When the calendar rolls into November, it means it’s time to put the Halloween costumes away and bring out the crystal balls. The first college football rankings are here – and it’s time to make some fun predictions.
The first six of the top 25 CFPs are revealed at 7 PM ET tonight on ESPN (This is the complete schedule. 2nd place is November 8th). Ahead of the announcement, here’s a prediction for how the panel will rank the top 25 teams. Note that these are only my expectations and expectations. I look at the live scores, schedule strengths, matches against seeded teams and more to help the teams rank I think the CFP will. You can read a file The official protocols of the CFP are here.
College Football Playoff Rankings Predictions: Top 25 Predictions
- Georgia (8-0) – Here’s the thinking that a no-explosion conference win against Oregon is very important, along with overall domination (mainly Mizu aside).
- Tennessee (8-0) – Defeating Kentucky by 38 points can raise the Vols to first place. Victory over the Wildcats, LSU’s rise to the road, and yes, Alabama, is a strong argument for No. 1.
- Ohio State (8-0) The Buckeyes were long-tested, but OSU still qualified with a road win with a 13-point win over a ranked team at Penn State. Notre Dame’s improvement also helps Ohio’s state lead the way.
- Michigan (8-0) – The fourth rank in the initial ranking is perhaps the most interesting, considering it’s a sneak peek at what the committee appreciates at that crucial final stage. The Wolverines have looked good, period, and the Penn State defeat stands out.
- Clemson (8-0) The Tigers may have slipped into fourth – they still can – but their victories at Wake Forest and Syracuse don’t look great after those two teams’ losses in Week nine.
- TCU (8-0) The Horned Frogs may be the last undefeated team in the poll, but the TCU has come a long way since August. Just keep winning and wait for the other undefeated teams to slip away.
- Alabama (7-1) – It would be a shock if Tide weren’t the highest-ranked team in a single loss, considering the defeat came en route to Tennessee in the last game of the game. Next comes a major extension in two games against LSU and Ole Miss.
- Oregon (7-1) – UGA’s opening loss was ugly, but the ducks have looked great ever since. However, much of the remaining schedule isn’t easy, starting on November 12th against Washington.
- University of California (7-1) – The Bruins had no hangovers after losing to Oregon, and took the business against Stanford, 38-13. Unless things get weird, UCLA should be 9-1 when it faces USC competition.
- Ole Miss (8-1) The Rebels regrouped after losing 25 points to LSU, led by Texas A&M. The Ole Miss hasn’t really had huge victories yet, but the Rebels get a visit from Alabama on November 12.
- USC (7-1) – 411 yards from Caleb Williams helped the Trojans beat Arizona 45-37. USC is still looking for a signature win, which could keep him outside the top ten at the start.
- Kansas State (6-2) The Wildcats could be the best losing team, although there are other candidates for that distinction, such as LSU and Utah. But the new memory of the 48-0 defeat of Oklahoma State was an unmissable result.
- Illinois (7-1) Eleni lost only three points to Indiana in the second game of the season. This defense and back-to-back Chase Brown is a great recipe for success.
- LSU (6-2) – Tigers have an interesting case. There are a couple of losses, but LSU has looked good—and fun to watch—recently. We’ll know more when the Tigers play Alabama on Saturday.
- Utah (6-2) – With two defeats but a win over USC, Utes should end up here.
- Penn State (6-2) – Losing the blast to Michigan wasn’t pretty, but the committee won’t punish the Nittany Lions much for losing Ohio State. However, he did not win any rank.
- North Carolina (7-1) The Tar Heels scored the last 28 points to beat Pitt for their seventh win. This is another team that can be categorized in a few places.
- Oklahoma State (6-2) – The Cowboys coughed up the opportunity to start in the top ten in the CFP due to an ugly 48-0 blast to K-State.
- Syracuse (6-2) – Consecutive losses and injuries hurt the orange, but Syracuse has three victories over the record-breaking teams.
- Tulane (7-1) – The Green Wave must love seeing K-State crush Oklahoma. A 17-10 win on the road in Manhattan, Kansas, is a big plus.
- Wake Forest (6-2) Expect to find a group of ACC teams in the second half of the rankings. The deacons need to strike back after they fall to Louisville by the 27th.
- NC State (6-2) – The Wolfpack might not be here long without QB Devin Leary, but they would earn a spot in the first 25 peaks.
- Kentucky (5-3) Three defeats in four matches is not good, but the table gets a little easier for a few weeks. Then he visits Georgia.
- Oregon (6-2) – Beavers have quietly put together a solid resume. They’ve won three in a row, plus the opening win over Boise State just got better.
- Texas (5-3) – There are many other ways the committee can go here. Notre Dame, Liberty, Washington, and Florida, to name a few.
Most prominent questions in the world football rankings
Could there be a surprise in first place?
Georgia is the national title holder, crushing Oregon with a one-loss loss and just beating rival Florida by 22. That doesn’t mean the UGA is the No. 1 lock. Ohio State was finally challenged on Saturday, but the Buckeyes still won at Penn State by 13 to align With an early win against the rise of Notre Dame. But it’s Tennessee that could be the huge “shock”—either #1 or No. 2. The Vols won against LSU (by 27) and Alabama and Kentucky (by 38).
How will the rankings look for the undefeated teams?
There are six teams left undefeated. In alphabetical order: Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, and Tennessee. Depending on what you value the most, you can come up with a variety of different ranking orders for these six. But things often work out on their own – there will be plenty to say Georgia v Tennessee this week, and so will Michigan State v Ohio in a few weeks.
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