As college football heads into Week 9 of the season, here is a list of all the games this week that could impact the college football playoff this season. In other words, here’s all the games with at least one team still alive for the college football playoff.
There are two games this week featuring teams that both still have a chance to make the college football playoff in 2015. Not one of the four teams playing in those two games can afford to lose if they want to make the playoff this season so those two games are basically elimination games. All the games with playoff implications are listed below by conferences. Notre Dame is playing one of the conference teams below so they are covered there.
Things a very simple in the SEC this week as far games and college football implications. Alabama and LSU are both off this week as each team gets ready for the huge showdown next week in Tuscaloosa. That leaves just the Georgia at Florida game at 3:30 pm EDT on CBS on Saturday. Florida has to win this game this week to keep its hopes alive of making the college football playoff. If the Gators win, their next big test will be when Florida State comes calling at the end of the month.
- Big Ten
The Big Ten is simple this week too. Ohio State and Michigan State are both off. That leaves just the Maryland at Iowa game at 3:30 pm EDT on ABC on Saturday with any playoff implications. Iowa’s schedule is just too soft for the Hawkeyes to lose a game and still make the playoff. So Iowa either wins this week vs Maryland or they are out.
The AAC still has three teams alive for the college football playoff because three of their teams are still undefeated and will have played tough enough schedules to get in if any of the three wins out. The big game this week is Notre Dame at Temple on Halloween at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia which starts at 8:00 pm EDT on ABC. The winner of that game keeps their playoff dream alive while the loser is out. Notre Dame is still alive this season with one loss because they play Stanford on November 28th.
Another pretty big game with college football implications is Vanderbilt at Houston at 7:00 pm EDT Saturday night on ESPN2. The Houston Cougars must beat the 3-4 Commodores to keep their playoff dream alive. The other AAC team should win easy this week. Memphis hosts a 2-5 Tulane team at 7:00 pm EDT on the CBSSN on Saturday night.
- Big 12
First, Baylor is off as the team absorbs the shock of losing QB Seth Russell for the season. TCU plays what could be a tricky game as they host West Virginia at 7:30 pm Thursday night on FOX Sports 1. TCU has to win that game to make the playoff.
The trickiest game for a Big 12 team this week will be Oklahoma State at Texas Tech. The Cowboys must win to keep their hopes alive as they played a cupcake out of conference schedule this season. Speaking of cupcakes, the Oklahoma Sooners are traveling to Lawrence to play the 0-7 Kansas Jayhawks. If Oklahoma wins out beating Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State over their last three games they could make the playoff with one loss but no conference championship game could cost the Big 12 again this season.
Clemson is taking on North Carolina State on the road this week at 3:30 pm on Saturday on ABC or ESPN2. Could the undefeated Tigers survive a loss and still make the college football playoff this year? The Notre Dame win would help but the ACC is so bad overall this season that Clemson better not risk it.
If Florida State runs the table and wins out could they make the playoff with one loss? Probably not because the only decent team on their schedule this season is Florida. But there is still a chance so we have to mention that the Seminoles are hosting a lousy 3-4 Syracuse team Saturday at noon on ABC.
It’s not impossible for 6-1 North Carolina to make the playoff if they run the table including beating an undefeated Clemson team in the ACC championship game. So the Tar Heels must beat the Pitt Panthers this week in Pittsburgh on Thursday night at 7:00 pm EDT on ESPN. Pitt is also 6-1 and they play Notre Dame later this season so they are still slightly alive too. The loser of this game will have no chance to make the playoff.
With a loss to Northwestern, could Duke still make the playoff? Very slim odds but the Blue Devils would have to run the table and also beat an undefeated Clemson in the ACC Championship game. So Duke has to win this week as they host Miami at 7:00 pm EDT Saturday on ESPNU. If, unlike last week, Miami actually shows up this week this will be a tough game for Duke.
Because they still have the win over Michigan, if Utah wins out this season they could still make the playoff. The Utes are hosting 2-5 Oregon State this week on Saturday at 7:00 pm EDT on the Pac-12 Network. Stanford is the best hope for the Pac-12 at this point for a team in the college football playoff. The Cardinal play at 5-2 Washington State this week on Saturday at 11:00 pm EDT on FOX Sports 1. Luke Falk has thrown the most passes in college football this season and has the highest completion percentage too so Stanford better be ready.