NCAAF Teams
Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior Writer 376d

Eliminator Week 6: Stanford, UCLA get the boot

College Football, Air Force Falcons, Arkansas Razorbacks, Colorado Buffaloes, Indiana Hoosiers, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Stanford Cardinal, Texas Tech Red Raiders, UCLA Bruins

Oregon isn't the only former Pac-12 power struggling mightily.  

Oregon and Stanford have combined to win the past seven Pac-12 titles, but now they suddenly look like two of the league's worst teams.  

The Cardinal have lost back-to-back games for the first time in coach David Shaw's six seasons on The Farm, and they'll try to avoid a three-game losing streak when they play at Notre Dame on Saturday.  

Stanford's fall from the national rankings has been nearly as surprising as Oregon's collapse. The Cardinal were outscored 86-22 in consecutive losses to Washington and Washington State. Their offensive line allowed 12 sacks in those losses, and preseason Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey has largely been neutralized.  

As a result, Stanford was one of eight FBS teams eliminated from consideration for the College Football Playoff by The Eliminator this week. Through six weeks, 100 of the 128 FBS teams have been eliminated, leaving 28 teams in contention for the four spots in the playoff.  

Here's where the FBS stands after Week 6:

Jump to sections: Who's in? | Still in contention | On the fence | Better luck next season | Previously eliminated

Who's in?

If the College Football Playoff participants were selected today, there's a good chance two Big Ten teams -- Michigan and Ohio State -- would be among them. Of course, the Buckeyes and Wolverines will play at the Horseshoe on Nov. 26, so it's no guarantee both of them will be among the four teams picked at season's end (or that someone else won't upset at least one of them between now and then).   

Alabama remains No. 1 after winning 49-30 at Arkansas on Saturday. The Tide are about to begin their toughest three-game stretch, starting with Saturday's trip to No. 9 Tennessee. We'll shake up the other three teams, though, after Washington posted consecutive blowouts of Stanford and Oregon and looks like a heavy favorite in the Pac-12. Michigan is the new No. 2 seed after crushing Rutgers 78-0 on Saturday, and Clemson remains No. 3 after crushing Boston College 56-10 on the road. The Huskies move into the No. 4 spot, replacing the Buckeyes for now.

Still in contention


Alabama Crimson Tide

Trending: EVEN

The third Saturday in October, also known as the day the Crimson Tide beat Tennessee again. The Volunteers haven't beaten Alabama since a 16-13 win in 2006.

Baylor Bears

Trending: EVEN

The fifth Saturday in October, also known as the day Baylor's season finally begins. The Bears host Kansas on Saturday and then get a bye week before playing at Texas on Oct. 29.

Clemson Tigers

Trending: UP

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was criticized for attempting an onside kick in the third quarter of the Tigers' rout at BC on Friday night. At least the Eagles didn't return it for a touchdown.

Louisville Cardinals

Trending: DOWN

Should the Cardinals be on upset alert against Duke at home on Friday night? Since 2013, the Blue Devils are 14-4 on the road and 7-3 as a road underdog.

 

Michigan Wolverines

Trending: UP

I'm guessing Jim Harbaugh was among the commuters stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

 

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Trending: UP

Last season, the Cornhuskers were outscored in the fourth quarter in four of their seven losses. This season, they're outscoring their foes 78-6 in the fourth.

 

Ohio State Buckeyes

Trending: UP

The Buckeyes surrendered nine first downs and 116 yards of offense in a 58-0 win over Rutgers two weeks ago. Michigan allowed two first downs and 39 yards of offense in a 78-0 rout of the Scarlet Knights on Saturday. Yep, the Wolverines are the better team.

 

Texas A&M Aggies

Trending: UP

Texas A&M's 45-38 win over No. 9 Tennessee was its 12th victory over an AP Top 25 opponent in coach Kevin Sumlin's four-plus seasons. Texas has seven such victories in the past seven seasons.

 

Washington Huskies

Trending: UP

The Huskies have outscored their first six opponents by 212 points -- the same margin of victory through six games as the 1991 Washington team that shared a national championship.

On the fence


Arizona State Sun Devils

Trending: UP

Talk about a small margin for error. The Sun Devils are 5-1, despite outscoring their six opponents by a combined 40 points. It's the second-smallest average margin of victory for an FBS team with at least five wins. (Wake Forest is 5-1 after outscoring its opponents 146-108.)

 

Auburn Tigers

Trending: UP

Yeah, I'd burn that visor, Gus.

 

Boise State Broncos

Trending: UP

What a weekend for the Broncos. Boise State blew out New Mexico 49-21 on Friday night and then watched Navy upset No. 6 Houston 46-40 on Saturday, putting the Broncos in the driver's seat for a New Year's Six bowl. Upset victories from Oregon State and Washington State only helped their chances, too.

 

Florida Gators

Trending: EVEN

NC State and Notre Dame think the Gators are soft.

 

Houston Cougars

Trending: EVEN

Houston's stunning loss to Navy probably knocked it out of the CFP race, but we'll keep the Cougars around for at least a few more weeks. The Cougars' biggest problem: The Midshipmen now have to lose two conference games for Houston to win the AAC West.

 

LSU Tigers

Trending: EVEN

Ed Orgeron wants to play the Gators -- in the Everglades -- the day after LSU plays Alabama.

 

Maryland Terrapins

Trending: DOWN

The Terrapins were knocked down a notch or two after falling 38-14 at Penn State, their first loss under new coach D.J. Durkin. They're still better than Michigan State.

 

Miami Hurricanes

Trending: DOWN

Georgia fans know your pain all too well, Hurricanes.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels

Trending: DOWN

How bad were the Tar Heels against Virginia Tech (and Hurricane Matthew)? They failed to score a touchdown for the first time in coach Larry Fedora's 58 games at UNC, and their 131 yards of offense were the fewest in a game since 1999.

 

Oklahoma Sooners

Trending: UP

Bob Stoops probably thinks Brian Bosworth's effort to tackle Bo Jackson was "unacceptable" and "embarrassing."

 

Ole Miss Rebels

Trending: EVEN

You can take the Ole Miss quarterback out of Buffalo, but you can never take the Buffalo out of the Ole Miss quarterback.

 

Pittsburgh Panthers

Trending: UP

Hey, Georgia Tech, it's Line 17 on Form 1040: Gifts to charity other than by cash or check.

 

Tennessee Vols

Trending: DOWN

Look on the bright side: It's absolutely amazing that the Volunteers had a chance to have their seventh turnover in the second overtime.

 

Utah Utes

Trending: UP

Talk about halftime adjustments. Utah's offensive line was penalized 10 times for false starts and snap infractions in the first half against Arizona on Saturday night. It wasn't penalized once in the second half of a 36-23 win.

 

Virginia Tech Hokies

Trending: UP

New Hokies coach Justin Fuente's best recruiting job was persuading defensive coordinator Bud Foster to stay. North Carolina had more turnovers (four) than points (three) in a 34-3 loss to the Hokies on the Saturday.

 

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Trending: UP

The Demon Deacons are 5-1 for only the eighth time in history, and they're one victory away from being eligible for a bowl game.

 

Western Michigan Broncos

Trending: UP

After the Broncos defeated Northern Illinois 45-30 on Saturday, ESPN's Football Power Index gives them the best chance (43 percent) of any FBS team to enter their bowl game with an undefeated record.

 

West Virginia Mountaineers

Trending: EVEN

The Mountaineers, one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the Big 12, had an extra week to prepare for this week's trip to Texas Tech, which should be called the "Bro Bowl." West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen and Tech's Kliff Kingsbury are longtime friends.

 

Wisconsin Badgers

Trending: EVEN

Fifty-nine to nothing.

Better luck next season

Air Force Falcons

Trending: DOWN

Air Force beats Navy and then loses to Wyoming. Navy loses to Air Force and then stuns No. 6 Houston. Ah, college football.

 

Arkansas Razorbacks

Trending: DOWN

Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema needs a safe zone.

 

Colorado Buffaloes

Trending: DOWN

Even after losing 21-17 at USC on Saturday, the Buffaloes are tied for the lead in the Pac-12 South. They can take a big step in the race by beating Arizona State this week.

 

Indiana Hoosiers

Trending: DOWN

The Hoosiers are among three of the four FBS teams in Indiana with .500 records or better. (Hint: Purdue isn't the one with a losing record.)

 

Minnesota Gophers

Trending: DOWN

Keep your heads up, Gophers. That three-game stretch against Rutgers, Illinois and Purdue isn't too far away.

 

Stanford Cardinal

Trending: DOWN

Looking for the root of Stanford's surprising struggles? Last year, the Cardinal allowed 1.4 sacks per game and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. This season, Stanford is allowing 3.2 sacks per game and averaging 4.1 yards per rush.

 

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Trending: DOWN

The Red Raiders were a little too giving on Kansas State coach Bill Snyder's 77th birthday Saturday, throwing a pick-six, giving up a 99-yard kickoff return for a score and failing to convert three fourth-down plays in a 44-38 loss on the road.

 

UCLA Bruins

Trending: DOWN

Maybe we had the wrong L.A. coach on the hot seat. The Bruins are 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12 after falling 23-20 at Arizona State.

Previously eliminated

Eliminated in Week 5: Arizona Wildcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Iowa Hawkeyes, Kansas State Wildcats, Memphis Tigers, Michigan State Spartans, Navy Midshipmen, Oregon Ducks, San Diego State Aztecs, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Longhorns, Toledo Rockets

Eliminated in Week 4: Army Black Knights, Central Michigan Chippewas, East Carolina Pirates, Georgia Southern Eagles, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, USC Trojans

Eliminated in Week 3: Boston College Eagles, Duke Blue Devils, Illinois Fighting Illini, Marshall Thundering Herd, Missouri Tigers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, Syracuse Orange, Texas State Bobcats, Vanderbilt Commodores

Eliminated in Week 2: Akron Zips, Ball State Cardinals, BYU Cougars, California Bears, Connecticut Huskies, Eastern Michigan Eagles, Florida Atlantic Owls, Idaho Vandals, Kansas Jayhawks, Louisiana Monroe Warhawks, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, NC State Wolfpack, Old Dominion Monarchs, Purdue Boilermakers, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, Texas San Antonio Roadrunners, Troy Trojans, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UCF Knights, UNLV Rebels, Utah State Aggies, UTEP Miners, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Wyoming Cowboys

Eliminated in Week 1: Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, Charlotte 49ers, Colorado State Rams, Florida International Golden Panthers, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia State Panthers, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Iowa State Cyclones, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Massachusetts Minutemen, Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, Mississippi State Bulldogs, New Mexico State Aggies, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio Bobcats, Rice Owls, San Jose State Spartans, Temple Owls, Tulane Green Wave, Virginia Cavaliers, Washington State Cougars

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