How Miami's loss to Pitt impacts College Football Playoff picture

Sporting News
Miami lost to Pitt on Friday, another wrinkle in the College Football Playoff race. Here's how that impacts the race heading into the ACC championship.

How Miami's loss to Pitt impacts College Football Playoff picture

Miami lost to Pitt on Friday, another wrinkle in the College Football Playoff race. Here's how that impacts the race heading into the ACC championship.

Pittsburgh upset No. 2 Miami 24-14 on Friday – the first major shakeup in the College Football Playoff race on Rivalry Weekend.

Miami (10-1) lost in its attempt to have an unbeaten regular season heading into the ACC championship game on Dec. 2.

Who did the Hurricanes' loss benefit the most? Here are five impacts of Miami's loss.

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Miami can still get in

The Hurricanes used their mulligan, and this was hardly an inspiring performance against Pitt, who entered the game with four wins. It was a performance reminiscent of 2007, when the Panthers ended West Virginia's BCS championship game hopes in a 13-9 upset. The difference? Miami can still get in the College Football Playoff with a victory against Clemson in the ACC championship game. A loss, however, means the Canes would lose out to the rest of the two-loss bunch.

Clemson moves up

Clemson also has one loss, and the Tigers will be ranked No. 2 in the next set of College Football Playoff rankings. The Tigers, the two-time defending ACC champions, can do that by taking care of business against South Carolina on Saturday. Clemson also will be favored in the ACC championship game and has a better chance of slipping in the playoff if they happen to lose – though those chances would be slim. The ACC championship game is a play-in game between two one-loss teams as of now, but two teams from the conference aren't getting in unless there is major chaos in a few other Power 5 conferences.

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Big Ten loves it

Wisconsin and Ohio State love this result. The Badgers will be ranked in the top four if they take care of business against Minnesota, and the Buckeyes are on track to at least shake up the playoff picture among the two-loss teams if they win the Big Ten. The committee won't take two ACC teams, but a Big Ten champion will get in as long as they take care of business the next two weeks.

SEC two-team dreams?

That's still in play with a couple of scenarios. Alabama could lose a close Iron Bowl and still get in and not be impeded by a second ACC team. Auburn will make the playoff if they win out. What about a scenario where one-loss Georgia beats undefeated Alabama in the SEC championship game? Would both teams get in? Don't rule it out. We don't think it would happen if Wisconsin finished unbeaten. But that Ohio State vs. Alabama argument feels like it's coming if the Crimson Tide doesn't win out.

Hello, rivalry week

Well, rivalry week has produced two upsets in two days. Ole Miss' victory over Mississippi State knocked the Bulldogs down the rankings, and Pitt took care of Miami – just like 2007. Speaking of which, this race could be just as wild as the 2007 season in which two-loss LSU won the national championship. We're getting closer to the end, but clearly there's a long way to go.

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