Final Projected College Football Playoff Rankings

    Projected College Football Playoff Rankings. We know the four, but where will they be ranked?

    December 6, 2015

    Final Projected College Football Playoff Rankings

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    And now we’re all set.

    We know the four teams in some way, shape or form: Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma – probably in that order.

    No drama, no guessing.

    No wondering if Ohio State is going to slip in, and no concern about whether or not to deal with Notre Dame or a two-loss Stanford. This is an easy four to put together, but what are the matchups? What will the New Year’s Six matchups be?

    The rankings are going to matter to fill out the other key bowl games, but these are also going to go down in history as the second-ever College Football Playoff rankings. We waited all year for these, and here’s the best guess on what they’re going to be on Sunday.  

    1. Clemson

    Last Week: No. 1 … No. 1 throughout the process, this might not be the best team in the country, and it might not be the most dominant, but it’s the unbeaten still standing so there’s no question whatsoever who the top dog – or cat (sorry) – is going to be.

    2. Alabama

    Last Week: No. 2 … Being No. 2 here is every bit as strong as being No. 1. No one wants to face Alabama in the playoff, and Alabama would rather not face Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. It doesn’t matter since there really is no advantage – loud is going to be loud in both bowls – but the Crimson Tide would get the Cotton if it was No. 1, too.

    3. Michigan State

    Last Week: No. 5 … Really? The Spartans are going to jump Oklahoma? Yup. The Sooners were sitting on their couch while Michigan State was beating undefeated No. 3-ranked Iowa – which now becomes the third-best victory of the year behind Ole Miss beating Alabama and Texas beating Oklahoma. Absolutely MSU moves up into the three, and it’s reward? Alabama instead of Clemson.

    4. Oklahoma

    Last Week: No. 3 … There will be absolutely no complaints from Bob Stoops – at least internally – about getting to play Clemson instead of the Crimson Tide. No. 4 will be just fine going to the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve like the program used to do back in the day when it won Big 8 titles.

    5. Stanford

    Last Week: No. 7 … If Stanford had just been alive and awake against Northwestern to start this season, it would be in and Oklahoma out. Instead, it gets the dubious distinction of joining 2014 Baylor as the answer to a trivia question.

    6. Iowa

    Last Week: No. 3 … This matters. The Rose Bowl is almost certainly going to select the highest-ranked Big Ten team on the board, so when the rankings are announced, pay close attention to where the Hawkeyes are ranked compared to Ohio State. The heart-wrenching loss to Michigan State and the almost-goal line stand should be enough to keep just one step ahead.

    7. Ohio State

    Last Week: No. 6 … Don’t be stunned if the Buckeyes end up staying put at No. 6 and Iowa moves to the seven. If that happens, Ohio State is off to the Rose Bowl. If it doesn’t, it’s likely a Fiesta Bowl matchup against Houston.

    8. Notre Dame

    Last Week: No. 6 … There’s no budging. The two losses are to No. 1 ACC champion Clemson and to likely-No. 5 Pac-12 champion Stanford, both on the road. Theoretically, the Fighting Irish could be No. 6.

    9. Florida State

    Last Week: No. 9 … The Florida win looks better after the Seminoles looked better in Gainesville than Alabama did in Atlanta. There’s no real reason to move FSU out of this spot with No. 12 Baylor losing and no one else close in the rankings coming up with a win.

    10. North Carolina

    Last Week: No. 10 … This is a total guess, but here’s the theory. Even though North Carolina still hasn’t beaten anyone better than Miami, and the overall resume of wins doesn’t look that strong, the committee watched what happened against the No. 1 team in the country, saw the messed up offsides call, saw that the nation’s top team got a push, and there won’t be any sort of punishment. No. 11 TCU might move up, but probably not. The question becomes how much the committee wants to punish the Tar Heels for losing to No. 1.

    And the best guess on the rest …

    11. TCU

    12. Ole Miss

    13. Houston

    14. Northwestern

    15. Michigan

    16. Oregon

    17. Oklahoma State

    18. Baylor

    19. LSU

    20. Navy

    21. Florida

    22. USC

    23. Utah

    24. Tennessee

    25. Wisconsin

    MORE: The latest bowl and coaching updates


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