And here we go. The third College Football Playoff rankings of the season come out on Tuesday night. What will the top 25 be?
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Good … freaking … luck trying to figure out the next College Football Playoff top 25 rankings.
After teams two through four lost, and with eight of the top 25 teams going down, do you want to try figuring out what the latest College Football Playoff rankings will be on Tuesday night? How will the committee break things down?
Here’s the best guess to try tapping into the brains of the committee members and what they’ll come up with.
2016 Third College Football Playoff Top 25 Rankings Will (Most Likely) Be …
1. Alabama (10-0)
Week 2 Ranking: 1: Coming up with the No. 1 team should take all of 14 seconds. The resume is now staggering with USC, WKU, and LSU among the eight wins over teams that’ll end up going bowling.
2. Ohio State (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 5: Do NOT get comfortable with this. Ohio State could be No. 2 when the rankings come out, and they can stay there up until the very end, only to have the rug pulled out from under them if Penn State ends up taking the Big Ten West. Remember, conference championships matter, and there’s a chance the Buckeyes won’t even win their own division.
3. Clemson (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 2: Michigan and Washington losing creates a wall. Clemson can’t fall too much further than this, considering the win over Louisville still matters. It was a close enough firefight against Pitt to keep the Tigers from topping out of the top four, especially considering the resume wins at Auburn, Florida State, and a better-looking win over Georgia Tech on the road.
4. Louisville (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 6: Did the committee see the first three quarters against Wake Forest, or will they only care about the final tally? It won’t matter too much – the’ll move up after their second straight blowout win and their fifth win in a row. However, the win over the Demon Deacons was just the second all year against a team that’ll go bowling.
5. Michigan (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 3: The Wolverines looked mortal, but still, it was a tough loss in the final seconds on the road, at night, against a jacked up Iowa team. The wins over Colorado, Wisconsin and Penn State keep the Wolverines hovering around the top five.
6. Washington (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 4: Could the Huskies drop a whole lot further than this? The win over Utah is good, but that’s it. They finally got tested, and they failed at home. It won’t matter overall – win out, and at 12-1 with a Pac-12 title, they’ll be in – but they’ve got to build up the credibility again.
7. Wisconsin (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 7: Beating LSU is terrific again, and taking care of Iowa and Nebraska still works. The committee needed to see Wisconsin open it up a bit, and that’s exactly what happened in the dominant performance against Illinois. Losing at Michigan is still fine, and losing in overtime to Ohio State is more than okay.
8. Penn State (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 10: Probably the biggest winner of the weekend, the Michigan loss opens up the door for the Nittany Lions to possible get into the Big Ten title game if the Wolverines beat Ohio State. It might have been a struggle to get by Indiana, but at this point, who cares? They’re on a six-game winning streak with a win over Ohio State, and a 41-14 blasting of Iowa two weeks ago.
9. Oklahoma (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 11: It’ll be tough to knock on the top four door, but the offense remains red hot on a seven-game winning streak. But playtime is over. The Sooners knocked off the bottom seven teams in the league, and now it’s time to make some real noise. Blowout West Virginia in Morgantown, and finish up with a great win over Oklahoma State, and this gets interesting.
10. Utah (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 15: Here’s where the overall body of work starts to kick in. The Utes will be one of the week’s high-risers thanks to the win over USC in late September. The loss to Cal looks worse and worse, but for now, winners of four of their last five, they’ll be moved ahead of Colorado.
11. USC (7-3)
Week 2 Ranking: 20: The 1-3 start is now a million years ago. The Stanford loss will never look good, but losing away from LA to Alabama and Utah isn’t bad. Winning six straight and taking down the No. 4 Washington team will make this the hot team. It’ll also help that there’s the win over …
12. Colorado (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 12: Here’s the problem: the USC loss. Ranked 12th last week, it’ll be hard to move up or do much more with the Trojans likely to go flying up the charts. Yeah, the losses to Michigan and USC are strong, but there’s still little in the way of impressive wins.
13. Oklahoma State (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 13: Watch out for the Cowboys over the next few weeks. They might have beaten Texas Tech by the skin of their teeth, but they’ve won six in a row, the win over Pitt looks fantastic now, and it’s going to really, really matter going forward that it beat …
14. West Virginia (8-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 16: Just how much will the College Football Playoff committee like the win over Texas? It won’t be quite enough to make a massive jump, but it’ll keep the Mountaineers in range. It’s their best win so far, but the loss to Oklahoma State will keep them from getting too much higher.
15. Nebraska (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 19: That’s how you bounce back. After getting obliterated by Ohio State, they beat a solid Minnesota team to stay deep in the Big Ten West race. Beating the Gophers is the best thing the Huskers have done, but it’s a nice step forward.
16. Florida State (7-3)
Week 2 Ranking: 18: The Seminoles might not be quite up to snuff like everyone hoped for, but they’re continuing to win. They got enough love from the committee last week to get to No. 18, and now they’ll move up a wee bit after a dominant performance against Boston College.
17. Auburn (7-3)
Week 2 Ranking: 9: The Tigers are beaten, battered and bruised, and now the loss at Georgia killed the season. Beating LSU is the saving grace, and blowing away Arkansas and Ole Miss a few weeks ago still matters.
18. LSU (6-3)
Week 2 Ranking: 24: Disrespected in last week’s rankings, the Tigers will go flying up after doing a great job of ripping through last-week No. 25 Arkansas. Unfortunately, that’s the best win on the board, but still, losing to Alabama 10-0 and Wisconsin 16-14 is looking better and better.
19. Western Michigan (10-0)
Week 2 Ranking: 21: Alabama and Western Michigan – that’s it. Those are the only two unbeaten teams left, and that’s going to matter to keep the Broncos at the head of the Group of Five class.
20. Boise State (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: 22: It’s all kicking in. The Broncos blew out Hawaii, the offense is starting to work, and the win over Washington State still matters. There’s not a lot else to go off of – the win over BYU is just okay – but they’ll start to move up.
21. Washington State (8-2)
Week 2 Ranking: 23: And welcome to the lone Pac-12 team without a conference loss. The Cougars have yet to beat anyone with a pulse, but they’ve got the 0 in the right column. The loss to Boise State still keeps them behind a bit, while the loss to Eastern Washington is still a killer.
22. San Diego State (9-1)
Week 2 Ranking: Not Ranked: Yeah, the South Alabama loss is still an anchor, but at this point in the year, 9-1 is impressive. Other than the 45-40 win over Cal, all of SDSU’s wins have been by double digits – the Aztecs have destroyed everyone over the last month.
23. Florida (7-2)
Week 2 Ranking: Not Ranked: The win over South Carolina won’t help in any way other than appearances. The Gators still don’t have a special win, but beating Georgia a few weeks ago – and the Bulldogs’ win over Auburn – will be enough to get back into the rankings.
24. Texas A&M (7-3)
Week 2 Ranking: 8: The total collapse against Ole Miss, the third loss in four games, and the loss of QB Trevor Knight might push the Aggies to the brink of being out of the top 25. The wins over Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee will be just enough to survive.
25. Virginia Tech (7-3)
Week 2 Ranking: 14: The Hokies are going to freefall after losing to Georgia Tech, but the win over Pitt a few weeks ago on the road will help. Beating Miami and North Carolina will keep them in the top 25.