8. Washington loses at Washington State
Luckily for Tennessee football, the Washington Huskies are three spots behind the Vols in the CFP ranking. However, they will certainly have a chance to leapfrog the Vols over the next two weeks. Because of that, UT needs them to start losing, and they actually need it to begin this weekend to remove any chance.
Washington is currently 9-2 and one spot out of the Pac-12 Championship race. Given what the Vols need to happen with other teams, which again, we’ll get to, if Washington wins this game, UT is in a catch-22. That’s because if the other teams the Vols need to lose do lose, Washington goes to the Pac-12 title game.
No matter what, the USC Trojans are going to the Pac-12 title game. Again, we’ll get to USC later, but it’s pretty clear for insurance, the Vols will need them to lose that game no matter what. However, if Washington wins this game and beats USC in the Pac-12 title game, they’ll certainly have a case over the Vols.
At that point, they’d have two losses and a conference championship. Now, to be fair, they still probably wouldn’t have a case over Tennessee football, as they have a bad loss too, at the Arizona State Sun Devils. Again, though, this is about insurance, and a loss by Washington would remove all doubt between them and the Vols.