After each week of the college football season, a fresh set of rankings drop, highlighting the Top 25 teams in the nation. There are two major polls used in the college football, the AP Poll voted on by members of the media, and the Coaches Poll voted on by, well you can probably figure that one out. Now that we have reached November, the College Football Playoff rankings are out and take over as the top billed ranking in college football for the rest of the season.
Fifteen weeks of college football have now wrapped up and bowl season is officially upon us, kicking off this Friday and running through the new year and into early 2020, ending with the National Championship Game on January 13th. After a hectic championship weekend, the College Football Playoff committee met one final time and delivered us the four teams who will compete for a national title, beginning with two semifinal matchups set for December 28th.
Let’s take a look at how everyone sits heading into the postseason.
College Football Playoff
There you have it right at the top of this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, the four schools who qualify for the playoffs and will compete for a national title. Louisiana State claims the top spot after winning the SEC and will meet Big 12 champion No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl. Coming in at No. 2 is Ohio State, who needed a big time comeback to win the Big Ten over Wisconsin and will now head to Phoenix and take on No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Both semifinal games will take place on Saturday, December 28th.
The remaining Top 10 sides will not participate in the College Football Playoff, but all six left did qualify for a coveted New Year’s Six bowl game. SEC runner-up Georgia sits at No. 5 and will take on Big 12 runner-up No. 7 Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Oregon was the biggest gainer of the week, jumping seven spots to No. 6 after thrashing Utah to win the PAC 12. As a reward, the Ducks will head to Pasadena where they will face Big Ten runner-up No. 8 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Florida and Penn State were both off this past weekend, but both sides held steady in the rankings and were rewarded for their strong season with a New Year’s Six contest. The No. 9 Gators are heading to the Orange Bowl to face the ACC runner-up No. 24 Virginia. Penn State slots in at No. 10 and books a trip to Dallas to face American Conference champion No. 17 Memphis in the famed Cotton Bowl Classic.
This week’s biggest loser is undoubtedly Utah, who laid an egg against Oregon in the PAC 12 title game and not only missed out on a potential playoff spot, but fell completely out of the NY6 picture and will settle for the Alamo Bowl against Texas.
As for the rest of the ranked teams, they all head off to various bowl games around the country based on conference tie ins to specific games. Check back later this week for a complete breakdown of every bowl contest to see who is playing where and when this bowl season.
At this point in the season, the polls all start to mimic each other outside of a few variations here of there. As has been the case since the initial College Football rankings came out a few weeks ago, the AP Poll has the same Top 4 in the same order as the CFP rankings but some teams start to flip positioning further down.
Oregon and Utah were the biggest movers in this week’s AP voting, but the media but both sides a spot lower than their CFP counterparts. Florida has clearly impressed the media this season, sitting in the No. 6 spot as the highest ranked 10-2 team in the nation, one spot behind SEC East counterpart Georgia.
Big Ten sides Wisconsin and Penn State both sit outside the Top 10 in the AP Poll despite both being securely ranked inside the Top 10 by the CFP. American Conference champion Memphis on the other hand sits two spots higher in the AP rankings at No. 15 as compared to No. 17 in the CFP.
In the end, the AP Poll is a good look into how the media views teams that they cover over the course of the season, but in the end, the poll carries little to no weight on how the CFP committee goes about their work.
For a closer look on how media members voted individually, check the image below.
If the AP Poll doesn’t factor into how the CFP committee views teams then the Coaches Poll might as well be floating in zero gravity. Again the four playoff teams remain the same as we see in the CFP rankings, but there is more variation between the two polls the further you go down the rankings.
Bowl Season Schedule
Let’s take a quick peek at this season’s bowl schedule to see who will be playing and when they will playing this bowl season.
Note: Team rankings are based on the College Football Playoff standings.
Bowl games begin on Friday, December 20th and run through the new year, concluding with the National Championship Game in New Orleans on January 13th. Stay tuned later this week for a complete breakdown of all the bowl games set to come.
Each and every week throughout the college football season we will be checking in with the latest rankings and Top 25 schedule so make sure you are checking back to keep up to date on the latest from the college football world.