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College football winners losers for Week 15: LSU, Georgia, Ohio State

Utah’s loss to Oregon on Friday night opened a path for the Big 12 champion to break into the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma took advantage of the opportunity, outlasting Baylor in overtime for its second narrow defeat of the Bears this season.

Chaos would have come to the playoff race on Saturday afternoon if Georgia had pulled off an upset of LSU to win the SEC championship. But the Tigers held serve, making one final case for sitting atop the final playoff rankings while sending Georgia into the soft landing of a New Year’s Six bowl.

Oklahoma players and coaches take a team photo after beating Baylor in overtime of the 2019 Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium.

Saturday night brought an unexpected jolt of intrigue to a playoff race that seemed destined to be as controversy-free as any in the format’s history. While Clemson sailed past Virginia 62-17 to win the ACC, the Tigers’ fifth conference title in a row, Ohio State’s seemingly inevitable march to the Big Ten championship was delayed by Wisconsin. The delay was temporary. 

The Buckeyes trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and allowed Wisconsin to go 75 yards in just 32 seconds to score a touchdown late in the second to fall behind 21-7 at halftime, handing back momentum to the Badgers. But 17 points in the third quarter pushed Ohio State into a 24-21 lead, and another scoring drive early in the fourth grew the advantage to 10 points with 12 minutes left.