Week 11 brought a little clarity on the Power Five divisional front, but not much.
Entering the weekend, Alabama (SEC West) and Georgia (SEC East) had already wrapped up divisional titles and spots in their conference’s championship game. Exiting the weekend, another two Power Five divisions were decided — ACC Atlantic (Clemson) and Big Ten West (Northwestern).
That means that, with two weeks remaining in the regular season, four of the eight Power Five divisions remain up for grabs. As we head toward Week 12, just one of those, the ACC Coastal, is likely to be settled next weekend — maybe.
If Pitt (5-1) beats Wake Forest or Virginia (4-2) loses to Georgia Tech regardless of what Pitt does, the Panthers, who own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cavaliers, would win the Coastal. Pitt could also win the division if it loses this weekend and Virginia wins, but beats Miami in the regular-season finale regardless of what Virginia does that last weekend. Virginia needs to win its last two and Pitt lose its last two to claim the division.
Two of the other three Power Five divisions will probably go down to the very last weekend of the regular season, while the other definitely will
BIG TEN EAST
Michigan (6-0): claims the division if it beats Ohio State in Week 13, regardless of what U-M does in Week 12 against Indiana. Could win the division in Week 12 if it beats Indiana (2-5) and Ohio State loses to Maryland (3-4), regardless of what happens in Week 13 in The Game.
Ohio State (5-1): claims the division if it wins its last two games (at Maryland, vs. Michigan), regardless of what Michigan does in Week 12 against Indiana. Could win the division with a loss in Week 12 if Michigan loses in Week 12 and it beats U-M in Week 13.
Washington State (6-1): claims the division if it beats Washington in Week 13, regardless of what happens in Week 12 against Arizona. Could win the division in Week 12 if it beats Arizona (4-3) and Washington loses to Oregon State (1-5), regardless of what happens in Week 13 in the Apple Cup.
Washington (5-2): claims the division if it wins its last two games (vs. Oregon State, at Washington State), regardless of what Washington State does in Week 12 against Arizona. Could win the division with a loss in Week 12 if Washington State loses in Week 12 and it beats Wazzu in Week 13.
When the Army came up with the FUBAR acronym, I’m quite certain they had the current state of this division in mind — although USC’s loss to Cal in Week 11 made things a bit easier as the Trojans have been eliminated from contention. Utah currently leads the South at 5-3, with Arizona and Arizona State right behind at 4-3. The two in-state rivals will meet in the last game of the regular season — UA has another game the week before with Washington State, ASU with Oregon — while Utah finishes off its conference slate next Saturday as they take on Colorado.
First, the head-to-head:
- Arizona: lost to Utah
- Arizona State: beat Utah
- Utah: beat Arizona, lost to Arizona State
Based off that:
Utah wins if… They beat Colorado and Arizona State loses at least one game.
Arizona wins if… They beat Washington State and Arizona State, and Utah loses to Colorado.
Arizona State wins if… They beat Oregon and Arizona.
There’s also the possibility of a three-way tie if Utah loses to Colorado and the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game loses the week before, which would leave all three teams at 5-4. In that scenario, Arizona State would win any three-way tiebreaker — head-to-head results if it beat Arizona; record in intra-divisional games if it lost to Arizona, based on the win over Utah. Simple, right?
Speaking of simple, what of the division-less Big 12?
Two teams, Oklahoma and West Virginia, sit at 6-1 while another two, Iowa State and Texas, are at 5-2. Each of those teams have two conference games apiece remaining:
- Oklahoma: Kansas, at West Virginia
- West Virginia: at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma
- Iowa State: at Texas, Kansas State
- Texas: Iowa State, at Kansas
As far as head-to-head is concerned, Texas beat Oklahoma, which beat Iowa State, which beat West Virginia, which beat Texas. Suffice to say, the two participants in the Big 12 championship game won’t be decided until Week 13.