Here’s Where the College Football Playoff Stands After a Wild Friday Night

    One College Football Playoff contender saw its postseason dreams die on Friday night, while another kept its national championship hopes alive with a

    November 24, 2018

    One College Football Playoff contender saw its postseason dreams die on Friday night, while another kept its national championship hopes alive with a gutsy road win.

    Washington, ranked No. 16 in the latest playoff rankings, beat No. 8 Washington State 28-15 in Pullman, Washington, to clinch the Pac-12 North and hand the conference’s only remaining one-loss team its second defeat of the season.

    On the other side of the country, No. 6 Oklahoma clinched a berth in the Big 12 Championship with a 59-56 win at No. 13 West Virginia that keeps the Sooners in the running for the playoff.

    Here’s a look at each game and its immediate and potential impact on the playoff.

    No. 6 Oklahoma 59, No. 13 West Virginia 56

    The Big 12’s College Football Playoff hopes are still alive – for now. Oklahoma arrived in Morgantown, West Virginia, as the conference’s last remaining one-loss team and the Sooners picked up their biggest win of the season by beating the Mountaineers.

    In a game that featured nearly 1,400 yards of total offense between the two teams, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray had 364 passing yards and 114 rushing yards with four total touchdowns. But it was a pair of scoop and scores by the Sooners’ defense – one before halftime and another that extended OU’s lead to 10 in the fourth quarter – that really made the difference in this Big 12 shootout.

    The victory propels Oklahoma into the Big 12 Championship, where it’ll play Texas in a rematch of the Longhorns’ 48-45 win in Dallas in Week 6. If the Sooners can win the conference championship, they’ll have a shot at making the College Football Playoff, depending on the results of the Big Ten and SEC Championship games. Michigan and Georgia are both ranked ahead of Oklahoma entering Week 13 and both schools have the potential to be one-loss conference champions, like Oklahoma.

    No. 16 Washington 28, No. 8 Washington State 15

    Well, it was fun while it lasted.

    Washington State’s run at the College Football Playoff came to a snowy end on Friday night, when No. 16 Washington clinched the Pac-12 North with a road win in the Apple Cup. The Cougars were the last remaining one-loss team in the Pac-12, which kept them in the playoff conversation, even if their resume didn’t quite stack up to the current top-four teams.

    It has been – and still is – a special season for Washington State, which had potential Heisman Trophy finalist Gardner Minshew II leading the way on offense, but Washington showed that it’s still the dominant program in the Apple Cup rivalry as the Huskies won their sixth straight game – and ninth out of 10 – against the Cougars.

    The Huskies picked off Minshew twice and held him to 152 passing yards and no touchdowns. Washington running back Myles Gaskin ran wild with 27 carries for 170 yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yard touchdown run that sealed the game in the fourth quarter.

    Now Washington will play for the Pac-12 Championship, which could’ve allowed it to be competing for a College Football Playoff berth in a different universe. The Huskies are 9-3 with their three losses coming by a combined 10 points in games that were all played away from home – against Auburn in Atlanta, at Oregon and at Cal.

    The big picture

    There are now likely just seven teams that have a chance to make the College Football Playoff – No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 10 Ohio State – because each school can potentially finish the regular season undefeated or as a 12-1 Power Five conference champion.


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