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Stan Becton and Gary Putnik | NCAA.com | November 20, 2021

Oregon, Michigan State fall while Alabama, Oklahoma survive close calls in Week 12

College football rankings: Oklahoma falls 5 spots after first loss

The College Football Playoff picture became more clear in Week 12. A top-four team was knocked off, a Big Ten team lost their chance of a Big Ten Championship appearance and the Cinderella story writes another chapter. Check out everything you missed from Week 12 of the college football season.

5 things to know from Week 12 of the college football season

1. No. 4 Ohio State dominates No. 7 Michigan State

In a game that would help paint a clear picture for the future of the Big Ten East this season, No. 4 Ohio State made it loud and clear it will play a part in it. The Buckeyes rolled No. 7 Michigan State 57-7. OSU punted once in this game, that’s something you don’t see often in the Big Ten. Something a bit more frequent: Buckeye QB C.J. Stroud putting on a show. Stroud set a career-high for touchdowns thrown with six. 

With both Ohio State and No. 6 Michigan winning in Week 12, that means the winner of their matchup in Week 13 will go to the Big Ten Championship. 

READ MORE: Check out a complete recap of Ohio State's win over Michigan State

2. Clemson shakes up the ACC title race

The final top 10 team to fall in Week 12 was No. 10 Wake Forest, losing to Clemson 48-27. Clemson's dominating win shakes up the ACC title race as the Atlantic division remains up for grabs entering the regular season's last week. Wake Forest has one conference loss, while Clemson and NC State have two conference losses. 

While chaos is ensuing in the Atlantic division, No. 18 Pittsburgh wrapped up the ACC Coastal division with a 48-38 win.

3. No. 23 Utah spoils No. 3 Oregon's playoff hopes

No. 23 Utah made its presence known on the national stage as the Utes upset No. 3 Oregon with a 38-7 win. The Utes did not take their foot off the gas all night long. Utah finished the first half with a 28-0 lead thanks to Britain Covey, who returned a punt 78 yards to extend his team's lead.

The run game was the main focus in this game. Utah's Tavion Thomas had 94 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Ducks averaged 227.4 rushing yards a game, but at Utah, they were held to 63 yards on the ground. 

Oregon will most likely be on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football Playoff after being dealt a second loss. In the CFP era, there has yet to be a two-loss team to make the playoff. 


4. Alabama and Oklahoma survive close calls

No. 2 Alabama and No. 13 Oklahoma each survived close games, remaining in control of their destinies in their conference championship races. Alabama led by just six points in the fourth quarter before pulling away to defeat No. 21 Arkansas. Meanwhile, Oklahoma needed a late fourth-quarter interception to hold off Iowa State.

The big-name programs were two of many ranked teams that played in close games in Week 12.

5. The AAC impresses

The two ranked AAC teams, No. 5 Cincinnati and No. 24 Houston, impressed in Week 12. Cincinnati dominated SMU, winning by 34 points after jumping out to a 48-0 lead in the fourth quarter. Houston jumped out to a 21-3 lead before beating Memphis 31-13.

Cincinnati and Houston's impressive victories set up an exciting American Athletic Championship game. The Bearcats could boost their chances at a College Football Playoff berth with a win.

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