Before the Conference Championship Weekend, the Final College Football Rankings Are Released
The Georgia Bulldogs remain atop the College Football Playoff rankings, but the rest of the top four has changed after a wild Rivalry Week.
Michigan moved up a spot with a 45-23 win over Ohio State in Columbus (No. 3 vs. No. 2 at the time) before facing Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.
The loss dropped the Buckeyes to No. 5, and they are now on the outside looking in.
TCU has risen to third place after defeating Iowa State 62-14 in the Big 12 championship game.
The big move up, however, came from USC, which, after defeating then-No. 15 Notre Dame, combined with then-No. 5 LSU’s devastating loss to a then-4-7 Texas A&M team, has the Trojans at No. 4 – the Tigers have dropped all the way to No. 14.
LSU will still face Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, but with the Tigers now ranked in the teens, there isn’t much they can do. That matchup would have had huge implications for almost everyone in the top six if they hadn’t been upset.
Although not guaranteed, given that Ohio State and No. 6 Alabama are off this weekend and don’t have control of their own destiny, it’s almost safe to say that if each top-four team wins their conference championship game this weekend (USC plays No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 title game), those four teams will compete in the College Football Playoff.
Here’s how the rest of the Top 25 looks, along with their records and rankings from the previous week:
- Tennessee is ranked seventh. (10-2, No. 10)
- Penn State is ranked eighth (10-2, No. 11)
- Clemson is ranked ninth (10-2, No. 8)
- Kansas State is ranked tenth (9-3, No. 12)
- Utah is ranked eleventh (9-3, No. 14)
- Washington, No. 12 (10-2, No. 13)
- Florida State is ranked 13th (9-3, No. 16)
- No. 14: LSU (9-3, No. 5)
- Oregon State is ranked 15th (9-3, No. 21)
- Oregon is ranked 16th (9-3, No. 9)
- UCLA is ranked 17th (9-3, No. 18)
- Tulane defeated No. 18 (10–2).
- South Carolina is ranked 19th (8-4, unranked)
- Texas is ranked 20th (8-4, No. 23)
- Notre Dame is ranked 21st (8-4, No. 15)
- No. 22: UCF (9-3, same)
- North Carolina is ranked 23rd (9-3, No. 17)
- Mississippi State is ranked 24th (8-4, unranked)
- No. 25: North Carolina State (8-4, unranked)