The College Football Playoff is all but set with just one regular-season game left in the 2021 season. Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama all cruised to victories in Week 12, as the three programs have nearly solidified their spots in the college football postseason, but the story was quite different with Oregon. Mario Cristobal’s team saw its College Football Playoff hopes — and, by extension, its national title hopes — crumble, as a 38-7 loss to Utah should end the Ducks’ run. At the moment, barring any substantial changes, 11-0 Cincinnati appears poised to take Oregon’s spot in the four-team playoff picture.
After Week 12, College Football Playoff contenders have just two games remaining before the field is finalized; rivalry week is next on tap, followed by conference championship games. Here’s a look at the top national title hopefuls heading into Week 13.
National Title odds after Week 12 (Vegas Insider)
Ohio State: +300
Notre Dame: +4000
Oklahoma State: +5000
Ole Miss: +20000
College Football Playoff picture becomes clearer
Georgia and Alabama may not have opened eyes with their performances in Week 12, but the two powerhouse programs did what was necessary to improve their College Football Playoff hopes. Georgia is all but a lock to make the four-team field; the Bulldogs have already completed a perfect SEC campaign, and they entered Week 12 with two nonconference teams on tap. First up, lowly Charleston Southern, who Georgia made quick work of, winning 56-7. Everyone got involved in Kirby Smart’s latest victory, with defensive tackle Jordan Davis scoring a rushing touchdown and four quarterbacks getting time under center.
Alabama had a closer game than expected, albeit against a much tougher opponent. The Alabama defense surrendered 468 yards of total offense to the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday, including KJ Jefferson’s 22-of-330, 326-yard, three-touchdown day, and the Razorbacks kept it close thanks in part to a fake field goal in which the jump pass went for six. But it proved no match for quarterback Bryce Young, who had a career day under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien’s playcalling. Young completed 31 of his 40 passing attempts, good for 559 passing yards and five touchdowns, solidifying a 42-35 win for the Crimson Tide, whose last regular-season game is against Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Oregon was blown out against Utah, though, ending the Ducks’ hunt for a College Football Playoff spot. Utah jumped out to a 28-0 lead at halftime and never once looked back. In the process, the fourth spot of the field opened up to Cincinnati, which — after a series of unimpressive wins — turned in a monstrous performance over SMU on Saturday, winning 48-14.