In a weekend that offered very few games to get excited about, only three teams in the entire Playoff Committee's top 25 were losers - No. 13 Oklahoma State, No. 19 NC State and No. 24 Michigan. Nonetheless, some conference championship matches were decided and others came more clearly into focus.
AAC: Memphis vs. UCF or USF.
UCF remains undefeated a after a 45-19 win at Temple. The Bulls survived Tulsa 27-20 at home on on Thursday. The American Athletic Conference East division title will be decided on Black Friday when the Golden Knights (10--0, 7-0 AAC) host USF (9-1, 6-1).
Memphis clinched the AAC West with a 66-45 win over visiting SMU.
ACC: Miami (FL) vs. Clemson.
Miami (FL) spotted Virginia a 28-14 lead in the 3rd quarter, then scored the final 30 points of the contest to extend the nation's currrent longest winning streak to 15 games.
Clemson, the Hurricane's impending foe in the ACC Championship game on December 2nd in Charlotte, had an easy day with FCS member The Citadel as the Tigers walked away with a 61-3 win.
Big Ten: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State.
In the only battle among Top 25 teams in the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings, Wisconsin doused Michigan's hope of a Big Ten East title with a 24-10 win in Madison.
Ohio State will be Wisconsin's foe in Indianapolis for the conference championship game after clobbering Illinois 52-14.
Big 12: Oklahoma vs. TCU (most likely).
Oklahoma (7-1), in essence, clinched the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the championship game by pounding Kansas 41-3. TCU (6-2) routed Texas Tech 27-3 and is the only other Big 12 team with fewer than 3 conference losses so the Horned Frogs are in if they beat Baylor at home on Friday. A TCU upset loss could create as much as a 5-team tie, but the Horned Frogs would own nearly all of the tie-breaker scenarios (either by record against the tied teams, or head-to-head win).
TCU routed Texas Tech 27-3 in Lubbock while Kansas State took down No. 13 Oklahoma State 45-40 at Stillwater, Texas won 28-14 at West Virginia, and Iowa State won 23-13 at Baylor.
Conference USA: North Texas at FAU.
The Owls (8-3, 7-0) clinched the East, and home field advantage in the Conference USA Championship game, with a 52-24 win over FIU. North Texas (8-3, 6-1) had already won the West and its last-second 52-49 win over Army wasn't a conference game. The team with the better conference record hosts the title game and FAU can do no worse than tie North Texas, over whom it holds the head-to-head tie-breaker with its 69-31 smackdown in Boca Raton on October 21. Florida Atlantic is on a 7-game winning streak and reached 8 wins in the regular season for the first in its short FBS history (began program in 2001 and moved up to FBS in 2005). Howard Schnellenberger coached the Owls to an 8-5 finish in 2007, but that included a bowl win.
MAC: Akron or Ohio vs. Toledo or Northern Illinois (most likely Akron vs. Toledo).
Akron and Ohio are both 5-2 in the East division, but the Zips have the head-to-head advantage after beating the Bobcats 37-34 this past Tuesday so the Zips are in with a win over Kent State at home this Tuesday, or an Ohio loss on Friday at Buffalo if Akron loses on Tuesday. In the West, Toledo and Northern Illinois are each 6-1 with the Rockets holding the head-to-head advantage, thus Toledo is in with a win at home vs. Western Michigan this Friday (11:30 a.m. ET), or a Northern Illinois loss at Central Michigan on Friday (time to be announced) if Toledo loses.
MWC: Boise State vs. Fresno State.
Well, this is awkward. Boise State visits Fresno State this Saturday to end the regular season. Then they will meet again the following week in the MWC Championship game at a site to be determined by the highest final ranking.
Both teams locked up a Mountain West Conference title game appearance when Fresno State won 13-7 at Wyoming. Boise State later beat Air Force 44-19.
PAC-12: USC vs. Stanford or Washington State.
Wazzu is in with a win over Washington this Saturday. Stanford is in if Washington beats Wazzu. Washington is out because Stanford owns the tie-breaking head-to-head win over the Huskies.
USC held off UCLA 28-23 and Stanford won "The Big Game" versus Cal 17-13. Washington State was idle.
Despite learning that they were out of the PAC-12 North title race with Stanford's win over Cal, Washington scored 10 points in the final 58 seconds, capped off by the game-winning 38-yard field goal as time expired, to rally to a 33-30 win at home over Utah.
SEC: Georgia vs Auburn/Alabama winner.
Georgia sewed up the Eastern half before losing at Auburn last week. The Bulldogs rebounded with a 42-13 home win over Kentucky.
Top-ranked Alabama kicked around an FCS opponent, crushing Mercer 56-0.
Auburn was slow to get out of the gate but eventually raced past Louisiana-Monroe 42-14
Sun Belt: The league won't stage a conference championship game until next season. Four teams have a single conference loss as Troy, Georgia State, Appalachian State and Arkansas State are all 5-1. Troy owns a head-to-head over Georgia State and goes to Arkansas State on December 2. Appalachian State and Troy do not play each other. The conference seems destined for some arrangement of co-champions.
125 of the 130 FBS teams saw action this week in 65 games with 3 ACC schools and 2 SEC schools playing FCS competition.
Florida State took out a season's worth of frustration on Delaware State, ripping the FCS school 77-6. The second half was played with 10 minute quarters, instead of the standard 15, after the 'Noles jumped to a 56-6 halftime lead.
The playoff committee's 19th-ranked N.C. State Wolfpack was upended 30-24 at Wake Forest.
Notre Dame sunk Navy 24-17.
Virginia Tech kept Pittsburgh out of the end zone on 4 straight plays - the last as time expired - after the Panthers earned a 1st-and-goal at the 1-1/2 in the closing seconds. The 20-14 win pushed the Hokies to 8-3 and dropped Pitt (4-7) from contention for bowl consideration for the second time in 3 seasons under Pat Narduzzi.
109th-ranked BYU fell to 3-9 with a 16-10 loss at home to 107th-ranked UMass which improved to 4-7.
Since beating Ohio State 55-24, Iowa has now suffered two consecutive losses. This time, it was 24-15 to Purdue. Last week, Iowa was blown out 38-14 at Wisconsin while generating just 66 yards on offense.
Penn State beat Nebraska 56-44 but don't be fooled by the final score. It was 56-24 before the 'Huskers scored 20 in the last 6:32 of the game.
5 schools - Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and South Carolina - played FCS members this week and all won. FBS teams finish 89-9 (.908) vs. the FCS this season, and are now 1,219-117 (.912) since 2003.
These are the FCS victories in 2017:
September 23: Western Illinois 52, Coastal Carolina 10
September 16: North Carolina A&T 35, Charlotte 31
September 16: Idaho State 30, Nevada 28
September 9: South Dakota 35. Bowling Green 27
September 9: New Hampshire 22, Georgia Southern 12
September 2: Liberty 48, Baylor 45
September 2: Howard 43, UNLV 40
September 2: James Madison 34, East Carolina 14
August 31: Tennessee State 17, Georgia State 10.
98 FBS teams are playing 98 games vs. FCS members this year, down substantially from the 110 FBS schools that played 113 games vs. FCS squads last year.
Alabama - Won 39 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Won 18 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 14 straight road games (FBS second-longest). Won 24 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 56-0 vs. FCS member Mercer on Saturday.
Oklahoma - Won 16 straight road games (FBS longest). Won 41-3 at Kansas on Saturday.
Miami (Fla.) - Won 15 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 44-28 vs. Virginia on on Saturday.
UTEP - Lost 11 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 42-21. vs Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Coastal Carolina - Had lost 12 straight conference games (was FBS longest) before a 13-7 win at Idaho on Saturday.
Ball State - Lost 12 straight conference games (new FBS longest). Lost 40-24 vs. Buffalo on Thursday.
Kansas - Lost 45 straight road games (FBS longest). Lost 41-3 vs. Oklahoma on Saturday.