What will the College Football Playoff rankings be in the next-to-last rankings unveiling on Tuesday night?
Remember, last week’s rankings don’t exist anymore. The committee throws them out and starts from scratch going pick by pick, slot by slot.
And now it’s on.
Okay, so here’s the thing to remember. Just because these rankings will go one way, it doesn’t mean they won’t drastically change in the final go-round. So while it might seem like – for example – Ohio State will probably be ranked lower than Oklahoma, and it might not matter.
So what will they be? Here’s the best guess for what the next-to-last round of College Football Playoff rankings will be on Tuesday night.
25. NC State Wolfpack 8-3 (NR)
The Wolfpack have been on the fringe of the top 25 throughout. Beating North Carolina isn’t enough for a big boost, but they should be able to slide into the rankings. There isn’t an amazing win to argue for, but the State is just good enough to be thrown into the discussion of the ACC’s second-best team.
24. Fresno State Bulldogs 10-2 (NR)
Where’s the great win? There isn’t one, but the close call loss to Boise State on the road was the only blip in an amazing run of nine wins in the last ten games. Now, according to the numbers and metrics, losing at Minnesota isn’t so bad considering the Gophers just rocked Wisconsin and are off to a bowl.
23. Iowa State Cyclones 7-4 (25)
Able to get in at the tail end of the rankings last week, the Cyclone comeback to beat Kansas State keeps going a nice run of six wins in the last seven games. The win over West Virginia still matters, and beating Baylor looks a wee bit strange now. The emergence of QB Brock Purdy has changed the team around.
22. Boise State Broncos 10-2 (23)
This is probably about two spots too low – no argument if you even want to put the Broncos at around 17. The win over Utah State should make a difference to bump the ranking a bit, and now they’re on a seven-game winning streak going into the Mountain West Championship.
And now, watch out. If UCF loses to Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game, Boise State could and should be shooting for a New Year’s Six bowl.
21. Syracuse Orange 9-3 (20)
The win over Boston College might end up pushing the Orange up just a wee bit, but considering some other big wins this week, there probably won’t be a big jump. Even so. they’ll get one of the ACC’s better bowl slots with an offense that put up 30 points or more on everyone by Clemson and Notre Dame.