Wait. Do not — repeat, do not — discharge a losers of Week 5’s biggest games.
Unless it’s Clemson. (More on that in a bit.)
The Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten will take core theatre as any joining facilities a diversion between tip 10 undefeated teams, nonetheless nothing of those teams’ playoff hopes are walking a tightrope this week like a Tigers. Clemson’s chances during returning to a semifinal will penetrate like Howard’s Rock if they remove during home to Louisville.
A one-loss group isn’t cursed in October, we argue. True. Look behind during a initial dual years of a CFP: Six of a 8 teams mislaid a game, and some of them were ugly. That’s since Stanford, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan (and maaaaybe Louisville) could all tarry a detriment this weekend.
Clemson competence not be so fortunate.
Here’s a deeper demeanour during what’s during interest in a 3 biggest games of Week 5:
No. 7 Stanford during No. 10 Washington (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
What it means for a winner: The personality asserts itself as a personality in a Pac-12 North, and starts Oct as a league’s tip playoff candidate. A Stanford win would be a fourth true over Washington, proof a Huskies’ preseason hum to be usually that — Aug fodder. Washington, that has nonetheless to play a group above .500 (let alone a ranked one), will have warranted a initial matter win of a season.
The highway behind for a loser: Both teams would need a other to remove twice in sequence to get behind in a multiplication race, nonetheless Washington would have another jump to overcome. The usually other ranked competition Washington now faces is No. 18 Utah. The Huskies’ nonconference report includes wins over Rutgers, Idaho and FCS Portland State. For a Cardinal, USC, UCLA and Notre Dame have all depressed out of a Top 25 (granted, Stanford had a small something to do with that). Stanford has a altogether strength of report corner opposite Washington, nonetheless head-to-head formula also matter. Both teams, though, will need a preference cabinet to reason a Pac-12 in aloft courtesy than a AP check electorate now do.
No. 8 Wisconsin during No. 4 Michigan (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
What it means for a winner: A Wisconsin win would serve legitimize a Badgers’ playoff hopes and should remonstrate some-more people to buy into them as a critical contender in a Big Ten. Even after wins opposite LSU and Michigan State, Wisconsin is still personification in a shade of a Big Ten’s East Division. This would be a second true highway win, though, opposite one of a East’s best teams. For Michigan, it would be a initial win opposite a ranked opponent, that a Wolverines’ resume needs after personification usually one group so distant (Colorado) with a winning record. If Michigan wins this one, though, it should be 7-0 streamer into Michigan State on Oct. 29 and in a good position with a committee.
The highway behind for a loser: Both could positively miscarry to win their particular groups and presumably accommodate again in a Big Ten championship game, nonetheless a domain of blunder shrinks drastically. Michigan still has highway trips to East Lansing, Iowa and Ohio State — a latter being a usually diversion on a report that ESPN’s Football Power Index does not plan a Wolverines to win. Wisconsin has a bye week to redeem from a detriment and will need it — to ready for Ohio State. Of a 3 games featuring undefeated teams, this one would be a easiest to redeem from since it is cross-divisional.
No. 3 Louisville during No. 5 Clemson (8 p.m. ET, ABC)
What it means for a winner: A Louisville win puts a Cardinals atop a Atlantic Division standings and changes a change of energy in a ACC, where Clemson and Florida State have been a league’s sole inhabitant pretension contenders in new years. Louisville already throttled Florida State 63-20, nonetheless that’s usually half a equation. A win in Death Valley would leave no doubt Louisville is a ACC’s new king. A win for Clemson, and a ACC’s three-way tiebreaker doesn’t seem so fantastic anymore. If Clemson wins, and afterwards Florida State beats Clemson in Tallahassee on Oct. 29 — and nothing of them remove again — a ACC would afterwards spin to SportSource Analytics to mangle a tie.
The highway behind for a loser: If Clemson loses, a three-way tiebreaker goes out a window, along with a Tigers’ playoff hopes. Clemson would afterwards need Louisville to remove twice, and Dabo Swinney has a improved possibility of throwing a pizza celebration for Florida State fans than that happening. Check out a rest of Louisville’s schedule: The usually ranked competition remaining is a Thursday night highway outing to Houston. It’s a tough diversion Louisville could positively lose, nonetheless not one that would keep it out of a ACC championship game. Louisville plays a Coastal Division’s dual weakest teams this year in Duke and Virginia. ESPN’s Football Power Index projects a Cardinals to win each remaining game. Clemson would need Louisville to have a finish meltdown to get behind in a ACC race. If Louisville loses, it would need Clemson to remove twice — another prolonged shot, as Clemson’s toughest remaining opponents are FSU and Pitt. It could also still wish Florida State beats Clemson and it wins a three-way tiebreaker. Bottom line: The crook of this diversion no longer controls a position in a playoff picture.
On a playoff bubble
North Carolina during No. 12 Florida State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Playoff plotline: The Tar Heels are streamer to Tallahassee assured off a win opposite Pitt, and FSU’s playoff hopes are already on life support. An dissapoint here, and a Noles are done.
No. 22 Texas during Oklahoma State (Noon ET, ABC)
Playoff plotline: The Longhorns had a bye week to redeem from their harmful highway detriment to Cal, nonetheless they haven’t even played a discussion diversion yet. Texas has no domain for error, nonetheless if it can win out, it can get behind in a CFP debate.
Oklahoma during No. 21 TCU
Playoff plotline: The Sooners can still win a Big 12, nonetheless TCU is in a improved playoff position since it usually has one loss, that was in double overtime to Arkansas. Even if OU wins a league, it will have a formidable time removing into a tip 4 with dual waste and no joining pretension diversion to assistance recompense for it.
No. 11 Tennessee during No. 25 Georgia
Playoff plotline: The Vols asserted themselves as a group to kick in a SEC East with final week’s win over Florida, nonetheless if they come out prosaic and event in Athens, it’s anyone’s game. Instead of appearing to have a critical playoff contender, though, a East will again demeanour average, with small wish of upending a West champ.
Week 5 superlatives
Most intriguing mascot battle: Zippy a Kangaroo vs. Flash a Golden Eagle. Psst, hey Kent State, wish to know a secret? Kangaroos can’t travel backwards. Look it up. Get her on her heels and we competence win …
Upset watch: Tennessee during Georgia. The Bulldogs haven’t looked good this season, struggling opposite Nicholls, being advantageous to shun Mizzou with a win, and afterwards losing to Ole Miss, nonetheless we haven’t seen Tennessee respond to success yet, and Nick Chubb competence wish to make a matter opposite a group he tore his ACL opposite — that is, if he has recovered from a sprained ankle.
Can-miss game: Alcorn State during Arkansas. Poor Alcorn State, a miscarry date for Arkansas after it mislaid to Texas AM. ESPN’s FPI gives Arkansas a 99.5 percent possibility to kick a 1-2 FCS team.
Player in a spotlight: Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook. The Badgers seemed to have found their QB in a win over Michigan State, nonetheless Michigan’s invulnerability has pressured hostile quarterbacks on 42 percent of their dropbacks this season, second-highest rate in a Power 5.
Matchup to watch: Louisville’s descent line vs. Clemson’s defensive line. It’s a nation’s No. 1 offense opposite a No. 3 defense, and it all starts adult front. Clemson, led by Christian Wilkins, Carlos Watkins and Dexter Lawrence, ranks in a tip 10 nationally in tackles for detriment (38) and is giving adult fewer than 100 rushing yards per game.
Under a radar: Utah during Cal. This matchup was a thriller final year, when a Utes won 30-24. This time, a Bears are averaging 45.5 points per game, and a Utes are permitting usually 15.8. Something’s gotta give.
Must-win game: Too many. Texas, Houston, Florida State, TCU, Clemson, Louisville — they’re all expected separated from a CFP review with a loss.
Don’t forget about: Ole Miss mislaid to Memphis final year. The Rebels positively didn’t forget. Memphis is off to a 3-0 start underneath first-year manager Mike Norvell, nonetheless ESPN’s FPI pegs a Rebels’ chances during earning punish during 86 percent.