Handicapping the CFP Race Heading into Week 12

We’re almost at the end of the college football regular season. Ole Miss and Penn State saw their playoff hopes disappear last week, the SEC Championship Game was set, and Texas survived a furious comeback attempt by TCU in Quinn Ewers return. The biggest news this week was the suspension of Michigan coach Jim Harbough. He was suspended for the rest of the regular season. Initially, Michigan filed an appeal seeking an emergency injunction. It wasn’t heard before their game last week so he missed it. He was supposed to have his hearing today, but he dropped the appeal in return for the Big 10 dropping their investigation. They can still face discipline from the NCAA however. So without further ado, here are the contenders for the playoff after week 11, going into week 12:

Group of 5: No one
Independents: No one

ACC: #4 Florida State. 8-0 ACC, 10-0 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 vs. North Alabama, Week 13 @ Florida, ACC Championship Game (opponent TBD)

#10 Louisville. 6-1 ACC, 9-1 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 @ Miami (FL), Week 13 vs. Kentucky

Both Florida State and Louisville won close games last week to remain in the playoff chase. Florida State faces a cupcake this week, while Louisville can clinch their spot in the ACC Championship Game with a win over Miami. However, look for the Hurricanes to pull off the upset and eliminate the Cardinals.

Big 12: #7 Texas. 6-1 Big 12, 9-1 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 @ Iowa State, Week 13 vs. Texas Tech

Like I mentioned in the open, Quinn Ewers came back and Texas held off a rally from TCU to win. The Longhorns should have no issues with Iowa State this week

SEC: #1 Georgia. 7-0 SEC, 10-0 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 @ Tennessee, Week 13 @ Georgia Tech, SEC Chmpionship Game vs. Alabama

#8 Alabama. 7-0 SEC, 9-1 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 vs. Chattanooga, Week 13 @ Auburn, SEC Chmpionship Game vs. Georgia

As I said in the open, Georgia and Alabama won their games easily last week and will face each other in the SEC Championship Game. This is the SEC’s annual cupcake weekend, as they have 7 non-conference games, and 3 conference games. Alabama is firing on all cylinders after early season struggles and will have no issues with Chattanooga. Meanwhile, expect Georgia to come out of Neyland Stadium with a win.

Pac-12: #5 Washington. 7-0 Pac-12, 10-0 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 @ Oregon State, Week 13 vs. Washington State

#6 Oregon. 6-1 Pac-12, 9-1 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 @ Arizona State, Week 13 vs. Oregon State

We’re starting to get clarity on the Pac-12 chase. Washington’s next two games are vs. the only schools that are staying in the Pac-12 after this year, and they would love nothing more than to damage the Huskies playoff hopes, especially after this week’s court ruling on future Pac-12 assets in favor of the remaining schools, before the departing schools got a temporary injunction. I’m going with the Beavers to pull off the upset in the game of the week. Meanwhile, Oregon should easily defeat Arizona State.

Big 10: #3 Michigan. 7-0 Big 10, 10-0 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 @ Maryland, Week 13 vs. Ohio State

#2 Ohio State. 7-0 Big 10, 10-0 overall. Remaining schedule: Week 12 vs. Minnesota, Week 13 @ Michigan

Despite all the off-field smoke around Michigan, for the 3rd year in a row, it’s going to come down to Michigan-Ohio State to determine who the East sends to Indy, regardless of what happens this week. Look for both teams to win this week easily. Meanwhile, in the Big 10 West, the Hawkeyes can clinch their spot in the Big 10 Championship Game with a win over the Illini.

CFP Top 10 Rankings:
1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. Florida State
5. Washington
6. Oregon
7. Texas
8. Alabama
9. Mizzou
10. Louisville

Championship Saturday matchup predictions:
ACC: Florida State (clinched spot) vs. Louisville
Big 12: Oklahoma State vs. Texas
SEC: Georgia vs. Alabama (set)
Pac-12: Oregon vs. Washington
Big 10: Iowa vs. Ohio State

Playoff prediction:
Sugar Bowl: #1 Georgia vs. #4 Texas
Rose Bowl: #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Florida State

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