4 teams Tennessee losing to South Carolina helps the most for the College Football Playoff

Jaheim Bell, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tamarion McDonald, Tennessee Volunteers. (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)
Jaheim Bell, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tamarion McDonald, Tennessee Volunteers. (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers
Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

With Tennessee going down badly to South Carolina, that helps a handful of teams’ chances of making the College Football Playoff going forward.

Tennessee and North Carolina losing for a second time on the year in Week 12 means there are about seven teams still alive to make the College Football Playoff.

The Vols got more than they could handle from the South Carolina offense on Saturday night, as their playoff chances ended to the sound of Sandstorm.

As for North Carolina, the Tar Heels’ slim chances of getting in anyway ended after they lost at home to Georgia Tech. While UNC losing eliminates one team, the Vols being out of it greatly impacts several teams possibly getting in.

Here are the teams who benefit the most from Tennessee falling on the road to South Carolina.

College Football Playoff: Who all benefits from Tennessee loss to South Carolina?

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Clemson’s chances of getting in as a one-loss ACC champion have gone up here

Of the seven teams still in the thick of it, Clemson is one of maybe two teams who do not control their own destiny to make the College Football Playoff. The Tigers need to beat South Carolina in the Palmetto Bowl, as well as upend North Carolina out of the Coastal to win the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. Unfortunately, even that may not be enough for them to get in.

However, by removing Tennessee from the playoff equation entirely, that is one less team the Tigers will have to plead their case to get in as a one-loss ACC champion. Right now, we know for a fact the Big Ten and the SEC are getting a team in apiece. Frankly, the Big Ten has the best shot at getting two teams in this year with Michigan and Ohio State undefeated heading into The Game.

At this point, for Clemson to make it in, the Tigers must win out and hope for some of the following scenarios to unfold: A USC loss, Georgia winning the SEC or TCU losing the Big 12 championship. As far as the loser of The Game is concerned, that may end up being the biggest debate the Selection Committee must decide: ACC champ Clemson or a Big Ten East runner-up.

Clemson still needs help over the next two weekends, but the Tennessee loss was a huge boost.