The College Football Playoff committee has been a step ahead of the AP and coaches’ polls this season. It nailed the top 5 of its first rankings three weeks ago, and showed off again this past weekend, as its 12 highest-ranked teams all avoided defeat.
On a related note: There’s not going to be much drama in the newest playoff rankings. But if you need a refresher on the current power structure, we’re here for you.
Here’s a closer look at what to expect in Week 13:
Dropped out: N.C. State (previously No. 19) and Michigan (No. 24)
25. Iowa State +
24. Virginia Tech +
23. Boise State +
20. Northwestern +
19. Oklahoma State —
18. LSU +
Outside the SEC’s power trio, LSU figures to be in the driver’s seat for mid-tier bowl placement. Pundits think the Outback Bowl is a good match, and fans should be just fine with that (LSU-Michigan, anyone?). The Tigers just need to keep things rolling against Texas A&M on Saturday.
17. Washington +
16. Michigan State +
15. Mississippi State +
MSU can’t look past Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. The Rebels nearly knocked off Texas A&M last weekend, and their offense hasn’t missed a beat since Shea Patterson went down with a season-ending injury last month. But if the Bulldogs can stay focused and earn a “W”, they would need just one more win to reach double-digit victories for the third time in school history.
14. UCF +
13. Washington State +
10. Penn State
9. Ohio State
8. Notre Dame
The SEC still has a great chance to provide two teams to the final playoff field, but such a scenario won’t involve both Georgia and Auburn. If the Tigers can upset Alabama this Saturday, these two teams will meet in Atlanta. We know what happened the last time they met.
It’s a shocker! But seriously, there’s a reason Alabama is an easy No. 1 pick despite a somewhat weak strength of schedule: Nick Saban’s teams don’t know how to lose. Bet against ‘Bama at your own risk.
What are your predictions for the fourth College Football Playoff rankings of the season? Let us know in the comments section below.