Week 12 College Football Playoffs are heating up

    The GIST: Much like the Eras Tour, no team will gain general admission to the College Football Playoffs (CFP) — with just two regular season Saturdays remaining, the field of contenders is shrinking. Here’s who’s still in the hunt, and who may need a heroic assist to get out of the postseason waiting room.

    Illinois Fighting Illini (7-3) vs. No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (10-0), 12 p.m. ET (ABC): Michigan is the clear favorite but, unlike the CFP-hunting Wolverines, the Illini have nothing to lose. Despite dropping their last two games, Illinois is having one of their best seasons in recent history and could spoil Michigan’s undefeated run.

    • This one pits the Wolverines’ stellar defense, which leads the country in the fewest rush yards allowed per game, against the nation’s leading RB, Illinois’ Chase Brown…if he’s healthy.

    No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (10-0) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (6-4), 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS): Kentucky proved there are no sure things in football when they handed lowly Vanderbilt their first SEC W in 26 games last week. So while Georgia — and their formidable defense which has only allowed nine touchdowns (TDs) all season — looks primed for an easy win, don’t count out the Wildcats’ claws just yet.

    No. 7 USC Trojans (9-1) vs. No. 16 UCLA Bruins (8-2), 8 p.m. ET (FOX): There’s more than bragging rights on the line in this bitter crosstown rivalry. The Trojans must win to keep the Pac-12’s slim CFP hopes alive, while the Bruins need a dub to have a shot at the conference title. Fingers crossed for a Hollywood ending.

    No. 10 Utah Utes (8-2) vs. No. 12 Oregon Ducks (8-2), 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): If either the Utes or the Ducks want a chance at this year’s Pac-12 championship game, tomorrow’s 2021 conference title rematch is a must-win. Utah came out on top last year, but Ducks quarterback (QB) Bo Nix’s strong play could keep Oregon (and his Heisman candidacy) in contention.

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