Here we go.
There are a just a few weeks to go in the season. As the season draws to an end, the race for the college football playoff is just beginning.
For all intents and purposes, that race has narrowed to a contest between nine teams. Washington is among that nine, but is the “last team in” per the most recent College Football Playoff selection committee rankings.
Husky fans know that getting into the playoff is still a possibility but that help will be required along the way. We all know that UW has to win out. That’s a given.
But the rest? At this point, we should all be rooting for a scenario where two-loss teams come out of both the Big 12 and B1G as champions. Should that happen, there ought to be room for a less-respected UW team to squeeze in with a PAC 12 conference championship in hand.
Of course, that alone may still not be enough. We might need even a little more help.
So, here is your Week 11 rooting guide covering all games of interest to Husky fans. And for some more fun, go check out Max Vrooman’s game of “Playoff 500” which lays out the various paths to the playoffs that are available to UW.
#20 Iowa at #6 Wisconsin
Root for: Iowa
This is the most important game on the schedule for UW fans to watch. Wisconsin is undefeated but sitting on a very weak schedule. This will be their first ranked opponent of the season - and they are lucky in that Iowa just became ranked this past week.
A loss now would make it very difficult for the BiG to put a team into the playoffs. Not impossible ... but very difficult. This would be one big step towards making the two-loss B1G, two-loss Big 12 scenario happening.
#1 Georgia vs #10 Auburn
Root for: Auburn
I know that I said above that there are only 9 teams left in the race. And, yes, it is possible that #10 Auburn could still work themselves back into the playoff race.
History has shown that the road for a two-loss team to get into the playoffs is very, very long. It has never happened before. It could have happened a year ago, but the committee decided that a two-loss conference champ was worth less than a one-loss team with a “quality loss”.
Thus, the deck is already severely stacked against Auburn. Should they hand Georgia their first loss, it would really cripple the case for a two-SEC team scenario.
This one is easy. War Damn Eagle.
#6 TCU vs #5 Oklahoma
Root for: TCU
Look, we need each of these teams to take one more loss during the season. The odds are very good that these are going to be the two teams that match up in the new Big 12 championship. Teams that play each other twice in the same season most often split that series.
Whichever team loses this game is probably going to suffer a disqualification from the playoff race. While I think it is more likely that Oklahoma wins at home and then loses an rematch, I would prefer to see the opposite happen.
Recall that TCU already beat the same OKST team that Oklahoma beat last week. If TCU wins on Saturday, they can claim the undisputed poll position in the Big 12. That would set up a great opportunity for a spectacular fail should TCU end up dropping either the championship game or an upset next week at Texas Tech.
#3 Notre Dame at #7 Miami
Root for: Notre Dame
Let’s get this one out of the way now. My advice on who to root for may not follow conventional wisdom. But bear with me here.
Miami is an undefeated team. As long as they remain undefeated, the risk of the ACC sending two teams to the playoff ahead of a one-loss PAC 12 champion remains as likely as the SEC doing the same. UW fans really want to see the second best team in the ACC, whoever that might be, to have two losses.
I get that a ND win further bolsters their own resume. However, we have to keep in mind that a Miami win over a #3 ND would further bolster the Cane’s resume. Should Miami beat ND straight up, I suspect the threat that ND currently poses to UW simply gets swapped out by the Hurricanes.
UW can still get into the playoffs with Clemson as the ACC champ and ND getting in. I’ve modeled as much already. Since the Irish represent the only real threat to Miami going undefeated in the regular season, I’m rooting for the Irish.
Of course, this one is open to debate. UW will have a path to the playoffs no matter the outcome.
#2 Alabama vs #16 Mississippi State
Root for: Mississippi State
There is a line of reasoning that says UW is better off if Alabama goes undefeated and leaves zero doubt that there is only one team coming out of the SEC. It’s not unreasonable.
However, I think the threat of a two SEC team scenario is now real enough that we need to consider it. Alabama getting a loss now would pretty much eliminate that scenario, especially if they were to go on and lose an SEC championship. Alabama has only one win over a ranked team (last week to #25 LSU) and their next best win is quite literally FAU. A loss to Mississippi State would raise eyebrows.
#15 Oklahoma State at #21 Iowa State
Root for: Iowa State
Weakening the resume of the eventual Big 12 champ is a good thing. An Iowa State win over OKST would accomplish that. Plus, we’ve seen how a good D can slow down QB Mason Rudolph and co. I love a good upset.
Florida State at #4 Clemson
Root for: Florida State
Clemson is getting 16 points in this game. 16!
That plus the fact that FSU is at risk of having the bowl appearance streak snapped has me thinking that there might be an upset opportunity brewing. Let’s watch this one.
Rutgers at #14 Penn State
Root for: Rutgers
Hey, don’t laugh. It could happen.
You know what else could happen? Rutgers could still get bowl eligible.
That would be good.
Other teams to root for:
USC over Colorado
WSU over Utah
Washington over Stanford (duh)
Fresno State over Hawaii (we want FSU to win the MWC)
Colorado State over Boise State (see above)
Friday Night Schedule
|Temple at Cincinnati||4:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#9 Washington at Stanford||7:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|BYU at UNLV||7:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
Saturday Full Schedule
|#12 Michigan State at #13 Ohio State||9:00 AM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Rutgers at #14 Penn State||9:00 AM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|#15 Oklahoma State at #21 Iowa State||9:00 AM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Connecticut at #18 UCF||9:00 AM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|#23 NC State at Boston College||9:00 AM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Arkansas at #24 LSU||9:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Duke at Army||9:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Texas Tech vs Baylor||9:00 AM||FSN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Louisiana at Ole Miss||9:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida at South Carolina||9:00 AM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Indiana at Illinois||9:00 AM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Nebraska at Minnesota||9:00 AM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#17 Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech||9:20 AM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Middle Tennessee at Charlotte||11:00 AM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Wake Forest at Syracuse||12:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|#1 Georgia at #10 Auburn||12:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Florida State at #4 Clemson||12:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#20 Iowa at #8 Wisconsin||12:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Virginia at Louisville||12:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Michigan at Maryland||12:30 PM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|West Virginia at Kansas State||12:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|SMU at Navy||12:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Florida Atlantic at Louisiana Tech||12:30 PM||Stadium||WatchStadium.com|
|Southern Mississippi at Rice||12:30 PM||None||CUSA.tv|
|#11 USC at Colorado||1:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Maine vs UMass||1:00 PM||NESNPlus/Eleven||UMass.com|
|Georgia State at Texas State||1:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|San Jose State at Nevada||1:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Kentucky at Vanderbilt||1:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Troy at Coastal Carolina||1:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Arkansas State at South Alabama||2:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|UTEP at North Texas||2:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#19 Washington State at Utah||2:30 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Kansas at Texas||3:00 PM||Longhorn Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Western Kentucky at Marshall||3:30 PM||beIN||None|
|#2 Alabama at #16 Mississippi State||4:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Purdue at #25 Northwestern||4:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|UAB at UT San Antonio||4:00 PM||KCWX||CUSA.tv|
|Tulane at East Carolina||4:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|New Mexico at Texas A&M||4:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Old Dominion at Florida Intl||4:00 PM||None||CUSA.tv|
|Tennessee at Missouri||4:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|#3 Notre Dame at #7 Miami||5:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#6 TCU at #5 Oklahoma||5:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Arizona State at UCLA||6:30 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Oregon State at Arizona||7:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Wyoming at Air Force||7:15 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Boise State at Colorado State||7:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Fresno State at Hawai'i||8:00 PM||Spectrum Sports/KSEE||None|