Fifteen teams entered Saturday ranked ahead of West Virginia, based upon the latest College Football Playoff Rankings. Despite being one of seven teams in Power 5 conference with one or fewer losses, the Mountaineers were garnering very little respect. Saturday should give the playoff committee a new way to view the Mountaineers and come Tuesday night, fans will have a better opinion of where they stand.
#2 Clemson entered Saturday ranked #2 in the playoffs and a guaranteed playoff spot if they could continue to dominate as they had this season. The Mountaineers rival, Pittsburgh, ended Clemson’s dream of an undefeated season with a 45-44 win in Death Valley. #17 North Carolina, who was on track to win the ACC Coastal, lost to Duke. This loss is significant because now Virginia Tech is on track to win the Coastal. Unless VT gets ranked, Clemson will not have another impressive win on their resume. Their final games are against Wake Forest and South Carolina.
#3 Michigan did the unthinkable and lost to Iowa. Now the loser of Ohio State - Michigan is guaranteed at least two losses. The loss is even more significant for Michigan because now Penn State has an inside track to a conference title. If #6 Ohio State, who won on Saturday, beats Michigan, Michigan will have two losses. This puts #10 Penn State and Ohio State tied for the division lead. Penn State would win the Big Ten East thanks to their head to head win over Ohio State. Two loss Penn State.
#4 Washington was also a victim of #TeamChaos as USC took down Washington 26-13. Heisman hopeful Jake Browning was harassed all game, including 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. Washington, who were gaining style points by defeating teams by a margin of 30+ points per game, gained only 276 total yards and scored only 13 points. Now #23 Washington State is in control of their fate. Should WSU win, everyone in the Pac-12 would have two-losses.
In the SEC, #8 Texas A&M and #9 Auburn both lost, giving them now 3-losses and hopefully getting them far away from the playoff rankings. There is now only one undefeated team in the country, #1 Alabama. #2, #3, #4, #8, #9, and #17 all lost Saturday. The Mountaineers need some help to win the Big 12 but Saturday went a long way to help WVU achieve the impossible.