What a wild Saturday means for CFP race

Patterson runs wild on Wisconsin (0:53)

It was Michigan's quarterback who got its ground game rolling, as Shea Patterson totaled 90 rush yards and a score in a statement win. (0:53)

In a span of 15 minutes on Saturday afternoon, three top-10 teams tumbled: No. 2 Georgia, No. 7 Washington and No. 8 Penn State. Of those three teams, only Georgia (38 percent) still has a realistic shot to make the College Football Playoff, according to ESPN's Playoff Predictor.

"We still have a good football team," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said at his postgame news conference. "We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do. ... The margin of error is just smaller. We have to get better."

The Bulldogs are hardly alone.

West Virginia, which had been the last undefeated team in the Big 12, lost to Iowa State, assuring the conference champion will finish with at least one loss. Colorado, which had been the only undefeated team remaining in the Pac-12, lost at USC. No. 16 Miami, the ACC's second-highest-ranked team behind Clemson, lost to unranked Virginia. At the midpoint of the season, college football suffered a second straight chaotic Saturday.

Here's a look at what it means, and who was impacted the most:

1. The SEC's chances of getting two teams in the semifinals again decreased.

Georgia is certainly not out of the playoff discussion, but the chances of the Bulldogs getting in with Alabama now seem far-fetched. The best-case scenario would have been for both teams to be undefeated heading into the SEC championship game, and for the selection committee to take both the SEC champion and the runner-up. Now, if Georgia were to win out but lose to Alabama in the SEC title game, it would be much more difficult for the selection committee to justify putting in a two-loss runner-up. It's also going to be extremely difficult for Georgia to run the table, as the Bulldogs have a three-game stretch coming up against Florida, Kentucky and Auburn.

2. Barring major upsets in the other Power 5 conferences, the Pac-12 is in the worst possible playoff position.

Washington and Stanford both have two losses, and Oregon's nonconference schedule was so weak (Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State) it would probably keep it out of the selection committee's top four, even if the Ducks finish as a one-loss conference champion. Each of the past 16 CFP semifinalists had a nonconference win against a Power 5 opponent, and Oregon's nonconference schedule ranks last in the FBS, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. With Colorado's loss at USC, the Buffs aren't even leading the South Division anymore -- the two-loss Trojans are. The conference entered the day with a 13 percent chance to reach the playoff, the lowest of any league, according to the Playoff Predictor. That fell to 4 percent after Saturday's results. For the Pac-12 to resurrect its playoff hopes, it would need the top contenders -- Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson -- to collapse.

3. Notre Dame survived, barely.

Pitt deserves credit for being well-prepared with a game plan that, especially defensively, had the Irish on their heels for most of the game and limited them to 80 rushing yards. Quarterback Ian Book threw two interceptions but still completed 81 percent of his passes. It's hard to imagine the selection committee leaving the Irish out if they can finish undefeated -- especially considering the Pac-12 and Big 12 are guaranteed now to produce conference champions with at least one loss.

"We obviously can't play like this week-in and week-out and feel like we're going to win every game we play," coach Brian Kelly said after the game. "But you're going to have some of these, and you've got to -- you've got to grow from them, and I really like our football team. They will grow from this. They will learn from it and we'll be better because of it."

4. The Big Ten is shaping up for an Ohio State-Michigan showdown ... but don't forget about Michigan State.

With Michigan's win over Wisconsin, the Wolverines are still undefeated in Big Ten play, and their lone loss was in the season opener to Notre Dame. ESPN's FPI favors Michigan in every remaining game except the regular-season finale at Ohio State (28.1 percent). Before you boil the Big Ten season down to the Nov. 24 game in Columbus, though, don't snooze on Michigan's trip to East Lansing on Saturday.

Michigan State knocked Penn State out of the CFP race, and it put the two-loss Spartans in contention for the Big Ten East title. Michigan State lost to ASU and Northwestern, but it still faces Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten East division. A two-loss Michigan State team isn't likely to crash the playoff party, even if it wins the league. It's more likely to play the role of spoiler -- for one of the top contenders, or the entire Big Ten.