With the results of Week 12 feeding into the updated CFP selection committee’s most updated rankings, there are a few insights that we can divine affecting the odds of one of three remaining PAC 12 teams in the conference championship race getting into the CFP.
Here is what we know:
Now ranked but with no shot at getting into the CFP, the Trojans end their regular season this weekend by hosting UCLA. If they win, they only need Utah to lose to either Arizona or Colorado in one of their final two to claim the South and completely end the chances of a PAC 12 CFP appearance.
The Utes are currently ranked seventh in the CFP rankings. At this point, it is going to take a few losses from teams in front of them for them to get into the Playoff even if they beat Oregon in a P12 Championship matchup and win the conference with one loss. Their one-loss schedule would clearly be the softest of any other one-loss teams that are in the race.
Oregon has the best odds of any P12 team ironically due to the loss that they suffered to Auburn. The fact that UW was ranked when they beat them helps a little too. However, the Ducks also have a very soft schedule due to another down year in the PAC that will not stack up well against other one loss teams if the current crop stays intact. They will also require some help.
So, with all of these CFP odds requiring a little assistance, who should PAC 12 fans be rooting for today?
PAC 12 CFP Rooting Guide, Week 13
#22 Oklahoma St at West Virginia
Root for: West Virignia
What does a somewhat meaningless Big 12 game have to do with the PAC? Oklahoma is shaping up as the top threat for taking the CFP spot that both Oregon and Utah are eyeing. Their strength of schedule already includes two wins over teams that were ranked in the top 15 (Texas #11, Baylor #13). Those two teams are somewhat flawed and might fall enough in the rankings for Oklahoma’s strength of schedule (SOS) to fall more. However, OKST is stil ahead of the Sooners. It would be far better for the PAC if the Cowboys were unranked when Oklahoma plays them.
#9 Penn State at #2 Ohio State
Root for: Ohio State
This one has huge implications for the entire CFP field. A Penn State win gives the Lions clear control of the Big Ten East but also opens the door more widely for a possible two-B1G team scenario where the winner of the conference is joined by Ohio State in the Playoff. An Ohio State win effectively eliminates Penn State from the CFP field and leaves us with only a remote chance that the Big Ten might send both Minnesota and Ohio State to the dance.
So, yeah, root for the Buckeyes.
West Carolina at #5 Alabama
Root for: a sloppy Alabama offense
The loss of Tua Tagovialoa to a brutal hip dislocation injury was difficult to watch. Many observers felt that it was the end of the line for Alabama’s CFP appearance streak. That the committee kept the one-loss Tide ranked at #5 is an interesting tell. The implication is that the committee is giving Nick Saban the benefit of the doubt. If the Alabama blows away West Carolina and then wins (in any way) against Auburn - the same Auburn team that already beat Oregon - then there is zero chance that they get passed over by the PAC 12 champion. But if they look sloppy in this tune-up game, then there is a chance that they may fall behind one or both of the PAC 12 teams after the committee absorbs the implications of the Tua loss. That might be enough to keep the PAC 12 champ in it even if Alabama beats Auburn next week. Maybe.
Texas A&M at #4 Georgia
Root for: a huge upset
The Bulldogs are in an interesting position. They have a great resume with big wins over Florida and Notre Dame - both top 10 teams when they played them - not to mention last week’s win over #12 Auburn. They are very likely going to win the SEC West. If they do, the question becomes whether or not they are a CFP team in the event that they lose a tight one-score game to #1 LSU in the SEC championship. Could Georgia with two losses jump a PAC 12 or Big 12 Champion?
I think it is at least possible enough that testing fate would be unwise. Georgia’s wins are that compelling. Thus, a road upset by the Aggies would be welcome news for PAC 12 fans.
#10 Minnesota at Northwestern
Root for: Northwestern
The remote possibility of both Minnesota and Ohio State going to the CFP gets eliminated if the Gophers falter here. Go Wildcats.
Obviously, it goes without saying that both Oregon and Utah have to keep winning in order to create the most appealing PAC 12 championship game possible. So you may have to stomach rooting for the Ducks if you want to see the PAC in the CFP.
Or you could just not.
The choice is yours. Your gameday schedule is below. This is your open thread. Enjoy.
College Football Viewing Schedule, Week 13
|#9 Penn State at #2 Ohio State||9:00 AM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Western Carolina at #5 Alabama||9:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Minnesota at Northwestern||9:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Samford at #12 Auburn||9:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Illinois at #20 Iowa||9:00 AM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#22 Oklahoma State at West Virginia||9:00 AM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|BYU at UMass||9:00 AM||NESN||FloFootball.com|
|UCF at Tulane||9:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Ball State at Kent State||9:00 AM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|East Carolina at UConn||9:00 AM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Liberty at Virginia||9:00 AM||ACCNX||WatchESPN.com|
|Kansas at Iowa State||9:00 AM||Fox Sports Net||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Michigan State at Rutgers||9:00 AM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|South Alabama at Georgia State||11:00 AM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Air Force at New Mexico||11:00 AM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Boston College at #16 Notre Dame||11:30 AM||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|Texas State at #25 Appalachian State||11:30 AM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Georgia Southern at Arkansas State||12:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Texas A&M at #4 Georgia||12:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#19 Texas at #13 Baylor||12:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#15 Michigan at Indiana||12:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|SMU at #23 Navy||12:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Mercer at North Carolina||12:30 PM||ACCNX||WatchESPN.com|
|Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech||12:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|UCLA at USC||12:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Marshall at Charlotte||12:30 PM||Stadium|
|Louisiana Tech at UAB||12:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|North Texas at Rice||12:30 PM||NFL||NFLNetwork.com|
|Western Kentucky at Southern Mississippi||12:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Nebraska at Maryland||12:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt||12:30 PM||SEC Alternate||WatchESPN.com|
|UT Martin at Kentucky||12:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Purdue at #14 Wisconsin||1:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#18 Memphis at South Florida||1:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|UTEP at New Mexico State||1:00 PM||None||FloFootball.com|
|California at Stanford||1:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Syracuse at Louisville||1:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|San Jose State at UNLV||1:00 PM||AT&T SportsNet||AT&T SportsNet|
|Old Dominion at Middle Tennessee||1:30 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Coastal Carolina at UL Monroe||2:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Troy at Louisiana||2:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Florida Atlantic at UTSA||3:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Arkansas at #1 LSU||4:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Temple at #17 Cincinnati||4:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#24 Kansas State at Texas Tech||4:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Miami at Florida International||4:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#6 Oregon at Arizona State||4:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Houston at Tulsa||4:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Abilene Christian at Mississippi State||4:30 PM||SEC Alternate||WatchESPN.com|
|Tennessee at Missouri||4:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Duke at Wake Forest||4:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|TCU at #10 Oklahoma||5:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Oregon State at Washington State||6:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|#7 Utah at Arizona||7:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Washington at Colorado||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#21 Boise State at Utah State||7:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Nevada at Fresno State||7:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|San Diego State at Hawai'i||8:00 PM||Spectrum Sports|