College football rankings: Conference rankings after bowl game selections

Nick Saban, Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Saban, Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Oregon Ducks
Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal (Syndication: The Register Guard) /

The college football regular season is finally over, and as we prepare for bowl week, we look ahead at the conference power rankings now that the bowl games have been decided.

This has been one of the wildest weeks in college football history. There were major coaching changes across the landscape, including Monday when the Miami Hurricanes fired Manny Diaz and reportedly hired Mario Cristobal away from Oregon. This, after USC hired Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma, LSU hired Brian Kelly from Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish were on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff, Alabama just crushed the number one team in the country, and Oklahoma State came within literally an inch of getting themselves in the Playoff conversation. That’s a lot to cover in one week’s time.

That’s not even considering that we learned the matchups to every bowl game including the New Year’s Six. This week showed how the nation and some important decision makers in college football think about the conferences as a whole. There are 41 bowl games, which means there are 82 teams competing for eyes. These bowl games are sponsored by everyone with money, including the Jimmy Kimmel bowl between Utah State and Oregon State. Which conference really made a statement now that we know who is the champion of each Power 5?

College football conference power rankings: rankings come in after Championship Week.

5. Pac 12

There is no conference that had a worse week than the Pac 12. Oregon failed to show up for the Pac 12 Championship Game against Utah, showing they were never a real contender for the College Football Playoff. They didn’t show up despite having everything on the line. Then, the Ducks lost their head coach to the Miami Hurricanes. USC has its man, and that’s huge for the future of the conference, but what about everyone else? The rest of the conference is in flux, which is why it’s last on this list. Only Utah is in a major bowl, as they take on the Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Oregon will take on Oklahoma in the last-minute disappointment bowl, or the Alamo Bowl as most will call it. Six teams made bowl games, and teams like Arizona State and UCLA are in a position where they can make a statement, but the future for this conference is stressful to say the least.

4. ACC

Listen, just because the ACC moved ahead of the Pac 12 in the standings doesn’t mean things are much better here, but there are some positives. Wake Forest and Pitt had an epic first quarter, but Kenny Pickett took over the game from there on. His fake slide might be the moment most people remember from the game, but he did establish himself as a star quarterback. The ACC has an impressive 10 teams in bowl games. That includes Clemson, who will head to Orlando to take on Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl. The Tigers have looked like the best team in the conference again, and they will go into next season with momentum. Pitt and Wake Forest were held out of the top bowl games in the country, but at least the Panthers got a spot in the Peach Bowl against Michigan State.