By Justin Parmer
At only two weeks into the college football season, the eliminator has eliminated all but one non-power five school not named Notre Dame. The ACC has only six teams remaining, the Pac 12 is collapsing in on itself and no, Texas is not back. Alright, enough with the long introduction. Who survived, whose playoff hopes died and which teams are hanging on for dear life for a shot at the 150th college football crown?
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 (38)
Boston College, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest
Big Ten (10)
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Big 12 (7)
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech
PAC Twelve (6)
Arizona State, California, Colorado, USC, Utah, Washington State
Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky
On the brink of elimination (12)
Arkansas really had nothing for Ole Miss. That’s a huge problem for the Razorbacks. Not only does the loss send Arkansas to the cliff, but it also establishes the Razorbacks as the bottom of the SEC food chain. Okay, maybe not as bad as the Vols, but you get the point.
Luckily for the Razorbacks, they can fall back on their non-conference games to aid their survival. With Colorado State, San Jose State and a buy all coming up in the next three weeks, Arkansas could stick around for a while. Good for them, bad for the eliminator who has to keep finding new ways to talk about a team sticking on the bubble.
This team was actually supposed to be in this category last week. However, due to deadlines and the NCAA deciding for some reason we needed the luxury of Monday Night Football, Louisville slipped through the eliminator’s grasp in week one.
The Cardinals put up a spirited fight against the Irish, but fell just short of knocking off the 2018 college football playoff qualifier. What they didn’t fall short in was kicking Eastern Kentucky out of their building. And with Eastern Kentucky and Florida State both coming up before the buy, we could see the Cardinals sneaking around the cliff for a while.
Wanna hear a good joke? Nebraska ranking inside the top 25 after going 4-8 last season. Didn’t like that one? How about Nebraska blowing a 17-0 lead in a span of 17 minutes to Colorado? Okay, the eliminator is done trying to be a comedian so let’s get to the point. Nebraska is not a top 25 team. Nebraska is not a contender for the Big Ten West. Nebraska is not ready for the spotlight again.
The eliminator wouldn’t even be shocked if Nebraska got knocked out next week to Northern Illinois. If the Huskies don’t finish them, a hot-start Illinois team might. Okay that’s a stretch, but Nebraska is still done by week 5 no matter what when Ohio State comes to visit. And they probably haven’t forgotten about what happened in last year’s game. Welcome to reality Husker fans, we’ve missed you.
Buy week. No change on the status of Northwestern
77-6 may be overcompensating just a little bit Oregon don’t you think? Then again, with all that went down in the Pac 12 the Ducks might actually need that in order to make the playoffs. The state of California sent shock waves across the Pac 12 with Washington and Stanford falling to California and USC respectively. With two of the Pac 12’s top 25 ranked teams going down in one week, and the outlook of Utah’s subpar performance against Northern Illinois, Oregon’s destiny may no longer be in their own hands. If the Pac is to survive, Oregon, Utah and Washington State now have to be the three powerhouses of the conference if any of them are to sneak into the college football playoffs. Otherwise, consider Oregon a lame duck.
Pitt did what they had to do to stay alive against the Bobcats last week. Now they get to step forward and receive their prize, a road trip to a white out and a date with the best non-power five school in the nation, before heading back into the insanity of the ACC coastal division.
South Carolina (1-1)
The eliminator has to ask Gamecock fans, this one question: was that really necessary? The eliminator gets that South Carolina needed to make a statement out of Charleston Southern after losing to North Carolina, but was scoring 72 points really going to impress the committee? The eliminator hates to break it to you, but it didn’t. Enjoy bending the knee to Bama next week.
Well, the eliminator didn’t see that coming. Although the eliminator thought Saturday’s matchup between USC and Stanford could go either way, the eliminator didn’t expect the Trojans to put up 45 points on the Trees. It wasn’t even close either; USC showed their dominance all game long. While the 25-point differential won’t be enough to chop down Stanford for good, it does cripple any momentum that the Trees may have had. And they’ll need a quick 180 turnaround as Stanford goes toe-to-toe with UCF next week and the Oregon Ducks the week after that. If Stanford wants to be considered a contender again, it starts with these two games. If they manage to take care of those, then the Trees may have a fertile spot in the college football playoff landscape to grow upon.
That was a low blow Texas. The eliminator gets trying to get the upper hand on your opponent, but cutting off an away team’s air conditioning in their away locker room is going one step too far. Just like LSU being one step ahead of you when the final buzzer sounded in Austin.
This was one that was both affordable and detrimental to any Longhorn playoff hopes. They lost to a high-quality SEC school by only one possession, meaning that this one game alone won’t hurt them. The bad news about losing to the Tigers means that the Longhorns will have to run the table. This most likely means going toe-to-toe with Heisman favorite Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma… twice. If they manage to do that then Texas might indeed be back. If they don’t take down Hurts or any other team in the Big 12, consider the Longhorns season hooked.
Texas A&M (1-1)
Nicely done Texas A&M. You managed not to get blown out by 30 points against the #1 ranked team in the country. You, however, still failed to beat Trevor Lawrence and company, so therefore we have to send you to the brink of elimination. This loss is forgivable, but the fight now turns to one of the toughest schedules in college football. Enjoy your cupcake this week Aggies. The SEC west waits for your arrival.
Virginia Tech (1-1)
Yeah, the eliminator predicted this. Virginia Tech taking care of Old Dominion bought the Hookies more time on this list. The eliminator also expects the Hookies to take down Furman next week before the buy. Moving along everyone, nothing to really see here
Maybe the Huskies should have just postponed the game. While everybody fell asleep, Washington laid an egg against the Bears of California. While the Bears do look better, the loss in California is a huge kick in the face not only for the Huskies, but for the entire Pac 12 as a whole. As a result, Washington’s loss puts the Pac 12 as the punchline of the Power-five. The rest of the Power-five is dancing to Washington’s near demise. Washington may hang around the bubble for a while, but if Utah and Washington State both fall in the coming weeks, the Huskies hopes will tighten shut.
Method of Elimination: Loss
Credit is given where credit is due. Tulane picked up Cincinnati’s lack luster performance and picked up the AAC shield and fought valiantly against Auburn. Tulane’s effort wasn’t enough however to stave off the inevitable. Tulane fans should be proud of the way the Green Waves clashed with the #8 ranked team in the country. You earned the respect of the eliminator even in defeat Tulane.
Northern Illinois (1-1)
Method of Elimination: Loss
Once again, we have to give credit where credit is due; Northern Illinois hung with Utah for the longest of times. While they weren’t as successful at stopping Utah from running away with it in the end, the Huskies prove to be a formidable foe in the MAC title hunt this year. On to better things Huskies … also known as the Idaho Potato Bowl.
Method of Elimination: two loss season
So, about all of that talk of Miami running the rest of the table. Yeah, we can forget all of that, the Hurricanes loss to North Carolina giving the Canes their second loss on the year. The Canes could still win the coastal and the ACC. But the national title Canes had a chance at is now cast out into the ocean.
Method of Elimination: Two loss
Did Vanderbilt even try to stop Elijah Sindelar from scoring 5 touchdowns and passing for 500 yards? No? Well then, thanks for playing, bye-bye, see you later, don’t let the door hit you on the way out and see you next year Vandy fans.
Oregon State (0-2)
Method of Elimination: Two loss season/ Non-Power Five loss
It was fun while it lasted Beavers, but if Hawaii can spring a trap for the Wildcats, it can certainly spring a Beaver trap as well, and that is exactly what the Rainbow warriors did. Participation trophies are to the left Oregon State. We’ll see you during the baseball season.
Method of Elimination: Loss to a non-power five school
You couldn’t even get 300 yards of total offense against Coastal Carolina. Costal Car-ol-in-a. When a team is that bad on offense against a non-power-five, it deserves to lose. Enjoy watching your pinata getting hung and decapitated by a crutch. No seriously, check out Coastal Carolina’s locker room celebration, it’s a pure delight to watch. Especially for Mizzou fans.
Method of Elimination: Loss/Blowout
The scoreboard will do all of the talking for the eliminator on this. A 59-0 blowout. This is why the AAC can’t have nice things and why UCF won’t make the playoffs. You got one of the worst Power-five teams in the country Cincy fans. Saturday was the debt you owed the grim reaper for UCLA’s demise. Better luck next year, Bearcats.
Method of Elimination: Blowout
Wait, Rutgers won against Umass? You do realize what this means right? Quick everyone, into the mountains, leave your belongings, it’s the end times. Hell is freezing over; it’s raining cats and dogs Philadelphia has just been voted the kindest city in the… wait, never mind Rutgers lost to Iowa by more than 30 points. Sorry everyone, false alarm, come back out of your nuclear bunkers, the apocalypse is not coming today, please return to your normal lives.
Just a friendly reminder to everyone. While the sport of football has changed a lot over the span of 150 years, just remember no matter what, the Rutgers will continue to suck. Here’s to another 150 years of more pain and misery coming out of the program that started it all.
Method of Elimination: Blowout
Holy Oranges. How did Syracuse get blown out like that? The eliminator was expecting a close action-packed battle to the finish between two solid power five teams. What we got was a 43-point massacre. By the time of the third quarter, Syracuse just rolled over and let the Terrapins kill whatever playoff hopes they may have had. Congratulations Syracuse, you not only are eliminated from the College football playoffs, but you also lost the opportunity to host college Gameday this weekend to Iowa State. Have fun dealing with Trevor Lawrence next week as well.
Western Michigan (1-1)
Method of Elimination: Being blinded by alternate jerseys/loss/blowout
The eliminator cannot say the cause of death here. Did Western Michigan get dominated by a much better Michigan State team, or were they blinded by the Spartans alternate jerseys? The eliminator is betting on the latter just to ease Western Michigan’s pain. No river boat this year Broncos.
West Virginia (1-1)
Method of Elimination: Blowout
West Virginia could not stop Kelly Bryant, West Virginia could not stop Larry Rountree II and West Virginia could not stop committing turnovers. What this led to was a one sided blowout that brought West Virginia to its doom. Safe to say the West Virginia we have known over the last few years is no more, and dark roads await the Mountaineers. The only thing giving West Virginia fans warm and comfort are the burning couches.
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 two. All times are eastern standard time.
None. Plenty of 2-0 matchups around the league but no 1-1 matchups this week.
Purdue (Big 10)
FAU (Conference USA)
Middle Tennessee (Conference USA)
Kent State (MAC)
Miami (OH) (MAC)
UCLA (Pac 12)
Arizona (Pac 12)
East Carolina (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)
Ball State (MAC)
Bowling Green (MAC)
Central Michigan (MAC)
Eastern Michigan (MAC)
Air Force (Mountain West)
Boise State (Mountain West)
Colorado State (Mountain West)
Fresno State (Mountain West)
Hawaii (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)
Appalachian State (Sun Belt)
Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt)
Georgia State (Sun Belt)
Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)
Louisiana Monroe (Sun Belt)
South Alabama (Sun Belt)
Troy (Sun Belt)
Texas State (Sun Belt)
New Mexico State (Independent)
*Missouri is bowl ineligible but is currently in the appeals process.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org