Thanks to Pitt’s win over Clemson last week, the Panthers have at least some chance of representing the ACC in the College Football Playoff at the end of the 2021 season.
How good of a chance mostly depends on a lot of external factors, including how the committees use Pitts home loss to Western Michigan, and also which other teams have similar records by the end of the season.
In that vein, many Pitt fans have been wondering which teams they need to root for to lose in order to help improve Pitt’s playoff situation.
The short answer is chaos, as Pitt will need a lot of underdogs to win over the course of the rest of the season.
Here’s a primer for this week:
🏈 No. 2 Cincinnati at Tulane, noon, ESPN2
It’s not a lock that an unbeaten Bearcats team would get in over a one-loss Pitt squad, but Pitt fans aren’t known for taking unnecessary chances or forgetting what happened in 2009. Plus Tulane’s logo is an angry wave. What’s not to love? Roll Wave.
🏈 No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State, noon, FOX
Despite its Big-ness and Noon-ness, the outcome of this game doesn’t matter that much, but Pitt fans should hope the winner keeps winning, beats Ohio State and wins the Big Ten and the loser loses again to fall into the two-loss realm.
But even though it doesn’t strictly matter, as fans of chaos, wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if Sparty wins? Go Green. Go White.
🏈 Texas at No. 16 Baylor, noon, ABC
Baylor is a one-loss team with two ranked wins an the one loss is to a top-15 Oklahoma State squad. So Pitt needs them to lose somewhere along the way, and the Longhorns are dangerous despite their record. Horns Up!
🏈 Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Sooners have been flirting with disaster for weeks now, most notably by nearly tripping over Kansas last week. But as an unbeaten, stumbles alone won’t drop OU behind Pitt. The Panthers need a fall. Tech is nobody’s juggernaut, but no one said this would be easy. Guns Up!
🏈 Colorado at Oregon, 3:30 p.m., FOX
The Pac-12 is the committee’s red-headed stepchild, but Oregon has a win over Ohio State and hasn’t fallen hard enough to keep the Ducks out of contention. The Buffaloes would be that loss. Go Buffs.
🏈 Duke at Wake Forest, 4 p.m., ACC Network
Here’s one where Pitt needs the favorite to win. An undefeated Wake Forest team in the ACC Championship Game would represent Pitt’s best chance at a quality win. So Panthers fans need to be backing the Deacons the rest of the way, creepy mascot and all.
🏈 No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn, 7 p.m., ESPN
A loss will move the Rebels out of serious contention, and even though Auburn is ranked closely with Pitt, they still have a date with Bama. War Eagle.
🏈 No. 12 Kentucky at Mississippi State, 7 p.m., SEC
The Wildcats can’t make the SEC title game unless Georgia really blows it, but a one-loss SEC hanging around might be too tempting for the committee, even if it is Kentucky. Clanga Clanga.
🏈 Kansas at No. 15 Oklahoma State, 7 p.m., FS1
It’s be nice if Kansas would win, but let’s stick within the realm of the possible.
🏈 North Carolina at No. 11 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Get a good look at an upcoming Pitt opponent and root against the Irish. Pitt fans should have no trouble with this one.
🏈 No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State, 7:30 p.m., ABC
Would you listen even if I told you to root for Penn State? But to make you feel better about what you were going too anyway, this one doesn’t really matter. Someone from the Big Ten will be going in ahead of Pitt and that won’t be decided in the Horseshoe
So go ahead and boo James from State College’s gang.