As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.
CONFERENCE CHASES CLEARING UP
With some added clarity (in most cases) in Week 10, we’ll take a quick trip through each of the Power Five conference races and see exactly (again, in most cases) where things stand with five weeks left in the regular season.
This is one of the easiest one in the country to figure out. All Florida State (5-0) has to do is avoid losing two of its last three games while Clemson (5-1) sweeps its last two — the Seminoles own the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Tigers — in order to get back to the ACC championship game in early December.
This one could be just as easy as its Atlantic big sister. If Duke (3-1) wins out, it’ll be a second consecutive Blue Devil-Seminole title tilt. Should Duke stumble once in its last four conference games, and if Miami (3-2) wins out and Georgia Tech (4-2) loses one more, it’d be the Hurricanes headed to Charlotte based on the head-to-head win over the Blue Devils in late September. Tech is the only remaining two-loss league team and is still in the mix as well. The Yellow Jackets own the head-to-head over the Hurricanes, although the Blue Devils hold that edge over Tech. Duke would win a three-way tiebreaker over those two teams if all three end up 6-2.
Like the ACC Atlantic, this one is very simple: barring a complete collapse by the triumphant team, the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan State game next Saturday, which they will both enter at 4-0, will represent the division at the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. Just one other squad in the seven-team division (Maryland) has as few as two losses.
In no way, shape or form is this division clear; in fact, it’s essentially a muddy mess of possibilities. There are four teams currently with one B1G loss: Nebraska at 4-1, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin at 3-1. All but two of the remaining games — Minnesota vs. Ohio State, Iowa vs. Illinois – will involve those four teams facing each other. In other words, this division may very well not be decided until the clock strikes midnight on the 2014 regular season. Here’s to guessing, though, that the conference would love for a one-loss Cornhuskers to meet up with a one-loss Spartans/Buckeyes in the league championship game. That’s the only scenario in which the Big Ten could possibly elbow its way into the College Football Playoff.