Keeping track of all the ranked games, Playoff committee-style.
Hey, we’re now in the same month as 2018’s first College Football Playoff rankings reveal. Let’s see what evidence Week 6 adds to each team’s résumé.
Below, we’re keeping track of each top-25 game’s impact, both before and after final scores, mostly paying attention to CFB committee stuff, not highlights or fun plays.
Remember the things the committee has mostly demonstrated it rewards: wins over final top-25 teams, wins over bowl teams, road wins, dominant wins, weirdly excusable losses, being Alabama, and not being a mid-major. It does not care what your opponent’s AP ranking was at kickoff.
All rankings AP, for now. All days Saturday, and all times p.m. ET. Final scores in bold.
Games in which the winning team will likely have a pretty high-quality Week 6 victory by season’s end.
- No. 5 LSU (5-0) at No. 22 Florida (4-1), 3:30, CBS: “The winner will be one upset of its main division rival away from the Playoff inside track” isn’t a thing anyone expected to say about this game, but here we are. (I realize beating Bama or Georgia is a tall order and that Florida needs Kentucky to lose twice.)
- No. 6 Notre Dame (5-0) at No. 24 Virginia Tech (3-1), 8, ABC: The Irish’s toughest remaining task comes against maybe the country’s most up-and-down team so far. Either ND officially becomes a Playoff favorite, or VT regains the ground it lost at Old Dominion.
- No. 19 Texas (5-1), No. 7 Oklahoma (5-1) 45: Everyone bailed on Texas after Week 1, and yet the Longhorns are currently the, um, Big 12 regular season favorite. (Both UT and WVU are unbeaten within the conference, but WVU has zero wins over Oklahoma.)
- No. 13 Kentucky (5-0) at Texas A&M (3-2), 7, ESPN: Hi, it’s October, and Kentucky controls its destiny. Wheeeee! The Aggies are favored, but if they lose, I’m assuming they’ll end up being judged by the committee to be better than their record, due to their schedule.
Games in which the winner will probably have beaten a decent bowl team. I’m being somewhat generous to a few of these unranked teams, as far as chances of making a bowl go.
- No. 2 Georgia (5-0) vs. Vanderbilt (3-2), 7:30, SECN
- No. 3 Ohio State (5-0) vs. Indiana (4-1), 4, Fox
- No. 4 Clemson (5-0) at Wake Forest (3-2), 3:30, ESPN: Expect the committee to give Clemson extra credit for a road win here, considering that QB situation. The committee publicly said it did that last year for Clemson as well.
- No. 8 Auburn (4-1) at Mississippi State (3-2), 7:30, ESPN2: We can probably go ahead and consider the loser of this game a likely disappointment on the year, but the winner could still reach a New Year’s Six game.
- No. 12 UCF (4-0) vs. SMU (2-3), 7, ESPNU: UCF is the obvious New Year’s Six favorite at this point, but hoping for middling teams like SMU to make bowls is still on the agenda.
- No. 14 Stanford (4-1) vs. Utah (2-2), 10:30, ESPN
- No. 15 Michigan (4-1) vs. Maryland (3-1), noon, ABC
- No. 17 Miami (4-1) vs. Florida State (3-2), 3:30, ABC
- Northwestern (2-3) 29, No. 20 Michigan State (3-2) 19: MSU was a pretty tenuously ranked team, but now it’ll be unranked anyway, so all is well.
- No. 21 Colorado (4-0) vs. Arizona State (3-2), 4, P12N: [clears throat as loudly as possible] This might be the Pac-12 South championship game. [faints]
- No. 23 NC State (5-0) 28, Boston College (4-2) 23
- Cincinnati (6-0) 37, Tulane (2-4) 21: The unranked Bearcats will appear in here as long as they remain undefeated.
- Boise State (3-1) vs. San Diego State (3-1), 3:30, ESPNU: The Broncos will also appear here until they lose again, though they’d surely be ranked after a win over SDSU anyway.
Probably not important
The committee doesn’t really care about wins vs. FCS teams, teams with final losing records, and so forth. Some of these underdogs could still bowl, of course.
- No. 1 Alabama (6-0) 65, Arkansas (1-5) 31
- No. 9 West Virginia (5-0) 38, Kansas (2-4) 22
- No. 10 Washington (4-1) at UCLA (0-4), 7:30, Fox
- No. 16 Wisconsin (3-1) vs. Nebraska (0-4), 7:30, BTN
- No. 25 Oklahoma State (4-1) vs. Iowa State (1-3), 3:30, ESPN2