By Justin Parmer
The first blood has been spilled. Only two games in to the 150th season of college football and the eliminator has taken its first victim. With the fall of one power-five team, and another inching closer to elimination, let’s take a look at which teams bit the dust, which teams are on the fringe of elimination and which teams still have playoff aspirations entering week 1 of the 2019 season.
Regular Season Elimination Method
Group-of-five Method (and any independent not named Notre Dame)
- Suffering a single loss on the season
Power-five Method (and Notre Dame)
- Losing two games
- Losing to a group-of-five school
- Losing to an FCS school or lower
- Losing a game by 30 or more points.
Teams remaining safe (72)
Houston, Navy, Tulane, Tulsa, Cincinnati, South Florida
Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Big Ten (14)
All teams remain
Big 12 (10)
All teams remain
Conference USA (2)
FAU, Middle Tennessee
Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Kent State
PAC 12 (11)
Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
On the brink of elimination (1)
Oh Miami. Those dastardly convicts destroyed themselves, didn’t they? To put it simply, the Hurricanes were the better team throughout much of Saturday night’s matchup in Orlando, despite what the offensive numbers say.
The only problem for Miami was self-inflicted wounds on multiple occasions. In particular, muffing the punt inside the Hurricanes’ own red zone and missing a 27-yard chip shot.
If the Hurricanes prevented one of these outcomes, the college football world would be talking about how this team could go 12-0 entering the ACC title game. Instead, the eliminator has the Hurricanes on the brink of elimination in week 0.
The good news for the Hurricanes is that the rest of their schedule is smooth sailing, and the fact that they kept the game within one possession against a top 10 opponent. 11-1 is definitely not out of the realm possibility, and Miami can recover from a week 0 loss. The bad news is that they will now have to claw into the top 25, run the remaining part of their regular season schedule undefeated and will in all likelihood have to face Clemson in the ACC championship game. This team may be standing along the cliff of elimination for a while.
Method of elimination: Losing to a Group of Five team
The first of the power-fives to fall during the regular season, Arizona had every advantage possible compared to most teams when traveling to the Aloha state. Yet like the Tennessee Titans in super bowl 34, Arizona came one yard short of achieving a victory. That and letting up 595 yards to a Hawaii squad who went 8-6 last season in the Mountain West.
The Wildcats were highly unlikely to make the playoffs but with Oregon, Washington and Stanford as their out-of-division opponents and having Texas Tech come to town, the loss to the Rainbow Warriors could mean the death blow to any bowl hopes Arizona fans had.
Total Number of teams eliminated: 55
The following games are elimination games because no matter who wins, one team will meet a criteria that will deem them unworthy of entering the college football playoffs. Here are the elimination games for week 1. All times are eastern standard time.
8/29 UCLA vs Cincinnati (7:00 PM)
8/29 Kent State vs Arizona State (10:00 PM)
8/30 Tulsa vs Michigan State (7:00 PM)
8/30 South Florida vs Wisconsin (7:00 PM)
8/31 FAU vs Ohio State (12:00 PM)
8/31 Miami (OH) vs Iowa (7:30 PM)
9/1 Houston vs Oklahoma (7:30 PM)
Connecticut (AAC), East Carolina (AAC), Memphis (AAC), SMU(AAC), Temple(AAC), UCF(AAC), Alabama-Birmingham(Conference USA), Charlotte(Conference USA), Florida International (Conference USA), Louisiana Tech(Conference USA), Marshall(Conference USA), North Texas (Conference USA), Rice(Conference USA), Southern Mississippi (Conference USA), Texas San-Antonio (Conference USA), Western Kentucky (Conference USA), Akron (MAC), Ball State (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC), Buffalo (MAC), Central Michigan (MAC), Eastern Michigan (MAC), Ohio (MAC), Toledo (MAC), Air Force (Mountain West), Boise State(Mountain West), Colorado State (Mountain West), Fresno State (Mountain West), Hawai’i (Mountain West), Nevada (Mountain West), New Mexico State (Mountain West), San Jose State (Mountain West), UNLV (Mountain West), Utah State (Mountain West), Wyoming (Mountain West), Missouri (SEC)*, Appalachian State (Sun Belt), Arkansas State (Sun Belt), Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt), Georgia State (Sun Belt), Georgia Southern (Sun Belt), Louisiana(Sun Belt), Louisiana Monroe (Sun Belt), South Alabama (Sun Belt), Troy (Sun Belt), Texas State (Sun Belt), Army (Independent), BYU (Independent), Liberty (Independent), New Mexico State (Independent), UMass (Independent)
*Missouri is bowl ineligible but is currently in the appeals process.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org