the playoff.  If Utah loses they would be eliminated.  A Utah win would keep them alive but put the leagues chances of landing a spot in jeopardy.

After next weekend we will get the first rankings from the playoff committee.  By then we may be down to less than ten real contenders.

Who’s In

If the College Football Playoff started this week the playoff would likely look like this:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Michigan
  4. Washington

All four teams are in control of their destiny right now.  If they win out they will definitely be in the College Football Playoff.  Let’s take a look at what the contenders look like after week eight.

The Contenders

Atlantic Coast Conference

A two loss ACC team won’t make the College Football Playoff meaning the ACC now only has two remaining contenders.  Unless Clemson loses more than one ACC game they will be in Orlando for the ACC Championship.  Clemson will need to win the ACC Championship to make the playoff.  An undefeated Clemson team is a lock.  A one loss Clemson ACC champ can still make the playoff, but they will need some help.  Louisville needs to run the table and get some help to make the playoff.  Houston’s loss to SMU isn’t good news for Louisville as they could end the season with only one win over a top 25 team.

Clemson (7-0) – Oct. 29 (at FSU), Nov. 5 (vs. Syracuse), Nov. 12 (vs. Pitt), Nov. 19 (at Wake Forest), Nov. 26 (vs. South Carolina)

Louisville (6-1) – Oct. 29 (at Virginia), Nov. 5 (at Boston College), Nov. 12 (vs. Wake Forest), Nov. 17 (at Houston), Nov. 26 (vs. Kentucky)

SEC

The SEC’s chances of having two playoff teams took a hit this weekend as Alabama easily defeated Texas A&M.  Texas A&M is almost eliminated, but we will keep them on the list for a couple of weeks to see if Alabama runs the table.  Florida will need to run the table and win the SEC Championship to have a shot at the playoff.  Everyone else in the SEC has at least two losses.  A two loss SEC team will not make the College Football Playoff unless things get crazy.

Alabama (8-0) – Nov. 5 (at LSU), Nov. 12 (vs. Miss State), Nov. 19 (vs. Chat), Nov. 26 (vs. Auburn)

Texas A&M (6-1) – Oct. 29 (vs. NMSU), Nov. 5 (at Miss State), Nov. 12 (vs. Ole Miss), Nov. 19 (vs. UTSA), Nov. 24 (vs. LSU)

Florida (5-1) – Oct. 29 (vs. Georgia), Nov. 5 (at Ark), Nov. 12 (vs. South Carolina), Nov. 19 (at LSU), Nov. 26 (at FSU)

Big 12

The Big 12 has two remaining undefeated teams, Baylor and West Virginia.  They are the contenders.  All of the other teams have at least two losses and a two loss Big 12 team won’t make the playoff.  Baylor and West Virginia play on December 3.  The winner of that game will need to finish the season undefeated to likely have a shot at the College Football Playoff.  West Virginia looked strong this weekend and looks to have the best defense in the Big 12.  Oklahoma will have a chance to defeat both in November.

Baylor (6-0) – Oct. 29 (at Texas), Nov. 5 (vs. TCU), Nov. 12 (at Oklahoma), Nov. 19 (vs. Kansas), Nov. 25 (vs. Texas Tech), Dec. 3 (at West Virginia)

West Virginia (6-0) – Oct. 29 (at Okl. St.), Nov. 5 (vs. Kansas), Nov. 12 (at Texas), Nov. 19 (vs. Oklahoma), Nov. 26 (at Iowa State), Dec. 3 (vs. Baylor)

Big Ten

With Ohio State’s loss Michigan and Nebraska are the only undefeated teams in the BIG.  Ohio State is still alive with one loss, but they will need to run the table and win the conference championship.  All other teams have at least two losses.  Nebraska didn’t look great this weekend struggling with Purdue and gets a big test this week against Wisconsin.  A one loss Nebraska team won’t make the playoff.  Michigan has an easy schedule with the exception of the final game at Ohio State.

Ohio State (6-1) – Oct. 29 (vs. Northwestern), Nov. 5 (vs. Nebraska), Nov. 12 (at Maryland), Nov. 19 (at Michigan State), Nov. 26 (vs. Michigan)

Michigan (7-0) – Oct. 29 (at Michigan St.), Nov. 5 (vs. Maryland), Nov. 12 (at Iowa), Nov. 19 (vs. Indiana), Nov. 26 (at Ohio State)

Nebraska (7-0) – Oct. 29 (at Wisconsin), Nov. 5 (at Ohio State), Nov. 12 (vs. Minnesota), Nov. 19 (vs. Maryland), Nov. 25 (at Iowa)

PAC 12

Washington is the only undefeated team and Utah is the only one loss team.  They are the only contenders from the PAC 12.  Utah struggled to defeat UCLA this weekend, but got the win.  Washington plays at Utah next week and the two teams could meet again in the PAC 12 championship game on Dec. 3.  If Washington defeats Utah next weekend that will eliminate Utah.  The PAC 12 will need to have an undefeated champion to have a good shot at making the College Football Playoff.

Washington (7-0) – Oct. 29 (at Utah), Nov. 5 (at Cal.), Nov. 12 (vs. USC), Nov. 19 (vs. Arizona State), Nov. 25 (at Washington St.)

Utah (7-1) – Oct. 29 (vs. Washington), Nov. 10 (at Arizona State), Nov. 19 (vs. Oregon), Nov. 26 (at Colorado)

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