It’s really hard to envision a scenario at this point in which a Pac-12 team makes the College Football Playoff. Washington’s loss to Stanford gave every team in the conference at least two losses and essentially left the league with no chance of getting into the CFP.
The Huskies don’t have the strong non-conference schedule to make it with multiple losses, and USC has a glaring defeat to Notre Dame on its resume. That puts whoever wins the Pac-12 behind two-loss teams like Ohio State, Notre Dame and Auburn.
Miami Hurricanes (Defeated Notre Dame 41-8)
At this point, Miami has to be ranked in the top two or three in the new CFP rankings. The Hurricanes have two quality wins on their schedule, and the way Mark Richt’s squad secured those victories was extremely impressive. The swagger is in back in Miami thanks to a fast, swarming defense that is rejuvenated. There is still some concern about Malik Rosier and his ability to move the ball through the air against good defenses, but if Miami keeps playing defense like this, it won’t matter.
Auburn Tigers (Defeated Georgia 40-17)
In the eyes of some Auburn fans, Gus Malzahn is an offensive genius again. After losing a tough one to Clemson and blowing a big lead against LSU, Malzahn was derided by some in Tigers Nation. A segment of Auburn’s fan base believed that the offense had gotten stale and that Jarrett Stidham was not the answer at quarterback. No one is critiquing the Tigers after this one, though. Auburn totally dominated every phase of the game against No. 1 Georgia. Stidham was solid through the air and Auburn churned out chunks of yardage on the ground. The defense completely stifled Georgia’s run game and Jake Fromm was harassed by a fierce pass rush. Auburn is now the top-ranked two-loss team in the nation and will probably make the CFP if it wins out.
Movin’ On Down
Washington Huskies (Lost to Stanford 30-22)
That’s all she wrote for Washington’s chances of making back-to-back trips to the CFP. The Huskies defense was unable to stop Bryce Love on the ground and JJ Arcega-Whiteside had some big receptions in a Cardinal victory. Stanford’s defense has been maligned, but it made enough plays to give the team the victory over Chris Petersen’s bunch. The Cardinal kept the Huskies in front of them and didn’t allow a play longer than 32 yards, focusing on stopping big-play receiving threat Dante Pettis. Stanford dominated the time of possession battle and that played a huge role in the Cardinal win.
Colorado State Rams (Lost to Boise State 59-52)
If you went to bed early thinking that Colorado State had coasted to a victory, you missed an amazing comeback from the Broncos. This was a game that the Rams had circled all season. They broke out some brand new uniforms for the nationally televised game and looked to have things in hand, jumping out to two 25-point leads. However, Boise State roared back in the second half thanks to some big plays from Alexander Mattison and Brett Rypien. The win kept the Broncos in the driver’s seat in their half of the Mountain West and ensured that the Rams would finish no better than third.
College Football Power Rankings (Updated 11/14)
1: Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0) (LW: 1) (+0)
2: Miami Hurricanes (9-0) (LW: 8) (+6)
3: Oklahoma Sooners (9-1) (LW: 6) (+3)
4: Wisconsin Badgers (10-0) (LW: 3) (-1)
5: Clemson Tigers (9-1) (LW: 4) (-1)
6: Georgia Bulldogs (9-1) (LW: 2) (-4)
7: Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2) (LW: 11) (+4)
8: Auburn Tigers (8-2) (LW: 12) (+4)
9: Central Florida Knights (9-0) (LW: 10) (+1)
10: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-2) (LW: 5) (-5)
11: TCU Horned Frogs (8-2) (LW: 9) (-2)
12: Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-2) (LW: 16) (+4)
13: USC Trojans (9-2) (LW: 13) (+0)
14: Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2) (LW: 15) (+1)
15: Washington Huskies (8-2) (LW: 7) (-8)
16: South Florida Bulls (8-1) (LW: 18) (+2)
17: Memphis Tigers (8-1) (LW: 19) (+2)
18: Washington State Cougars (9-2) (LW: 20) (+2)
19: Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-2) (LW: 21) (+2)
20: LSU Tigers (7-3) (LW: 23) (+3)
21: Boise State Broncos (8-2) (LW: 24) (+3)
22: Michigan State Spartans (7-3) (LW: 14) (-8)
23: Michigan Wolverines (8-2) (LW: 25) (+2)
24: Virginia Tech Hokies (7-3) (LW: 17) (-7)
25: Stanford Cardinal (7-3) (LW: UNR) (+1)