ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan’s chances to make the College Football Playoff have narrowed.
Washington’s 41-10 win against Colorado for the Pac-12 championship Friday night hindered Michigan’s chances at moving into position for a College Football Playoff berth.
Now, Michigan’s hopes rest upon the outcome of Saturday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game between No. 23 Virginia Tech and No. 3 Clemson (8 p.m. ET on ABC).
The top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings advance to the national semifinals on Dec. 31. Michigan is ranked No. 5, behind No. 4 Washington in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings.
Earlier this week, CFP selection committee chair Kirby Hocutt said the margin between No. 4 Washington and No. 5 Michigan was “razor-thin.”
“It is a very small margin of separation in the committee’s eyes between No. 4 Washington and No. 5 Michigan,” Hocutt said Tuesday on the CFP’s weekly rankings teleconference. “I don’t think I can emphasize enough the small margin of separation that the Selection Committee sees between those two teams.”
That gap could widen, as Washington earned its third win against a ranked opponent. Washington also beat No. 18 Stanford and No. 20 Utah, and its only loss came to No. 11 USC.
Of CFP’s top 10 teams, only two have losses to unranked teams: No. 5 Michigan (Iowa) and No. 10 Oklahoma State (Central Michigan, Baylor).
If No. 7 Penn State beats No. 6 Wisconsin for the Big Ten title Saturday, that could further narrow Michigan’s hopes to make the top four. Penn State has a win over No. 2 Ohio State, which is idle, while Wisconsin lost to Ohio State.
Ha yeah, problem is, if PSU wins, to me it's then down to PSU and OSU. I realize Mich beat the Nits handily, but PSU beat Buckeyes. https://t.co/dKYQ5ovkNv
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) December 3, 2016
The final College Football Playoff rankings will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN. The top four teams advance to the CFP semifinals Dec. 31 in Glendale, Ariz., and Atlanta. The New Year’s Six bowls (Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl) will be announced close to 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday.
Needless to say, Michigan wasn’t happy with the outcome of the Pac-12 title game. Here’s what Wolverines fullback Khalid Hill posted after the third quarter, when Washington led Colorado 31-10.
— Khalid Hill (@Thatboylid80) December 3, 2016
Meanwhile, another Michigan player is already a Virginia Tech fan.
New mood: pic.twitter.com/wBu5jIux4Z
— Grant Perry (@TheGrantPerry) December 3, 2016