Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Figured I'd slap this rooting guide together so you can keep track of this weekend's action and who you should be cheering for. It's pretty simple - You want chaos! Here we go:
Friday/Saturday rooting guide:
- NC State > North Carolina - 12:30pm PST on Friday - With a UNC loss it guarantees that they can't jump ahead of us in the rankings if they beat Clemson next weekend.
Result: NC State 30, UNC 27 - 2OT - We got what we needed here. Onward to Saturday!
California > UCLA - 1:30PM PST on Friday - This one's for that outside shot at a Pac-12 title berth. If UCLA wins today that path is as good as dead (we'd be relying on a Utah loss to Colorado which is just not realistic). If Cal pulls this off we're down to just 2 results left to get us there.
Result: UCLA 35, Cal 28 - So close for Cal but fumbles ultimately cost them the game. The Huskies are now reliant on Colorado to somehow beat Utah. I've added that game to this list as its our last hope.
Ohio State > Michigan - 9:00AM PST on Saturday - At this point in the season one of these two teams is all but assured a playoff berth. The problem for everyone else is that the runner-up might still be a top-5 team and be in a prime position to snipe a CFP spot. The best chance for one of these teams to miss the playoffs is for Ohio State to blow out Michigan by 30+ points.
Result: Michigan 45, Ohio State 23 - This one wasn't too critical since both of these teams came in 11-0. With Ohio State falling to Michigan and Clemson falling to South Carolina it drastically increases the odds that both of them will be in the playoff. Ohio State will now look for USC or TCU to stumble this weekend or next.
- South Carolina > Clemson - 9:00AM PST on Saturday - Clemson at 12-1 probably gets the nod over USC at 12-1 and almost certainly gets in over any 2-loss teams. For the Huskies post-season prospects we want Clemson to lose to South Carolina and finish the regular season 10-2.
Result: South Carolina 31, Clemson 30 This was a huge result for the Pac-12, Big-10, and Big-12. Any one loss conference champions are guaranteed a CFP berth now and 1-loss conference championship game losers probably also get in. North Carolina beating Clemson next week would really seal the deal on this though and take any committee bias out of it.
Auburn > Alabama - 12:30PM PST on Saturday - Alabama is still ahead of UW in the CFP rankings and would be a lock for a NY6 bowl if they beat Auburn on Saturday. They can't play for the SEC title so we want Alabama to take a 3rd loss which will put them around the 13-17 area of the rankings and give UW a chance to move ahead.
Result: Alabama 49, Auburn 27 - We didn't get this one. Alabama will remain ranked ahead of us and is all but guaranteed a NY6 bowl berth.
- Oregon State > O****n - 12:30PM PST on Saturday - This one is pretty obvious. If this doesn't happen there is no path for UW to make the Pac-12 title game AND there's a chance that O****n, even with a CCG loss to USC, would still go to the Rose Bowl or a NY6 ahead of us at 10-3. We want the D**ks to lose for schadenfreude, for the Pac-12 title game, and for the good of college football.
Result: Oregon State 38, O****n 34 - This one hit big! Although we're now eliminated from the Pac-12 title game we can still play spoiler with a win tonight. A Huskies victory officially eliminates O****n from the Pac-12 title game.
Colorado > Utah - 1:00PM PST on Saturday - The last hope for the Huskies to play for the conference title. A Utah win and an O****n loss, according to the Pac-12, would send Utah to face USC. A Utah loss would send UW. Utah is favored by 29.5 points and Colorado has failed to cover three 30+ point spreads in a row. Do you believe in miracles? Colorado would have to pull one of the biggest upsets in CFB history.
Result: Utah 63, Colorado 21 - Pretty much the game we all expected.
Michigan State > Penn State - 1:00PM PST on Saturday - We have a bit of a double bonus here with this one. An MSU win makes UW's strength of schedule stronger (MSU would become bowl eligible) and knocks Penn State down in the rankings. Currently Penn State is ahead of UW even though they have 0 wins over CFP ranked teams. Their ranking ahead of UW is 1A in the bullshit department for the Huskies this week. A loss to MSU cements UW ahead of Penn State and increases the odds at a NY6 bowl berth.
Result: Penn State 35, Michigan State 16 - This was closer than the final score looks but ultimately Sparty is just not very good this year. Penn State will probably remain ahead of us in the CFP rankings even though they've done nothing to deserve it. This one hurts because they will absolutely take an at-large NY6 bid above us if that's the case.
- TCU > Iowa State - 1:00PM PST on Saturday -
We're not going to get a perfect storm of every game going our way so we'll take whatever help we can get. A TCU loss does help us as it clears the way for USC to make the CFP. Iowa State is 1-7 in conference but has lost 6 of those by 1 score (the lone exception is 2 scores to Oklahoma). They aren't as bad as their record indicates but just haven't been able to get it done in the end. It's not far fetched that they could snatch this one away from TCU.Because UCLA beat Cal we're definitely not going to make the Pac-12 Championship Game. As such we're now rooting for TCU to grab that 4th playoff spot so that Ohio State gets slotted into the Rose Bowl. We're scrapping for three undefeated playoff teams, USC at 12-1, Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, and everyone else with 3 losses or more. That gets UW an almost guaranteed berth in the Rose Bowl across from Ohio State and a chance to take some recruiting and conference grudges out on them.
Result: TCU 62, Iowa State 14 - TCU has to be happy to finally have a game that's won by more than one possession. They're now 12-0 and have a date with either Texas or Kansas State. Even if they lose it's hard to imagine them missing the CFP given the rest of the teams in contention. The only way they get held out is if LSU wins tonight and beats Georgia next week. None of us want that.
- Texas A&M > LSU - 4:00PM PST on Saturday - A lot of people have been up in arms over LSU at 5th in the rankings with 2-losses and I'm not going to get into whether that's legit or not but it would solve a lot of debate if they just went ahead and lost to Texas A&M on Saturday. They're already guaranteed to play Georgia in the SEC title game but what we, and the rest of the country, don't want is LSU to have a close game with Georgia and hang around in the top-10 at 10-3. That could be just enough to snipe away an NY6 berth from the Huskies. An LSU loss would be the single biggest boost (aside from an Apple Cup win of course) we could get to our NY6 chances.
Result: Texas A&M 38, LSU 23 - LSU eliminated from the playoff picture and dropped far enough in the rankings to not threaten for an NY6 spot unless they beat Georgia.
Vanderbilt > Tennessee - 4:30PM PST on Saturday - This is in the 1-in-a-million category but that's better than it looked 3 weeks ago which was 1-in-a-billion. Vandy is on a 2-game winning streak and Tennessee has lost 2 of their last 3 and lost their QB for the season. Never say never in college football... This would knock another SEC team out of the way for UW to get a solid bowl game.
Result: Tennessee 56, Vanderbilt 0 - Tennessee is now guaranteed to be ahead of UW in the rankings and receive a NY6 bowl bid.
- USC > Notre Dame - 4:30PM PST on Saturday - This helps the Pac-12 and this helps Washington. If Notre Dame beats the Trojans they will 100% leap UW in the playoff rankings even though they don't deserve to. We want USC to go to the playoffs or lose to us in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Anything else is problematic.
Result: USC 38, Notre Dame 27 - USC is now guaranteed a NY6 bowl and just needs to beat Utah to make the playoff. We definitely want them to beat Utah.
Kansas > Kansas State - 5:00PM PST on Saturday - Kansas State ahead of UW in the CFP rankings is 1B in the bullshit department. They have 3 losses to Texas, TCU, and Tulane and yet somehow are ranked ahead of two of those teams plus ranked ahead of the Huskies even though they have zero wins over CFP ranked teams. The committee is leaning way too heavily on strength of schedule with this one. A loss would get them out of the conversation and would actually send 8-4 Texas to the Big-12 title game against TCU.
Result: Kansas State 47, Kansas 27 - Unfortunately Kansas State held on and will, for now, sit above UW in the rankings. We'll be relying on TCU to destroy them to get them out of the way.
- Washington > Washington State - 7:30PM PST on Saturday - Obviously games 1 through 13 mean nothing if we lose this. So ya.
Result: We win. Yay.
BONUS: Next Week's Viewing Guide:
Update 3: The Oregon State win is a huge domino for us. Unfortunately with Alabama and Penn State winning we're probably only going to move past O****n at this stage. There's still a chance to move up higher with some other results but the "dare to dream" scenario of being 5th or 6th in the final CFP rankings is now gone.
- USC > Utah - 5:00PM PST on Friday Dec. 2nd - If we make the game of course we want to win it and finish 11-2 with a Rose Bowl berth.
- TCU > Texas - 9:00AM PST on Saturday Dec. 3rd - If TCU rolls into this game at 12-0 facing off against an 8-4 Texas they're definitely in the CFP if they win it. If they lose things get dicey and it's possible Ohio State jumps into their spot. That would be bad for us as a 3rd Big-10 team would be in a NY6 taking the replacement berth for the Rose Bowl. We are very against any other 2 or 3 loss teams getting autobids because it shrinks the available spots for us.
- Georgia > LSU - 1:00PM PST on Saturday Dec. 3rd - Let's face reality here - Georgia isn't losing to Georgia Tech so we want them to give LSU a (hopefully) 4th loss and guarantee an extra NY6 at-large berth is available. This would put either Alabama or Tennessee into the SEC tie-in game to replace Georgia who would go to the CFP.
- North Carolina > Clemson - 5:00PM PST on Saturday Dec. 3rd - If this week goes as planned UNC would be rolling into this game at 9-3 and Clemson at 10-2. A 3rd loss for Clemson and an upset win for UNC would leave both teams ranked around 15th and prevent any ACC teams from taking an at-large NY6 berth.
- Michigan > Who the hell knows - 5:00PM PST on Saturday Dec. 3rd - A Michigan loss would put some random Big-10 team into a NY6 bowl which we definitely don't want. We want Ohio State to be out of the CFP and slotted into the Rose Bowl as the Big-10 replacement for CFP-bound Michigan. I don't know who Michigan will play here because the Big-10 West is at serious risk of a 4-way division tie and I don't have the time nor f**ks given to calculate their tie-breakers.
11-1 Ohio State
*10-3 North Carolina
9-3 Florida State
9-3 Oregon State
9-3 Penn State
8-4 Notre Dame
8-4 Kansas State
Update: We missed on 5 of the first 8 which means UW will finish 7th at best heading into bowl season. There's still a lot that needs to happen to get us up that high. That said - If UW wins the Apple Cup and the bowl game it will be a guaranteed top-10 finish. Pretty huge result in year one with DeBoer.