MORE: Week 12 Playoff pictureIt’s a good bet the Playoff field will come from those teams, knowing no two-loss team has ever made the field. That said, there are hurdles for all of these teams to overcome to get there.Here is a conference-by-conference look at each team’s biggest hurdle remaining before the postseason:Clemson: Inexplicable lossThe Tigers are going to the ACC championship game, but they need to take care of Wake Forest and South Carolina before they get there. Clemson could tempt fate — and the Playoff committee — with a loss in one of those games, but a defeat in the conference championship game would be more difficult to explain, given how close it comes to the final rankings. Considering the Tigers have won the last four ACC championship games by an average of 20.5 points per game, we don’t put much stock in this scenario.Ohio State: Chase Young’s suspensionThe Buckeyes are still crushing opponents under first-year coach Ryan Day, and they won’t lose to Rutgers. Ohio State will still be heavy favorites against Penn State and Michigan with or without Young, but Young, the nation’s best defensive player, maximizes how good this team can be in those signature games. One loss kept the Buckeyes out the last two years. Could it happen again if Young is held out?Minnesota: Paul Bunyan’s AxeThe Gophers can win the Big Ten West with two victories in their last three games, which are at Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin. Those teams have won the last four division championships, and it’s the matchup against Wisconsin that could define the season. Can Minnesota hold on to one of the coolest trophies in all of sports and take a 12-0 record to the Big Ten championship game?Penn State: Ohio StateThe Nittany Lions put themselves in a corner with the 31-26 loss at Minnesota on Saturday. Penn State can’t take another loss, and that means James Franklin must lead this team to a victory against Ohio State. That was the difference in the Big Ten East race each of the last three seasons, and the Nittany Lions have lost double-digit leads in the fourth quarter each of the last two years.MORE: Week 12 bowl projectionsOklahoma: AlabamaThe Sooners can win the Big 12 for the fifth consecutive season, but they have to do it with one loss. Oklahoma also has to do it with enough style points to make the committee forget about the Crimson Tide. This is the last phase of the Jalen Hurts vs. Tua Tagovailoa argument, and it is going to get heated. Remember, the Sooners lost to Kansas State, then needed a foiled 2-point conversion to hold off Iowa State in a 42-41 win.Baylor: Oklahoma (twice)The Bears have maintained an undefeated record nine games through the season. Now they get Oklahoma and Texas in the next two weeks, and a clean sweep would put the Bears in the Big 12 championship game. The problem is they likely would have to beat Oklahoma for a second time in AT&T Stadium. A one-loss Baylor likely isn’t winning the argument with Alabama, given their position in the first Playoff rankings.Oregon: AlabamaOregon has the same problem as Oklahoma. The Ducks have to win the Pac-12 with one loss, and they have to outshine the Sooners and Crimson Tide in the process. That loss against Auburn is going to get compared with whatever Alabama does against the Tigers in the Iron Bowl. The Ducks should prefer that Utah win out so the Pac-12 championship is as bright as possible while Alabama sits at home.Utah: OregonUtah can still get in too, but the Utes have to take care of a hot UCLA team under former Oregon coach Chip Kelly next week, then hold off USC in the Pac-12 South Division to get that chance. The Utes also need that matchup against a one-loss Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game. Utah has given up just 10.2 points per game since that loss to the Trojans. They need that defense to dominate in November.MORE: SN Week 12 college football rankings A total of 11 teams can still say they are still in College Football Playoff contention: the Power 5 schools with one loss or fewer.Five unbeaten teams remain in Clemson (10-0), LSU (9-0), Ohio State (9-0), Baylor (9-0) and Minnesota (9-0). Six-one loss teams are on their heels in Alabama (8-1), Georgia (8-1), Oklahoma (8-1), Oregon (8-1), Penn State (8-1) and Utah (8-1). Alabama: The Playoff committeeAlabama will be back in familiar territory no matter what happens the next three weeks. The Crimson Tide will likely be locked out of the SEC title game even if they win out, and they have three weeks to convince the committee they are the best one-loss team in the FBS. They must do that without the benefit of the conference championship game, and must rely on chaos to get back in the mix. Does the committee have it in them to tell the Crimson Tide no?Georgia: The SEC WestThe Bulldogs need to take care of business against Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium, followed by Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and what will probably be LSU in the SEC championship game. Even assuming Georgia takes care of business against the rival Yellow Jackets, it still has losable games against the Aggies and Tigers. A second loss would drop Georgia behind Alabama, and out of Playoff contention. The Bulldogs can dominate the SEC East all they want. They have to go through the other division to get back to the Playoff.LSU: Late-season collapseLSU has four top-10 victories piled up, just beat rival Alabama for the first time since 2011 and has the Heisman Trophy front runner in quarterback Joe Burrow. What could possibly go wrong for this feel-good story under Ed Orgeron? It would take another wacky loss to Texas A&M — like last year’s 74-72 seven-overtime extravaganza — and a loss to Georgia in the SEC championship game. That would knock the Tigers out of the Playoff at the worst possible time.
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