What will the College Football Playoff rankings be on Sunday? Here’s the best guess.
So what will they be? Here’s the best guess for what the final College Football Playoff rankings will be.
25. Air Force Falcons 10-2 (NR)
They should’ve been in the last round of rankings. They beat Hawaii and Colorado, and the only two losses are to Navy and Boise State. The schedule hasn’t been all that great, but they dominated the pack.
24. Oklahoma State Cowboys (25)
It’s been one of the unexplained mysteries of the College Football Playoff committee ranking season. There’s some weird affection or Penn State, and for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys beat Iowa State and Kansas State, and for that they’ve been a staple in the top 25.
23. Navy Midshipmen 9-2 (24)
There’s still work to do with Army coming up, but that won’t count for anything in the rankings. The two losses to Notre Dame and Memphis should give the Midshipmen more credit, and the win over Air Force might give them more CFP Top 25 wins than Utah or Alabama.
22. Cincinnati Bearcats 10-3 (20)
The Bearcats will be punished more than they should be. The three losses came on the road to Memphis twice in two good fights and to Ohio State. Beating UCF and Temple should count for more than it will, and the dominant win over MAC champ Miami University deserves a wee bit of respect.
21. USC Trojans 8-4 (22)
Having the honor of being the lone team to beat Utah doesn’t hold water anymore after what Oregon did in the Pac-12 Championship. Even so, closing out with three wins and five of the last six is impressive, and there’s no dogging that home loss to Ducks.
20. Minnesota Golden Gophers 10-2 (18)
Minnesota should be ranked higher than Penn State, but the committee won’t do it. The team was CRUSHED in the last round of rankings, and there’s no way to boost that up.
19. Iowa Hawkeyes 9-3 (16)
The three losses were to Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin all by a touchdown or less. The Hawkeyes will drop because of what other teams did, but they’ll still be higher than Minnesota.
18. Appalachian State Mountaineers 12-1 (21)
Win a championship, beat North Carolina and South Carolina, look the part of a dominant force, and move up into the top 20. The committee should’ve had the Mountaineers more in the hunt for the Cotton Bowl than they really were.
17. Boise State Broncos 12-1 (19)
There’s some argument that Boise State should be going to the Cotton Bowl. The lone loss came on the road at BYU with a backup quarterback, and they dominated just about everyone else along the way including a crushing win over Hawaii for the Mountain West title. They’ll have to settle for the Las Vegas Bowl.
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10-2 (15)
There’s just no getting past that Michigan ceiling. Notre Dame might have played better late in the year, but it won’t matter – they’ll take one of the ACC’s better bowls.
15. Michigan Wolverines 9-3 (14)
The Wolverines will drop only because Memphis will move up. A top 15 finish won’t be enough to get into a New Year’s Six bowl, but it’s a solid effort. The win over Notre Dame will be enough to keep the ranking from sinking.
14. Memphis Tigers 11-1 (7)
The committee will overlove the Tigers or beating Cincinnati twice and only finishing with one loss. There should be more of a thought to ranking Boise State higher, but it won’t happen – UM played a tougher schedule.
13. Baylor Bears 11-2 (7)
The committee has never liked Baylor all that much, and now it’s really not going to have any interest. Even with the overtime battle with Oklahoma, there isn’t a whole lot of meat on the schedule bones. Fair or not, the Bears drop big.
12. Utah Utes 11-2 (6)
Joker, where’s the weenie? Where’s that one great win to make the committee swoon? There isn’t one, and now the clunker of a Pac-12 Championship appearance will only bring out the lack of wins on the resumé that much more.
11. Alabama Crimson Tide 10-2 (5)
There’s just no moving up enough to get by some of the Big Ten teams – and Auburn – to get into a New Year’s Six bowl. The committee will need to have some discussion about how many starters might be gone early for the NFL.
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