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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | November 12, 2019

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Top 25 projections for Week 12

Mansfield's 2010 reenactment of the first-ever night football game in 1892

It's time for College Football Playoff rankings predictions. Below, I project how the second CFP rankings might be for Week 12 before they're announced at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The committee will continue to rank its Top 25 every week until the final rankings on Sunday, Dec. 8. You can read an overview of the committee's process here on the official site.

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Top 25 projections for Week 12

NOTE: This is how I think the committee could rank the teams on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Click or tap here for the actual rankings as they're revealed.

  1. LSU (9-0): With the Tigers winning at Alabama, LSU might get a look from the committee to jump Ohio State for the No. 1 spot. It's going to be a good debate, with strong cases on both sides.
  2. Ohio State (9-0): The Buckeyes may drop from the top spot even after the dominant win against Maryland. But that's more about LSU moving up thanks to a road win at then-undefeated 'Bama than anything negative about OSU.
  3. Clemson (10-0): With Wake Forest losing to Virginia Tech, the Tigers might not play another ranked team until the bowl games (or CFP semifinals).
  4. Alabama (8-1): How much will the committee drop the Tide after the close loss to LSU? Could Alabama make the CFP without a division or conference title again?
  5. Georgia (8-1): The Bulldogs hope to be the top-ranked 1-loss team after a good showing against Missouri. But Alabama could be just ahead for now. This is another big question for Tuesday.
  6. Oregon (8-1): The Ducks were off in Week 11 but play Nov. 16 against struggling Arizona. They're another member of the 1-loss club hoping to eventually finish in the Top 4.
  7. Minnesota (9-0): Now this will be fascinating. The committee wasn't high on the Gophers in the first CFP rankings. But by beating No. 4 Penn State, Minnesota should move well into the Top 10.
  8. Utah (8-1): The other top Pac-12 playoff contender was also off in Week 11. The Utes play improving UCLA in Week 12.
  9. Oklahoma (8-1): The Sooners will need to jump ahead of the other 1-loss contenders in order to have a chance to make the CFP. They've done that before and can do that again, but the defense needs to show improvement.
  10. Penn State (8-1): Now Penn State drops into the 1-loss pack and gets 7-2 Indiana with Ohio State coming up soon. PSU will now have to win out.
  11. Baylor (9-0): Whew. The Bears survive TCU in 3OT, but Oklahoma (and College GameDay) is waiting in Week 12. Get ready.
  12. Florida (8-2): The SEC East hopes now need major help in the form of two more UGA conference losses. That's a tough ask.
  13. Wisconsin (7-2): Jonathan Taylor had 250 rushing yards in a crucial win against Iowa. But the Badgers will need Minnesota to lose twice to have a chance in the Big Ten West. Wisconsin is hoping for Iowa to beat Minnesota this week.
  14. Auburn (7-2): No 2-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff. Now it's about beating Alabama and hoping for total chaos.
  15. Michigan (7-2): What a rebound for the Wolverines since early in the Penn State game. They look¬†like a completely different team ‚ÄĒ and should be gaining confidence ahead of the Ohio State showdown in Ann Arbor.
  16. Notre Dame (7-2): The Irish are still in the hunt for a New Year's Six game.
  17. Cincinnati (8-1): The AAC race is one of the most exciting chases to watch. The Bearcats should feel good about their New Year's Six case...if they win out.
  18. Memphis (8-1): The Tigers were off in Week 11, with a road trip to Houston next.
  19. Boise State (8-1): The Broncos could use the AAC beating itself up to strengthen their New Year's Six hopes. Boise State needed overtime to get by Wyoming.
  20. Texas (6-3): It's a messy situation after Baylor and OU in the Big 12 standings.
  21. Oklahoma State (6-3): The Cowboys are one of five teams with two or three Big 12 losses.
  22. Iowa (6-3): The Hawkeyes almost fought back, but fell just short in Madison. Iowa is more than capable of ruining Minnesota's undefeated season, however.
  23. Navy (7-1): The Mids were off before a big one at Notre Dame in Week 12.
  24. SMU (9-1): There are plenty of concerns about the defense after the 59-51 win against ECU.
  25. Appalachian State (8-1): K-State might still be ranked, but the Mountaineers get a boost by winning at South Carolina. That pairs nicely with the earlier win at North Carolina

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Semifinals

Here's how I think the final CFP rankings will look.

  • No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oregon¬†(Peach Bowl)
  • No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (Fiesta Bowl)

LSU gets the top spot (at least for now) after beating Alabama on the road. If LSU and Ohio State continue to win, it'll be a fun debate between the two over which team deserves the No. 1 spot.

Clemson is in great position as long as it keeps on winning. But there's going to be some big questions for No. 4. Right now, Oregon could make the jump, especially if it beats a 1-loss Utah team in the Pac-12 title game. But Oklahoma could easily slot in here should the Sooners win out impressively. OU gets undefeated Baylor in Week 12 ‚ÄĒ a big chance to make a statement.

There's a long, long way to go before Dec. 8.

CFP RANKINGS: Schedule, TV information for how to watch the Top 25 announcement

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

This is what I think the games will be at season's end. This isn't based off what the rankings will be on Tuesday.

  • Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
  • Rose Bowl: Utah vs. Minnesota
  • Orange Bowl: Georgia vs. Wake Forest
  • Cotton Bowl:¬†Baylor vs. Cincinnati
  • Peach Bowl (semifinal): No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oregon
  • Fiesta Bowl (semifinal): No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
  • National Championship Game: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Ohio State

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