College football week 12 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are 5 things learned from college football week 12.
1. UCF Lost Momentum for New Year’s Six
After being in the driver’s seat to be the group of five representative for the New Year’s Six Bowl a week ago things have changed for UCF. They lost their game to Navy this weekend 17-14. It was a tough game where Navy controlled it for the most part and UCF’s offense could not get in a rhythm.
With the loss, UCF will drop in the rankings, which puts their New Year’s Six chances in jeopardy. They also may not make the AAC Championship Game, which also hurts their chances. Both Tulane and Cincinnati are 6-1 in conference play, while UCF is 5-2. Tulane and Cincinnati do play each other in the last week of the season, so there is still hope for the Knights.
2. The Big Ten West is Coming Down to the Wire
The Big Ten West has been wild all season. This week, Illinois lost to Michigan on a last-minute field goal. Iowa defeated Minnesota in a close game. Purdue defeated the bottom-feeders of the conference, Northwestern, by eight points.
All of the results of the week have narrowed down the contenders for the Big Ten West down to Illinois, Iowa and Purdue. If Iowa beats Nebraska, they win the division. If Iowa loses and Purdue wins against Indiana, the Boilermakers are headed to the Big Ten Championship Game. If both lose and Illinois defeats Northwestern, the Fighting Illini are the Big Ten West champions.
3. Tennessee is Out of the CFP
The CFP rankings having Tennessee at five with just two games left made it so Tennessee was likely in if they won their two remaining games. This week they played a 6-4 South Carolina team who they were favored to beat by a decent margin. South Carolina played their best game of the season and won 63-38.
With the loss, Tennessee is now out of the CFP. It was still a great season for the Volunteers and they will likely be going to a New Year’s Six Bowl. The loss has opened things up for other teams to possibly make the CFP. Unfortunately, Hendon Hooker was injured late in the game when the game was already looking like a Gamecocks’ win.
4. USC CFP’s Chances are Vastly Improved
USC was able to defeat UCLA in a game that featured very little defense. The win moves USC to 10-1 and makes them very much alive in the College Football Playoff race. What helped them get there was not just there own win, but Tennessee’s loss.
The Trojans will be tested in the coming weeks. They host Notre Dame, who has run the ball well and has been ranked by the CFP Committee the last few weeks. After that, they will get a ranked matchup in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The games give them an opportunity for big wins, but they still might need some help to stay ahead of Clemson or potentially the loser of the Ohio State/Michigan game.
5. The Top Four Teams Struggled
The top four in the CFP rankings weren’t supposed to have a ton of trouble this week with their matchups. Week 12 features some down matchups before rivalry week in the last game of the regular season. It seems like the top four teams were looking ahead, as there were some really close games.
To start things off, TCU, who to be fair was only favored by 2.5 points, needed a last second field goal to beat unranked Baylor. Michigan needed a last-minute field goal to beat Illinois. Georgia let Kentucky hang around in the game until the very end. Ohio State won by the largest margin of the top four, but need a garbage time defensive score to make that happen. All four showed some vulnerability heading into rivalry week.
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