College Football Playoff Rankings: Projected Top 25 for Week 12

Nov 12, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) walks back to the locker room following a 26-13 victory against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) walks back to the locker room following a 26-13 victory against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Clemson lost. Michigan lost. Washington lost. Those were three of the top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings heading into Saturday’s action. Well, now what?

You messed everything up, Pitt, Iowa, USC, and yeah … even you too, Ole Miss.

The College Football Playoff rankings are a mess mostly because of these four teams, and we can’t thank them enough for bringing so much fun into Week 11 of the college football season.

Pitt and Iowa used late field goals in the final seconds to upset Clemson and Michigan respectively, while USC outplayed the unbeaten Washington Huskies on the road to pick up one of the program’s biggest victories in recent memory.

Texas A&M’s season was heading for a dead end after losing to their main roadblock in the SEC West division — No. 1 Alabama — and falling to unranked Mississippi State last week. They made it a perfect 2-for-2 in losing to the state of Mississippi after falling to Ole Miss on Saturday night.

Having said all of this, let’s try to debunk this madness, starting with who could be in the playoff on Tuesday (for now).

In the playoff:

1. Alabama – Yawn. They beat Mississippi State by 48 points on Saturday. Wake them up when the playoff actually starts.

2. Ohio State – After falling to Penn State a few weeks back, the Buckeyes got a boatload of help on Saturday and should shoot right back up behind Alabama on Tuesday.

3. Louisville – It was ugly for quite a while against Wake Forest at home on Saturday night, but Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals ended up blowing out the Demon Deacons.

4. Clemson – Does it make sense that the Tigers lost at home to an unranked team and are still in the playoff technically? Probably not. It probably doesn’t make sense that they’re ranked behind a team they beat, too. But, they have to fall somewhere.

First two out:

5. Michigan – The Wolverines suffered their first defeat of the season against unranked Iowa, but luckily for them, they’re still in a great position if they win out, including their big showdown with the Buckeyes.

6. Washington – So, maybe the Huskies are who we thought they were. Or maybe USC is better than we thought. Regardless, the Apple Cup and a potential Pac-12 Championship Game appearance loom for Washington. They need to bounce back and refocus.

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The rest of the field

7. Wisconsin – The Badgers beat up on poor Illinois on Saturday. Like I noted last week, the two losses for the Badgers this year are Michigan and Ohio State.

8. Penn State – The Nittany Lions survived Bloomington. An appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game is on the table somehow.

9. Oklahoma – So, after losing to Houston and Ohio State early in the year, here are the Sooners in the hunt again. Also, nobody can cover Dede Westbrook.

10. Colorado – You probably don’t watch the Buffaloes much. Their two losses are to Michigan and USC. They’re a good football team.

11. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys still have to go to TCU and the Bedlam game awaits after, but the Pokes are hanging around in the Big XII title race.

12. Auburn – Name something worse than Auburn’s offensive performance in the second half against Georgia. You can’t.

13. Utah – This was last week’s blurb on the Utes: “New year, same old’ Utes hanging around higher than many people probably realize.” Yeah, pretty much the same.

14. West Virginia – The Mountaineers survived Austin on Saturday. It was tight throughout, but WVU remains a one-loss team in the Big 12 title race.

15. USC – You could make the case the Trojans should be higher than this. Not many teams are playing better than they are after a big, big win in Seattle.

16. Texas A&M – This might be the week A&M falls after losing!

17. Florida State – The Seminoles absolutely destroyed Boston College this weekend in a huge win at home.

18. Nebraska – It was close, but the Huskers snuck past the Golden Gophers on Saturday night in Lincoln.

19. Virginia Tech – The Hokies had a chance to seal a spot in the ACC Championship Game as the Coastal Division champion. Instead, they lost to Georgia Tech.

20. Western Michigan – Things got a little weird for the Broncos against Kent State this week, but the boat keeps moving in the MAC.

21. North Carolina – It’s not basketball season, but the Tar Heels fell to Duke this weekend.

22. Boise State – Poor Hawaii. That was just mean of you on Saturday, Broncos.

23. Washington State – Is there any game more anticipated than the Apple Cup on Black Friday this season? (Yes, but that’s going to be a lot of fun.)

24. LSU – The Tigers won the Golden Boot back from Arkansas on the road, which is a pretty solid rivalry trophy.

25. San Diego State – Hello there, Aztecs.

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Tuesday is going to be an eventful night.