With their loss to Army, the US Naval Academy has been eliminated from the D1-A playoffs.
That makes the number mathematically eliminated 12, just about half. Also eliminated this weekend, Texas A&M, UC Davis, Ohio State, and Delaware.
Thirteen teams are still in with a shot. Here’s how it all shakes out:
Army has clinched a playoff spot, but could still lose the home field advantage if they lost to Penn State April 21. At 4-0, Penn State is in the best position to take the other playoff seed, however Kutztown is right there at 3-1. KU plays Penn State and Rutgers.
So assuming Kutztown beats 0-4 Rutgers, the key games will be Kutztown at Penn State April 14, and Army at Penn State April 21. PSU wins both, they are 1st. If they lose to Kutztown, they can still claim 2nd with the right combination of bonus points. Kutztown has to beat Penn State to make the playoffs.
This is easy. Who finishes first will be decided April 21 when Life visits Arkansas State. Who takes 1st depends on a few factors:
Life wins or the two teams tie, Life is 1st, ASU 2nd.
ASU wins with no bonus point for four tries, and Life gets a bonus point (or ASU wins with a bonus, and Life gets two bonus points), Life is 1st, ASU 2nd.
ASU wins with no bonus, and Life gets no bonus either, or ASU gets a bonus and Life only gets one, the two teams tie for 1st. The tiebreaker will be aggregate score between the two. Life leads that aggregate by 16 at the moment.
If ASU wins with a bonus point, and Life gets no bonus points, ASU 1st, Life 2nd.
BYU has not clinched first place with their defeat of Utah, but they have clinched a playoff spot.
Colorado, Utah, and Air Force are all in the hunt for the other playoff spot. They all have their destiny in their hands:
Colorado plays BYU and Utah
Utah plays Air Force, Wyoming and Colorado
Air Force plays Utah, Wyoming and Arizona State
Colorado must beat Utah and BYU to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. That’s going to be very hard.
If they beat only Utah, that will put them at 4-3 with 23 standings points. It’s likely that won’t be enough.
So in the end, the big game is this coming Saturday’s Utah match at Air Force. But just to make things easier for us, Utah plays Colorado on Friday. This will be an enormously difficult task for the Utes. They play two very strong teams on consecutive days. Colorado knows they must win to make the playoffs. So does Air Force.
Utah sweeps, they are in. They split, that probably favors Air Force.
St. Mary’s clinched a while ago. They will be 1st.
Second place remains up for grabs, but destiny is in UCLA’s hands.
UCLA takes 2nd if they beat Cal Poly next weekend.
If the two teams tie, Cal Poly can still make the playoffs, but a tie eliminates Central Washington.
Central must hope for a Cal Poly win against UCLA, and then a bonus-point win over Cal Poly the week after.
There are some permutations involving bonus points and points difference, but it basically comes down to: UCLA just needs to win; Cal Poly just needs to win; Central Washington needs to win AND to have Cal Poly beat UCLA.