The most important Saturday in college football took place and wouldn’t you know it? The Oregon doubters turned out to be correct. On the flip side, the Cincinnati doubters were wrong big time. Also, Ohio State left no doubt that they belong. Check out what happened in a wild College Football Week 12.
College Football Week 12 Recap
We have a new No. 2 in the Week 13 AP Poll ?— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 21, 2021
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
7. Oklahoma State
8. Ole Miss
Georgia and Alabama win
Before getting to Saturday’s biggest news, we should start with the number 1 and number 2 teams in the nation. Both Georgia and Alabama won their respective games. Georgia’s victory was never in doubt. The Bulldogs didn’t get more than a glorified workout in their 56-3 win over Charleston-Southern.
The Dawgs’ final game is on Nov. 27 versus Georgia Tech, which means even if the Yellow Jackets were to perform one of the greatest upsets in NCAAF history, Georgia would play in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs opponent in the SEC title game will be the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Bama struggled against Arkansas for most of the game. But, eventually, the Tide prevailed 42-35. Alabama must beat rival Auburn on the road to stay in the CFP top four. Auburn versus Alabama is one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
So a victory isn’t a sure thing. Like Georgia, though, even if Bama loses, they’d find themselves in the SEC Championship because the closest competitor is Ole Miss whom Bama already beat.
Ohio State, Michigan, and Cincinnati make statements
The Buckeyes and the Bearcats provided the week’s most impressive wins. Ohio State trounced then #7 Michigan State. The Buckeyes hadn’t had a single eye-opening victory this season. Beating the Spartans 56-7 was huge because it showed Ohio State deserves their top four College Football Playoff ranking.
The Buckeyes must get past rival Michigan on Saturday. The game takes place in Ann Arbor. Whichever team wins the game is likely to face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship.
If Michigan, who blasted Maryland 59-18, beats the Buckeyes, it will be difficult to keep the Wolverines out of the top four. The other big victory came from American Athletic Conference power Cincinnati.
The Bearcats hadn’t played well leading up to their game versus an 8-2 SMU team, which is why many believed the Mustangs were the squad to back. All Cincinnati did was beat Southern Methodist 48-14. If the victory doesn’t propel Cincinnati to a top four placing on the CFP Rankings, nothing will.
Oregon falls to Utah while Michigan rolls Maryland
The reason the door is open for Cincinnati and Michigan to move up is because then #3 Oregon laid an egg in Utah. The Utes had been much more impressive leading up to the contest, which is why Utah kicked off a -3.5 home favorite. The Utes built a 28-0 halftime lead. Utah costed to a 38-7 win. Utah will play for the Pac-12 Championship.
Oregon may not. The Ducks have lost two Pac-12 games. The annual Civil War against Oregon State happens next Saturday. Whichever team wins the War will face the Utes in the conference’s title match.
Oklahoma State and Notre Dame impress
A lot must happen, but a couple of other teams kept their College Football Playoff chances alive. After dominating Georgia Tech, Notre Dame should be in a position for a possible playoff spot. The Irish must hope Michigan beats Ohio State and then hope the Wolverines lose to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. If that happens, Notre Dame will have a chance.
The road for Oklahoma State is tougher, but it could yield more benefits. If Michigan wins out, Oklahoma State might be the team to grab the final and fourth playoff spot no matter what Notre Dame does.
If the Pokes beat Oklahoma on Saturday, and then take down Baylor in the Big 12 title game, it would be very difficult to keep Oklahoma out of the CFP Final Four. Georgia or Auburn or both could help the cause by upsetting Alabama. Michigan could really help the cause by upsetting Ohio State and then losing to Wisconsin. Both Oklahoma and Baylor won in Week 12. So Oklahoma State has a chance to end their regular season with wins over a couple of high-ranked teams.
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