Tennessee was eliminated from the playoff while with other teams in the top 5 fought through battles and survived.
Ohio State scored the final 10 points of the game take a 43-30 win at Maryland, Georgia out-defensed Kentucky for a 16-6 victory in Lexington, and Michigan needed a late field goal to avert a home upset loss to Illinois and pull out a 19-17 win. Meanwhile, TCU scored 9 points in the final 2:07 to rally to a 29-28 win at Baylor on a 40-yard walk-off field goal.
Tennessee lost 63-38 at South Carolina as a 22.5-point favorite, and lost quarterback Hendon Hooker to a season-ending torn ACL. Another Heisman candidate, Michigan RB Blake Corum, left that game with an apparent knee injury but said on Sunday that he'll be ready to play against Ohio State.
The Vols had looked like a shoe-in for the playoff as they appeared destined to go 11-1 and watch Georgia play LSU in the SEC Championship game from the comfort of their homes over the holiday weekend.
Instead, playoff chances improved dramatically for TCU, USC and maybe even Clemson. Of course, the Horned Frogs have yet to lose a game while the Trojans and Tigers are both 10-1. Clemson hosts South Carolina before facing North Carolina in the ACC Championship. USC punched its ticket to the PAC-12 Championship with a 48-45 win over UCLA and doesn't yet know who its opponent will be after the Trojans finish the regular season at home against Notre Dame.
While teams may play their way into or out of the playoff, there's also the possibility that Georgia and TCU could win out, and that the Ohio State-Michigan loser can survive the cut.
Only three conference championship pairings have been decided. 74 teams are bowl eligible for the 82 slots. 17 have yet to be eliminated from bowl consideration.
The Tigers (Atlantic) and Tar Heels (Coastal) have already clinched their respective division titles and will meet in Charlotte on Saturday, December 3 in one of the the ten conference championship games. When that game is over, the ACC will officially say farewell to the two-division system. The PAC-12, American Conference, and CUSA have already switched to staging a title game between the top two teams in the entire conference. The Mountain West, like the ACC, will implement that type of format next year while the B1G, SEC, MAC and Sun Belt will continue to use divisions.
Bowl eligible members (9): Clemson, UNC, Florida State, NC State, Wake Forest., Syracuse, Louisville, Duke, Pittsburgh.
Still Bowl possible (2): Miami (5-6), Georgia Tech (5-6).
The big games on Saturday saw UCF get upset 17-14 at home by Navy, and East Carolina got plastered 42-3 at home by Houston. Meanwhile, Tulane romped to a 59-24 win at home over SMU, and Cincinnati was a 23-3 victor at Temple.
The winner of this week's Tulane-Cincinnati game will nail down hosting duties. A UCF win at USF gives the Knights the second spot. If would appear that if UCF gets upset at USF, the Tulane-Cincinnati loser is back in. We're not seeing a path for Houston.
Bowl eligible members (7): UCF, Cincinnati, Tulane, Houston, SMU, East Carolina, Memphis.
Still bowl possible: None
Once again, the season-ending rivalry game between Ohio State and Michigan will be a de facto East division championship game. Iowa and Purdue are tied in the west, but Iowa owns the head-to-head tie-breaker. If Iowa beats Nebraska at home, or if Purdue loses at Indiana, the Hawkeyes are in. Purdue is in with a win over the Hoosiers and an Iowa loss to Nebraska.
Bowl eligible members (9): Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Maryland, Iowa, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin.
Still bowl possible (1): Michigan State (5-6).
Kansas State in in with a home win over Kansas. Texas is in with a Kansas State loss if the Longhorns win at home over Baylor as Texas owns the tie-breaker over the Wildcats.
Bowl eligible (8): TCU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas, Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma.
Still bowl possible: None
UTSA secured hosting duties with a win 41-7 romp at Rice. Ironically, North Texas can secure the other spot with a win at home this week over Rice. Rice needs a win to become bowl eligible. If North Texas loses and WKU wins at FAU, the Hilltoppers are in.
if UNT loses and WKU falls at FAU, is there a path for the Owls? At this point, we don't see it. All three schools would be 1-1 vs. each other and FAU would only be 6-6 over-all.
Bowl eligible (4): UTSA, North Texas, Western Kentucky, MTSU.
Still bowl possible (4): FAU (5-6), Rice (5-6), UAB (5-6), UTEP (5-6) .
If there were a championship game among Independents, Liberty would be in it for the third time in the last four years. Despite an astonishing loss at UConn this past Saturday, the Flames have the best record (8-2) among the 7 independent programs with Notre Dame trailing at 7-3.
Liberty hosts Virginia Tech on Saturday and opened as a 9.5-point favorite.
Bowl eligible (4): Liberty, Notre Dame, UConn, BYU
Still bowl possible (1): Army (4-6). New Mexico State is 4-6 with only 1 game left on the schedule.
Toledo is in the championship game for the first time since 2017 when the Rockets beat Akron in the championship game at Detroit.
Bowling Green visits Ohio Tuesday in a de facto MAC East Championship game.
Bowl eligible (4): Toledo, Ohio, Eastern Michigan. Bowling Green.
Still bowl possible (3): Ball State (5-6), Buffalo (5-5), Miami (5-6).
Boise State clinched the MWC Mountain and home field advantage in the championship game with a 20-17 win at Wyoming. Fresno State clinched the MWC West with a 41-14 win at Nevada.
Bowl eligible (7): Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Boise State, Wyoming, Air Force, Utah State.
Still bowl possible: None
USC's conference championship game opponent could be either Oregon, Washington or even Utah.
Yes, the Utes still have a longshot path even after the 20-17 loss at Oregon. The Utes need to win at Colorado and hope that Washington beats Washington State, Oregon State beats Oregon, and UCLA wins at Cal. The UCLA win is necessary to push the tiebreaker to the fourth step, which they would win based on SOS.
Washington advances with a win at Wazzu, an Oregon State win in the Civil War, and a Cal upset upset of UCLA.
The Ducks just need to win and their in, and they can back in with a Washington loss.
Bowl eligible (7): USC, Oregon, Utah, UCLA, Washington, Oregon State, Washington State.
Still bowl possible: None
LSU is one of the more surprising success stories of the 2022 season. The Tigers are 9-2 and could possibly be 10-1 were it not for a blocked PAT at the end of regulation in the opener against FSU. Georgia is what was expected of Georgia. Alabama is having a down year with 2 losses by a total of 4 points.
Texas A&M is the only program eliminated from bowl consideration heading into the final week.
Three teams can become bowl eligible this week, but Auburn will have to win at 'Bama, Mizzou has to beat Arkansas at home, and Vandy needs a home win over a Tennessee team that will be without Hendon Hooker.
Bowl eligible (10): LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina.
Still bowl possible (3): Auburn (5-6), Missouri (5-6), Vanderbilt (5-6).
The Coastal Carolina (6-1) game at Virginia was canceled this past Saturday due the tragic murders of three UVa football players. That game, of course, would have had no bearing on the conference championship game scenarios.
With a win at home over the Chanticleers on Saturday, James Madison can tie Coastal for the East division title, but the Dukes are not eligible for the regular season championship or a bowl game, per NCAA rules in their first year of transition from FCS to FBS.
Troy and South Alabama are tied on the other side at 6-1, but Troy owns the head-to-had tie-breaker. The Trojans visiting Arkansas State while the Jaguars host ODU. The Trojans are an 8-game heater while South Alabama has won 4 straight.
Bowl eligible (5):
EAST: Coastal (9-1, 6-1), Marshall (7-4, 4-3), App State (6-5, 3-4).
WEST: Troy (9-2, 6-1), South Alabama (9-2, 6-1).
Still bowl possible (3):
EAST: Georgia Southern (5-6, 2-5).
WEST: Southern Miss (5-6, 3-4), Louisiana (5-6, 3-4).
Ineligible (Transition season): JMU (7-3, 5-2)
The last of the 119 FBS vs. FCS matchups this season will took place on Saturday with Austin Peay losing 34-0 at Alabama, Utah Tech falling 52-26 at BYU, ETSU getting smacked 56-0 at Mississippi State, and North Alabama losing 59-0 at Memphis.
116 of the 131 FBS schools played at least one such game while with Appalachian State, Army and Marshall each played two.
The FBS was 111-8 (.933) vs. the FCS this year, and is now 1,685-148 (.919) since we began tracking this in 2003.
Here are the FCS wins in 2022:
September 2: William & Mary 41, Charlotte 24
September 3: Delaware14, Navy 7
September 10: Weber State 35, Utah State 7
September 10: Incarnate Word 55, Nevada 41
September 10: Holy Cross 37, Buffalo 31
September 10: Eastern Kentucky 59, Bowling Green 57 (7 OT's)
September 17: Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24
September 24: Sacramento State 41, Colorado State 10
CLEMSON - Won 40 straight home games.
Last: Won 40-10 at home over Miami on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Hosts South Carolina on Saturday, November 26.
MICHIGAN - Won 13 straight conference games.
Last: Won 19-17 at home over Illinois on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Visits Ohio State on Saturday, November 26.
GEORGIA - Won 11 straight true road games.
Last: Won 16-6 at Kentucky on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday, November 26.
NORTHWESTERN - Lost 10 straight over-all, and 7 straight at home - both are current FBS longest.
Last: Lost 17-9 at Purdue on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Hosts Illinois on Saturday, November 26.
AKRON - Lost 9 straight over-all (tied with USF and Nevada for 2nd-most over-all), and 12 straight conference games (tied for most with USF).
Last: Game at Buffalo was cancelled due to heavy snow on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Visits Northern Illinois on Saturday, November 26.
USF - Lost 12 straight conference games (tied with Northwestern).
Last: Lost 48-42 at Tulsa on Friday, November 18.
Next: Hosts UCF on Saturday, November 26.
MASSACHUSETTS - Lost 14 straight to FBS schools, and 24 straight road games.
Last: Lost 20-3 at Texas A&M on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Hosts Army on Saturday, November 26.