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College Football Playoff Contenders

The path to the College Football Playoff appears to be narrowing for several contenders as championship weekend unfolds. Here are the key takeaways:

1. Ohio State’s Playoff Hopes Dwindle

For the second-ranked Buckeyes, it’s a tough blow as they suffer their third consecutive loss to Michigan. The Wolverines, despite allegations of misconduct, have now secured three straight victories in this rivalry. This loss raises questions about Ohio State’s playoff chances this season.

2. Michigan’s Controversial Journey

Michigan’s victory over Ohio State comes amidst allegations of in-person scouting and sign-stealing, leading to an NCAA investigation and a three-game suspension for coach Jim Harbaugh. Despite the controversy, the Wolverines are on the verge of a third straight playoff appearance with a matchup against No. 20 Iowa in the Big Ten championship game.

3. Washington and Oregon: Pac-12 Playoff Hopes

In the Pac-12, Washington and Oregon are set for a rematch in the championship game. Washington, known for close victories this season, and Oregon, dominating with comfortable wins, present a chance for the Pac-12 to break its playoff drought.

4. Alabama’s Rollercoaster Ride

Alabama, despite a shaky season, managed to secure a miraculous victory over Auburn. This win keeps their College Football Playoff hopes alive as they prepare to face No. 1 Georgia in the SEC championship game. It’s a reminder that the Tide has overcome adversity before to secure a playoff spot.

5. Texas and the Big 12

In the Big 12, No. 7 Texas remains the conference’s sole hope for a playoff berth. They will face No. 21 Oklahoma State in the conference title game, and the Cowboys, with a rollercoaster season, aim to spoil the Longhorns’ farewell to the conference before Texas joins the SEC next year.

6. ACC’s Playoff Contender Reduced

The ACC, which has witnessed some upsets this season, is now left with only No. 5 Florida State as a playoff contender. Their challenge includes maintaining an unbeaten record without star quarterback Jordan Travis.

7. Playoff Landscape Tightens

With the impending expansion of the playoffs to 12 teams, this season might be the last one with a four-team format. The competition is intense, and contenders must navigate challenging matchups to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff.

In the midst of these developments, the hiring season for college football coaches is in full swing, with schools making strategic moves to secure coaching talent. As the conference championship games approach, the playoff picture remains uncertain, promising excitement and suspense for college football fans.

For more college football updates, follow Ralph D. Russo on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen to the latest AP Top 25 poll updates at http://www.appodcasts.com.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about College Football Playoff Contenders

Q: What is the current status of Ohio State’s College Football Playoff hopes?

A: Ohio State’s College Football Playoff hopes appear to be diminishing as they suffered a third consecutive loss to Michigan, raising doubts about their playoff chances this season.

Q: What controversies surround Michigan’s recent victories over Ohio State?

A: Michigan’s victories over Ohio State are marred by allegations of in-person scouting and sign-stealing, leading to an NCAA investigation and a three-game suspension for coach Jim Harbaugh.

Q: Which teams are representing the Pac-12 in the championship game, and what are their playoff prospects?

A: Washington and Oregon are set to compete in the Pac-12 championship game. Washington has had a season of close victories, while Oregon has dominated with comfortable wins. This game presents a chance for the Pac-12 to break its playoff drought.

Q: How did Alabama secure a victory over Auburn, and what does this mean for their playoff chances?

A: Alabama secured a miraculous victory over Auburn, keeping their College Football Playoff hopes alive. Despite their shaky season, this win reminds us that the Tide has overcome adversity before to secure a playoff spot.

Q: What’s the situation in the Big 12 regarding the playoffs, and who is the conference’s main contender?

A: In the Big 12, No. 7 Texas remains the conference’s sole hope for a playoff berth. They will face No. 21 Oklahoma State in the conference title game, and the Cowboys aim to spoil the Longhorns’ farewell to the conference before Texas joins the SEC next year.

Q: How has the ACC’s playoff picture evolved, and who is their main contender?

A: The ACC, which has seen some upsets this season, is now left with only No. 5 Florida State as a playoff contender. Their challenge includes maintaining an unbeaten record without star quarterback Jordan Travis.

Q: Is this the last season with a four-team format for the College Football Playoff?

A: Yes, this season could be the last one with a four-team format for the College Football Playoff as expansion to 12 teams is impending. The competition is intense, with contenders navigating challenging matchups to secure a playoff spot.

Q: What’s happening in the college football coaching hiring season?

A: College football coaching hiring season is in full swing, with schools making strategic moves to secure coaching talent. This adds an additional layer of intrigue as conference championship games approach and the playoff picture remains uncertain.

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