There’s only one Saturday until the conference championship weekend. It comes down to this:

Michigan State beat Ohio State but Michigan defeated Ohio State. The two teams will meet in seven days for the Big Ten East title and a place in the College Football Playoff.

Alabama pulled out of Arkansas in order to win the SEC West. Georgia will be up against Georgia. The question is whether Georgia will make it into the semis.

Oklahoma held off Iowa State to win a tight game. The victory came after last Saturday’s humiliating loss to Baylor. Oklahoma State is up against Oklahoma State for what will be one of the most anticipated meetings in rivalry history.

Cincinnati gave SMU a solid performance. This will impress all members of the playoff selection panel. 

This is the list of Week 12’s winners and losers.


Ohio State

In Saturday’s marquee match, the Buckeyes displayed a great show. They bulldozed Michigan State 56-7. This was one of the best performances this season. Quarterback C.J. Quarterback C.J. This loss puts the Spartans out of playoff contention. This win is a game that could make or break the Buckeyes’ playoff chances against Michigan.

Playoff selection committee

After being criticized for ranking Michigan State behind the Wolverines in each of the past two rankings despite the Spartans’ head-to-head victory last month, the committee can take a victory lap after the Buckeyes’ lopsided win — unless we decide to “set aside watching the games,” as committee chairman Gary Barta suggested Tuesday evening.

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After months near the bottom of the Football Bowl Subdivision in most major categories, the offense broke through with 543 yards, including a season-high 333 on the ground, as Clemson beat Wake Forest 48-27. Clemson had never scored 30+ points against Power Five opposition before the victory. The Tigers may win the ACC Atlantic despite all the problems the team has had this season.


What was supposed to be Cincinnati’s biggest test since Notre Dame was anything but: SMU was swallowed by the Bearcats’ defense and Desmond Ridder hit the scoring trifecta — passing, rushing and receiving — in a stylish 48-14 win that should carry weight with the selection committee. Cincinnati then takes on East Carolina, before Houston in an American championship game. In early December, a playoff spot could be at stake.


While it was not the best win, Lincoln Riley and his Sooners have had a difficult season. Caleb Williams, the quarterback, struggled to complete the game’s 18 passes. However, OU won 28-21 against Iowa State. The freshman ran 74 yards for a touchdown. OU will now be 10-1 in Oklahoma State next week. 

Florida State

Quarterback Jordan Travis threw for three touchdowns without an interception and FSU held off a late Boston College charge to beat the Eagles 26-23 and move within one win of bowl eligibility — a remarkable turnaround for a team that lost four straight to open the year. The Seminoles will play Florida in the final game of the season, which should be a great win that sends them into the playoffs and fuels optimism about coach Mike Norvell.


Michigan State

The Big Ten East was the big loss in Saturday’s defeat. This is a chance to win the Big Ten East and reach the playoff. The worst part is that MSU’s defeat at Ohio State will increase the likelihood of them not reaching a bowl in the New Year’s Six, even if they finish among the top four. Running back Kenneth Walker III was unable to run 25 yards, and is now trailing Stroud (Alabama quarterback Bryce Young) in the Heisman race. Still, one important thing to keep in mind: At 9-2 heading into the final game of the regular season, this is still a hugely successful year for the Spartans and coach Mel Tucker.


Texas’s situation is getting worse, especially after the Kansas overtime defeat last week. We’ll make it six consecutive losses for Steve Sarkisian, and the Longhorns. The latest loss was a 31-23 defeat against West Virginia which drops UT down to 4-7. Six-game losing streak by the Longhorns is their longest in 1956. This also means that they have never lost seven or more games during a single season. Next up is Kansas State. The streak should reach eight before Austin’s long, cold, dark, and depressing offseason.

Georgia Tech

Notre Dame took a lead of 45-0 at halftime to win 55-0 against the hapless Yellow Jackets. This was an embarrassing showing for a team on a five game losing streak. Georgia Tech, which hasn’t won any game since Oct. 9 and hasn’t held an opponent below 26 points since Sept. 25, is now 0-7 when playing against teams that have a winning record. Geoff Collins, who took over the Tech program from Paul Johnson in 2003, was granted the ability to rebuild Tech with a new image. The records are impressive: Tech went 3-9, 7 and 8 last year. A ninth defeat against Georgia is expected next Saturday.

Follow Paul Myerberg, college reporter on Twitter @PaulMyerberg



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