football-fbs flag

Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | November 29, 2018

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Week 14 Top 25

The fifth College Football Playoff rankings were revealed Tuesday, Nov. 27. Below, see how we predicted the new CFP Top 25 ahead of Week 14 games.

There's a different look in the top 4. Though No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame won, Ohio State routed then-No. 4 Michigan 62-39. In the Wolverines' place, Georgia took the No. 4 spot, followed by No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Ohio State.

Find our updated New Year's Six bowl projections at the bottom.

MORE: Georgia joins top four in penultimate College Football Playoff rankings

Here were our predictions ahead of Tuesday's rankings release:

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Week 14 Top 25

NOTE: Our updated, post-November 27 CFP rankings New Year's Six projections are below.

  1. Alabama (12-0): The Tide returns to Atlanta to play Georgia. It won't be easy, but Alabama is the strong favorite.
  2. Clemson (12-0): Only 7-5 Pitt stands in the way of another CFP semifinal appearance.
  3. Notre Dame (12-0): Without a conference title game, the Irish should be safely into the CFP field.
  4. Georgia (11-1): The Bulldogs move into the No. 4 spot for now, but they must beat Bama to make the CFP.
  5. Ohio State (11-1): We think the Buckeyes' dominant win against then-No. 4 Michigan will be the difference in the end.
  6. Oklahoma (11-1): The Sooners might need to beat Texas big to feel any kind of confidence.
  7. Michigan (10-2): Jim Harbaugh is now 0-4 against Ohio State.
  8. UCF (11-0): The Knights' star QB McKenzie Milton had surgery on his right knee.
  9. Florida (9-3): The Gators should feel OK about making a New Year's Six game, especially if Texas loses to Oklahoma.
  10. Washington (9-3): The Huskies should be back around the top 10 after winning at rival Washington State.
  11. LSU (9-3): First the Tigers lost in seven overtimes in the highest-scoring game in FBS history. Now they could miss a New Year's Six game.
  12. Washington State (10-2): At 10-2, and with not many 10-win teams available, the Cougars deserve a New Year's Six game bid.
  13. Penn State (9-3): The Nittany Lions are right on the edge for getting an at-large spot for a New Year's Six game
  14. Texas (9-3): The Longhorns already beat the Sooners once. If they do it again, they'll ruin their rival's CFP hopes.
  15. Kentucky (9-3): The Wildcats must have enjoyed scoring 56 points against struggling Louisville.
  16. West Virginia (8-3): So close to beating the Sooners. The Mountaineers end the regular season on a two-game slide.
  17. Utah (9-3): The Utes will be heading to the Rose Bowl if they beat Washington for the Pac-12 crown.
  18. Texas A&M (8-4): Whew. The Aggies' first year with Jimbo Fisher looks a lot better after that ridiculous 74-72 win against LSU.
  19. Mississippi State (8-4): The Bulldogs had an easy time beating rival Ole Miss.
  20. Northwestern (8-4): All this talk about Ohio State or Oklahoma could be ended if the Wildcats play spoiler vs. the Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship.
  21. Boise State (10-2): The Broncos will get another showdown against Fresno State on the Blue Turf.
  22. Syracuse (9-3): So much for letting that Notre Dame loss carry over to the next game. The Orange pushed aside Boston College 42-21.
  23. Iowa State (7-4): After rallying to beat Kansas State, the Cyclones get FCS opponent Drake.
  24. Fresno State (10-2): The Bulldogs would love to get revenge on Boise State, this time for the conference title.
  25. Utah State (10-2): No shame in losing to Boise State on the road.

MORE: College Football Playoff rankings

The top four were clear this week: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Georgia. But the Bulldogs will be underdogs to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

This week, the committee decided to go with Oklahoma ahead of Ohio State. Though off on that prediction, it was probably close. However, because Oklahoma faces Texas and Ohio State gets Northwestern in conference title games this week, it would be difficult for the Buckeyes to jump the Sooners. It would take an Oklahoma loss (obviously) or a dominant Ohio State win coupled with a poor Oklahoma showing in a sloppy win to make that possible. But would even that second scenario be enough for the Buckeyes?

MORE: College football Week 14 schedule, TV information

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Semifinals

Here is how we think the final CFP rankings will look like. Here are our semifinals predictions (updated November 27):

  • No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
  • No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame

This assumes Alabama beats Georgia and Oklahoma holds off Ohio State thanks to a win against Texas.

Of course, Northwestern and Texas could both play spoilers. If that happens, or if Georgia shocks Alabama, we'll all have headaches trying to sort this one out.

MORE: College Football Playoff rankings release schedule, times

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: New Year's Six games

Here are our New Year's Six games predictions updated after the new CFP rankings on November 27..

  • Peach Bowl: Florida vs. UCF
  • Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs. Michigan
  • Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Washington
  • Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Texas
  • Cotton Bowl (Semifinal): Alabama vs. Oklahoma
  • Orange Bowl (Semifinal): Clemson vs. Notre Dame

If Oklahoma beats Texas, the Sooners should be in the semifinals. The question is then how the New Year's Six games end up looking. Right now, we think it'll look like this. However, if UCF loses to Memphis this weekend, the Boise State-Fresno State winner would jump into the mix. Penn State and Washington also have hopes to make a New Year's Six game.