Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, right, hands off the ball to running back Noah Whittington in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Is Oregon Still in the Running for a Playoff Berth?

This past weekend was very eventful in the world of college football and it opened some doors for the Oregon Ducks. No. 1 Tennessee was taken down by No. 3 Georgia. No. 4 Clemson was also not so lucky as they fell to No. 20 Notre Dame and No. 7 LSU stormed the field when they defeated No. 10 Alabama.

So, when the second College Football Playoff Rankings came out last night, there were some changes at the top.

Major Changes to CFP Rankings

Georgia jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 while Ohio State stayed at No. 2. Still undefeated Michigan claimed the No. 3 as Tennessee dropped to No. 5. TCU also moved up as they replaced Clemson in the No. 4 spot. With all that shuffling, Oregon moved from No. 8 to No. 6, making them one of the first two teams out. While a lot would have to happen, the Ducks are not completely out of playoff contention.

They did not have the strongest start to the season being held to just three points in their opening game against Georgia. However, Georgia is not the No. 1 team in the nation, and Oregon has won its last eight games.

What Needs to Happen for Oregon

In order for the Ducks to have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs as a one-loss team, they must win out. This in and of itself will not be the easiest thing. They will be facing No. 24 Washington this weekend. Next weekend they will take on No. 13 Utah and then they will finish out their season with a trip to Corvallis to play Oregon State.

Let’s say they do win out, then they have to win the Pac-12 Championship game. This game would be against the other team ranked in the top two spots of the conference standings.

If they do come out of the season as the Pac-12 champions, they will still need some help. First, they would need TCU to lose of its remaining regular season games. TCU plays No.18 Texas, Baylor and finishes out with Iowa State. The Ohio State-Michigan game could also affect Oregon’s shot. If both teams are still undefeated when they play, the winner could knock the loser out of playoff contention.

It would also make it easier for Oregon if LSU and Tennessee were to lose another game this season. LSU will have a better shot at picking up a loss as they will likely face Georgia in the SEC Championship game. It is highly unlikely that Tennessee loses again as they finish out the season with Missouri, South Caroline, and Vanderbilt.

So, there is a path for Oregon to make the playoffs, the right pieces just have to fall in place.

About Kate Caranante

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