College Football Playoff Rankings: Projected Top 25 for Week 13

Nov 19, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Pat Elflein (65) celebrates a win over Michigan State Spartans after a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Pat Elflein (65) celebrates a win over Michigan State Spartans after a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports /

With one of the biggest weekends of the college football season coming next week, what will the College Football Playoff rankings look like entering Week 13?

Before the college football world is set on fire with the likes of the annual Michigan-Ohio State game and the Iron Bowl, there’s still business to attend to prior.

As for Week 12, those that needed to handle business did so. It may not have been pretty for even the best team in America at home against Chattanooga, but Alabama, along with the other three teams currently in the College Football Playoff all won on Saturday.

It took a stop on a two-point play, but the Buckeyes survived East Lansing and a tough effort from Michigan State, while Sparty’s in-state rival Michigan fought off Indiana late in the middle of a blizzard, and Clemson left North Carolina with a win over six-win Wake Forest later in the day.

With that being said, here’s what the top 25 could look like in the Week 13 edition of the College Football Playoff rankings.

In the playoff:

1. Alabama – The nation’s top team was extremely sluggish against Chattanooga at home on Saturday night, but they’re still unbeaten. The only hurdles that stand between them and the College Football Playoff for the third straight season: the Iron Bowl and the SEC Championship Game against Florida.

2. Ohio State – Michigan State has been the kryptonite of Ohio State in recent years, but the Bucks survived the Spartans to set up the biggest version of “The Game” in a decade.

3. Michigan – The Wolverines also had a tough time in their final game before clashing with the Buckeyes, but they’ll enter next weekend’s showdown in the driver’s seat. Win, and you’re in the B1G Championship Game.

4. Clemson – Like Alabama, all Clemson has left is their annual rivalry game with South Carolina at home and the ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech (most likely). Win those two games, and the dream of getting Alabama in the title game is still alive, Tigers.

First two out:

5. Washington – After laying a big egg against USC at home, the Huskies bounced back nicely in a blowout win over Arizona State and got some much-needed help with Houston’s win over Louisville this week.

6. Wisconsin – It’s been stated before, but the only two losses for the Badgers this season are to the No. 2 and 3 teams in the entire country. Wisconsin crushed Purdue on the road and continue to hang around in the rankings.

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The rest of the field

7. Penn State – The Nittany Lions needed some help from Indiana and Michigan State on Saturday and didn’t get it. Still, they defeated Rutgers with a home meeting against Michigan State next week to seal up a potential 10-2 regular season.

8. Oklahoma – There’s still a lot of football left, but the Big XII still has a shot at the playoff thanks to Oklahoma. The Sooners crushed West Virginia in the snow in primetime on Saturday night. Baker Mayfield is in the Heisman talks again and so is Dede Westbrook for that matter.

9. Colorado – The Buffs got a huge win at home against Washington State. All that really awaits them now is the Pac-12 title game if they can get past Utah at home next week.

10. Oklahoma State – Can the Cowboys steal the Big XII title from the Sooners next week? If they do, a New Year’s Six bowl awaits them.

11. USC – The spicy-hot Trojans can get into the Pac-12 title game with some help from Utah next week. If the Utes beat Colorado, the Trojans are in if they defeat rival Notre Dame at home.

12. Louisville – Lamar Jackson may still win the Heisman Trophy, but the Cardinals aren’t playing in the playoff after getting destroyed by Houston this week.

13. Auburn – They won’t go to Atlanta if they can win the Iron Bowl, but the Tigers and Tide could be quite a show next week in Tuscaloosa.

14. Florida State – The Seminoles are kind of just there in the polls, but they’re hovering around a prominent bowl game with their ranking. They still have plenty to play for in a meeting with in-state rival Florida next week.

15. Nebraska – Like Wisconsin, Nebraska doesn’t have a bad loss this season. Their two losses came to the Badgers and Ohio State and both games were on the road. Not bad at all.

16. Utah – It took a ridiculous catch from Darren Carrington to beat the Utes at home, but the Utah can still play spoiler next week in a big game with the Buffaloes.

17. Tennessee – The Vols have won three straight since losing to South Carolina. Nine wins are still on the table with a win over Vanderbilt next week.

18. Florida – The Gators got a massive win over LSU in their rescheduled meeting on the road. With the win, they sealed a rematch with Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

19. West Virginia – Well, it couldn’t have gotten much worse for the Mountaineers on Saturday night against Oklahoma. Their last chance at a relevant win and they failed to really show up.

20. Boise State – The Broncos won again against UNLV and kept their NY6 hopes alive. They know a little something about crashing the big boy bowl party.

21. Western Michigan – Row the dang boat, Kalamazoo. The Broncos hosted ESPN’s College GameDay, then went out and thoroughly dominated Buffalo at home.

22. LSU – Could you have asked for a worse way to lose on Saturday down on the Bayou, Tigers? Probably not.

23. Stanford – Note: Christian McCaffrey is absurd.

24. Texas A&M – The Aggies didn’t look great against Texas-San Antonio at home, but it was a win nonetheless.

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25. Washington State – Mike Leach’s bunch took a hard loss on the road against the Buffs, but a win in the Apple Cup against Washington next week will make it a distant memory.