College Football Playoff Rankings Prediction: Nov. 14 Projection
What will the second round of College Football Playoff rankings look like on Tuesday night?
The College Football Playoff Rankings Projection
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Ooooooh, this is going to be fun.
Last week’s No. 1 (Georgia), 3 (Notre Dame), 6 (TCU), 9 (Washington) and 12 (Michigan State) all got rocked. It’s not just about them tumbling – it’s about how far they’re going to fall after ugly performances.
So guessing how the machine works now, here’s what the top 25 will probably look like on Tuesday night.
25. Arizona (7-3)
Last Week: NR
After being knocked out of the mix after losing to USC, the Wildcats will get back into the fun with a solid record and the win over Washington State still helping the cause. Now, losing to the Trojans looks just fine.
24. Michigan (8-2)
Last Week: NR
Wisconsin gets a shot now to face another ranked team. The Wolverines were apparently No. 25B on the list last week, and while beating Maryland isn’t anything to do jumping jacks over, 8-2 is good enough to get into the top 25. However, they haven’t beaten a team that’ll go bowling.
23. Michigan State (7-3)
Last Week: 12
That might have been a big fat ugly day against Ohio State, but Michigan is going to be ranked now, and Penn State will move up a bit. The losses to the Buckeyes, Notre Dame and Northwestern all look okay, but now the fall starts.
22. Washington (8-2)
Last Week: 9
There just aren’t any impressive wins for a UW team that failed miserable in its spotlight moment against Stanford. The best win? Fresno State. There’s nothing to the resume. Nothing.
21. NC State (7-3)
Last Week: 23
There aren’t any amazing wins to get fired up over – Louisville is the only one that’s close – but the losses to Notre Dame and Clemson are obviously forgivable. Beating Boston College on the road will get plenty of respect.
20. Stanford (7-3)
Last Week: NR
The win over Washington will move the Cardinal well into the top 25 now with the theory that they’d have probably beaten Washington State had Bryce Love been able to go like he did against the Huskies. The losses to USC, San Diego State and Washington State aren’t awful.
19. Northwestern (7-3)
Last Week: 25
This becomes relatively simple. Northwestern is on a five-game winning streak with a win over an Iowa team that did a whole lot of damage to Ohio State, and with a victory over a Michigan State team that managed to beat Penn State. The problem? Duke 41, Northwestern 17.
18. Memphis (8-1)
Last Week: 22
The one loss makes the difference. Memphis hasn’t beaten anyone great – and UCLA doesn’t really count – but it’s the only one-loss team left to do anything with. The one loss to UCF is fine.
17. LSU (7-3)
Last Week: 24
Here’s a guess on the biggest riser of the week. Yes, LSU has three losses, and yes, the Troy defeat will also be aa drag. But it’s also playing extremely well and it’s the team that beat the team that beat the team. The win over Auburn now looks special.
16. Mississippi State (7-3)
Last Week: 16
The committee punished LSU big-time for losing to Alabama, but it’ll take it easy on the Bulldogs. That was a fight to the finish, taking the Crimson Tide down to the final minute. The losses? Georgia, Auburn, and Alabama. That’s more than okay, and the 37-7 win over LSU on the resume helps – the Bulldogs can’t and won’t go lower than the Tigers.
15. Washington State (9-2)
Last Week: 19
The overall body of work will help the Cougars compared to Washington. Now, they have a win over USC on the resume, and the Stanford victory looks fantastic. Losing to Cal will still be a drag, and losing at Arizona isn’t great, but they’ll still move into the 15-17 range.
14. UCF (9-0)
Last Week: 18
This is where the 0 matters. UCF’s schedule isn’t good enough, and the committee isn’t going to buy that the Knights are any big deal, but it also won’t have any options for this 14th slot. Being 9-0 will just seem better than being 8-2, or worse.
13. Oklahoma State (8-2)
Last Week: 15
There’s a shot the Cowboys could swap spots with Penn State and end up 12th – beating last-week No. 21 Iowa State is better than Penn State’s win over Rutgers. But the committee will like the eye-test factor of the Nittany Lions a wee bit more.
12. Penn State (8-2)
Last Week: 14
The problem is the tie-breaker. Even if Ohio State loses to Michigan, Penn State is still the odd-team out of the mix. Even so, it can push for a New Year’s Six bowl by going 10-2. The easy win over Rutgers isn’t going to do much this week.
11. Ohio State (8-2)
Last Week: 13
The Buckeyes didn’t get destroyed in the rankings by losing to Iowa, and it’s not going to have a problem now after looking the part again in a dominant effort against Michigan State. Some in the room will be arguing for an easy top ten spot, but that loss to the Hawkeyes now looks absolutely miserable.
What The College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six Would Be Right Now (this is NOT a projection … just based on the right now)
College Football Playoff: Sugar Bowl
Alabama vs. Oklahoma
College Football Playoff: Rose Bowl
Miami vs. Clemson
New Year’s Six
Orange Bowl: NC State vs. Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Auburn
Fiesta: USC vs. Ohio State
Peach: UCF vs. Georgia
10. TCU (8-2)
Last Week: 6
The loss at Iowa State is still going to be acceptable considering the way the Cyclones have been battling, and there was just enough fight late against Oklahoma on the road to keep from dropping out of the top ten.
9. USC (9-2)
Last Week: 11
This will be an interesting team down the stretch. It’s playing really, really well, and it’s starting to get that Hot Team, Right Time thing happening. The blowout loss to the Irish is still a killer, but this is probably going to be the Pac-12 champion. It’ll be in the top ten with ease.
8. Notre Dame (8-2)
Last Week: 3
The Irish might have been ugly, but the blowout wins over NC State and USC still matter. With the way the Trojans are playing, they’re going to move up big this week, and Notre Dame has to still be ranked higher.
7. Georgia (9-1)
Last Week: 1
All the reasons Georgia was No. 1 in the first place will keep it from falling any further than this. It’s just one loss on the road to a great team – no two-loss team other than Auburn can get higher than the Dawgs.
6. Auburn (8-2)
Last Week: 10
The LSU loss was really, really close on the road – and it helps that those Tigers are playing great now – and the loss to the Clemson Tigers on the road looks better and better. Auburn will rocket up the rankings after the blowout win over the No. 1 team, and then it’ll hit a hard ceiling.
5. Wisconsin (10-0)
Last Week: 8
That was good, but it’s time to do even more. The win over Iowa was even more of a blowout than the 38-14 score – two pick-sixes – would indicate. The Badgers showed that they were just sleepy, coming up with a brilliant defensive performance. Okay, now do that again against Michigan.
4. Oklahoma (9-1)
Last Week: 5
The Ohio State win looks good again, and beating the No. 6 TCU team looks amazing. There will be a nice fight over whether or not the Sooners should be third, and there’s no question that they get into the College Football Playoff if they win out, but for now, they’ll get the fourth slot.
3. Clemson (9-1)
Last Week: 4
There’s a fantastic chance that Clemson moves into the two spot as the team that beat the team that beat the team. Clemson beat Auburn, but the differentiating factor will be the loss to Syracuse. No matter how you want to slice that up, now – after the Orange lost in a shootout to Wake Forest – that loss hurts. From here on teams with the big 0 at the end get the love.
2. Miami (9-0)
Last Week: 7
It’ll come down to this: Miami destroyed the No. 3 team in the College Football Playoff rankings. The rest of the resume isn’t that great, and the offense is still a wee bit suspect, but … Miami destroyed the No. 3 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.
1. Alabama (10-0)
Last Week: 2
The rest of the crazy games on Saturday will only help the Tide. While teams were falling left and right, Alabama came through in a brutal environment against a solid Mississippi State team. That will be enough to move up to the one, but there will be a big, big debate in that room.