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Who is in the conference title games and how do tiebreaks work?


A full 60 percent of the Football Bowl Subdivision title game seats were sold out before the last weekend of the regular season. But these remaining 40% are enough for anyone to give up mathematics for a while.

For every ACC or SEC that has its own set of matches, there is a Pac-12 that is on the tiebreaker list. For every Big Twelve with a simple set of scenarios, there is an American Athletic company using a computer tie-break formula.

Here’s the full rundown of how to sort it all out as you digest your Thanksgiving feast (or leftovers) this weekend.

College Football Playoff Ranking: LSU holds USC for 5th

ACC: No. 8 Clemson (10-1, 8-0) and No. 17 North Carolina (9-2, 6-1) won their divisions before last a week. They will meet in Charlotte in the final ACC title match in the Atlantic and Coastal division format.

Big Ten: The Eastern Division is easy to understand. No. 3 Michigan (11-0, 8-0) and No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0) will sort it out Saturday at the Horseshoe, and the winner will likely earn a playoff berth as a result. .

No wonder the West can be a mess. Iowa (7-4, 5-3) could end the division with a home win over Nebraska on Friday. The Hawkeyes have a 7-4, 5-3 tiebreaker lead over Purdue, which could lead to a division victory with a win over Indiana coupled with a loss to Iowa. If both Iowa and Perdue lose and Illinois (7-4, 4-4) can handle the Northwest, Illini will go to Indianapolis.

And what if Iowa, Perdue and Illinois lose, what would be a very big ten for the West? Iowa will claim division.

Big 12: No. 4 TCU (11-0, 8-0) has one place sewn up. Kansas State’s No. 12 (8-3, 6-2) could claim another with a win over Kansas or a Texas loss to Baylor. Texas No. 23 (7-4, 5-3) will have a rematch after losing 17-10 to the Horned Frogs if he defeats Baylor on Friday and Kansas State falls the following night.

Pak-12: No. 6 Southern California (10-1, 8-1) ended the conference and earned a spot in the title game. No. 9 Oregon State (9-2, 7-1) could join the Trojans in Las Vegas by defeating No. 21 Oregon State.

What if the Ducks stumble? They can still make it if #13 Washington (9-2, 6-2) loses to Washington State in the Apple Cup. The Huskies and No. 12 Utah (8-3, 6-2) still have some hope, as John Wilner of the Pac-12 hotline explained.

Washington’s path includes winning his game and getting wins from Oregon State and California (over UCLA). Utah needs to win their game (against Colorado, so that’s probably a good thing) and then have Washington, Oregon State, and UCLA win.

There is nothing better than a fourth tie-break to turn someone’s head.

SEC: This one was locked up two Saturdays ago. No. 1 Georgia (11-0, 8-0) won the East Division again, and No. 5 LSU (9-2, 6-1) would take over the West even if they lost to Texas A&M. The Tigers have a personal tiebreaker against No. 7 Alabama (9-2, 5-2) if it comes to that.

American Athletic: The winner of Friday’s Tulane-Cincinnati game will win the regular season championship and go on to the conference title game. Both teams are 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the league.

No. 22 from Central Florida (8-3, 5-2) could take second after beating South Florida (1-10, 0-7). But the defeat of the “Knights” will ruin everything. Combined with a win in Cincinnati over Tulane, this would return the #19 Green Wave to #24 Cincinnati in the title game. In tandem with the Tulane win and Houston’s loss to Tulsa, Cincinnati will head to Tulane.

And then there’s the combination of losses to Central Florida and Cincinnati and a win by Houston that will send the Bearcats and Cougars (7-4, 5-2) to a tiebreak in which the team with the highest ranking in the four computer formulas will earn a trip to New Orleans.

US Conference: Texas-based San Antonio (9-2, 7-0) earned host duties ahead of the Conference USA exit. (The Roadrunners are one of six C-USA schools heading to the American Championship next season.) North Texas (6-5, 5-2) will earn second place by beating Rice or losing Western Kentucky to the Florida Atlantic. Western Kentucky (7-5, 5-2) needs a win and a loss for North Texas to fight for the championship.

The kickers save TCU and Michigan (college football winners and losers)

Middle American: Ohio (9-3, 7-1) swept the East Division with a 38-14 thrashing of Bowling Green on Tuesday. The Bobcats, aiming for their first MAC title since 1968, will face West Division winner Toledo (7-4, 5-2) on Dec. 3 in Detroit. Toledo is ahead of Eastern Michigan (7-4, 4-3) but holds a head-to-head tie-break.

Mountain West: Boise State (8-3, 7-0) will host Fresno State (7-4, 6-1) no matter how this weekend goes. The Broncos scored a 40-20 victory over the Bulldogs on blue turf on October 8.

Solar belt: Under different circumstances, Coastal Carolina (9-1, 6-1) will play for the division title this week against James Madison (7-3, 5-2). But since the Dukes are ineligible for postseason play as part of the FBS transition, the Chanticleers will represent the East Division.

In the West, Troy (9-2, 6-1) owns a personal tiebreaker over South Alabama (9-2, 6-1), so the Trojans need a win (over Arkansas State 3-8) or a loss in South Alabama (3- 8 Old Dominion). South Alabama needs a win and a loss for Troy to secure a place in the title game.

Five with the highest risk

Take a look at the teams you can play on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Southern California. The Trojans’ playoff path will require some help, especially in the form of losing at least one of LSU or TCU within the next two weeks. But they’ll have to do their part too, which means they’ll have to deal with No. 15 Notre Dame (8-3) in the regular season finals. All playoff chatter will fade away if USC can’t handle an eight-out-of-nine Irish team.

Caleb Williams and USC caught the wave and rode it back to win back over UCLA.

2a. Ohio State and 2b. Michigan. There is an argument to place these commands a little lower. After all, the cost of losing may not even be to make it past the playoffs. But whoever wins the battle of the undefeated is almost guaranteed to make the playoffs, no matter what happens in the Big Ten title game. This is not a bad reward, even if the risk is not as great as for others.

3. TCU. Horned Frogs remain in survival and advance mode. And while it’s not what it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which TCU loses the Big 12 title game and still earns a playoff berth (say if Clemson, LSU and Southern Cal lose at least once in the next two weeks), Sonny Dykes’ team can’t afford to lose home from last-placed Iowa State (4-7, 1-7 Big 12).

4. Clemson. While some skepticism about the Tigers’ resume is warranted, the fact is that a 12-1 Clemson team with an ACC title would have sparked some controversy for a place in the semi-finals. The Tigers can’t go 12-1 without beating South Carolina 7-4, and the Gamecox should have Clemson’s full attention with a 63-point loss to Tennessee in a shellac that knocked the Vols out of the playoff picture.

5. Georgia. The Bulldogs could make the playoffs a week early by beating rivals Georgia Tech (5-6), who performed valiantly under interim coach Brent Key. Georgia is ranked lower than the undefeated Big Ten players for one simple reason: win or lose, the game is next week. The math is simple: win one game to qualify for the semi-finals, and win both to secure the #1 seed.

Weekly round-up of the race for your favorite college football statue.

1. QB Caleb Williams, Southern California (3,480 yards, 33 TDs, three INT passes; 316 yards, seven TDs in the snatch) Having a big stage and facing an out-of-town opponent with his own conference name design, Williams threw for 470 yards to make the strongest impression. He will have two more high-profile opportunities to shine – against Notre Dame this weekend and then in the Pac-12 title game. (Last week: 3)

2. QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State (2,991 yards, 35 touchdowns, four INT passes) In another year, Stroud’s chances would likely be even worse, given one or fewer touchdowns in three of the Buckeyes’ last four games. But there’s a great opportunity for Heisman when Michigan comes to town on Saturday. (DV: 1)

3. QB Bo Nix, Oregon (3,061 yards, 25 TDs, six INTs; 509 yards, 14 TDs) He clearly didn’t pose much of a threat in a running game with a sore right ankle against Utah (except for a critical first down late in the game), but he still threw for 287 yards to retain the Ducks Pac-12 title. chase. (DL: 5)

4. RB Blake Corum, Michigan (1,457 yards, 18 touchdowns) The Wolverine star suffered a knee injury last week against Illinois, and his status in the de facto Big Ten East title game in Ohio State remains uncertain. If he really plays and runs for the ninth consecutive 100+ yards, his chances of getting an invitation to New York will increase. (DL: 6)

5. QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee (3,135 yards, 27 TDs, two INT passes; 430 yards, five rushes TD) The sixth year’s career ended with an anterior cruciate ligament tear from last week’s loss in South Carolina. It will still end up on some Heisman ballots – and rightly so. Hooker’s 10+ games were better than most players’ 12 or 13 games. (LW: 2)

6. QB Max Duggan, TCU (2,858 yards, 26 TDs, 3 INT passes; 291 yards, 5 TDs rushing) He threw for 327 yards, rushed for 50 and threw for two touchdowns in a return win over Baylor. He and the Horned Frogs end the regular season against Iowa State at home, where he has 15 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. (DV: unrated)


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