College football rankings 2023, Projected Week 14 CFP Top 25: Michigan downs OSU, Alabama, Washington hang on

  • Michigan ended Ohio States Playoff hopes with a third straight win in The Game
  • Alabama and Washington held on for dear life in rivalry games
  • Louisville's CFP dreams died in shades of Bluegrass

Ohio State v Michigan
Ohio State v Michigan / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Projected Top 25 College Football Playoff rankings after Week 13: No. 6-5

6. Ohio State Buckeyes

I’m not going to take a full-blown victory lap, but I’ve been preaching all season that Ohio State was overrated and not a true College Football Playoff contender based on the eye test, specifically with Kyle McCord’s lackluster performance this season. And while it wasn’t a blowout like it had been in the past two losses against Michigan, Ryan Day and the Buckeyes dropped their third straight in the rivalry and are now all but eliminated from the College Football Playoff as the list of contenders with the extra data point of conference championship games is larger than it was even a year ago. 

McCord threw two back-breaking picks in this game, which didn’t help. But the vaunted OSU defense also struggled to find consistent stops. Perhaps more damning, though, was Day’s decision-making as he consistently played conservatively while his opponent and rival did not. One could argue that was the biggest difference in The Game, and why Ohio State will be watching the Playoff from home (or whatever New Year’s Six venue they head to).

5. Oregon Ducks

While much of the college football world has been quick to give the Oregon Ducks their flowers, I’ve been a little more hesitant. Yes, Bo Nix and the rest of Dan Lanning’s team have been dominant outside of the road loss to Washington… but the level of competition just wasn’t there, having not played another team ranked inside the Week 13 CFP rankings. But on Friday night in Eugene, they delivered in a monster way. 

Yes, Nix and the Oregon offense put up 31 points, but it was by far the most impressive defensive performance we’ve seen from the Ducks to date as they limited a talented Beavers attack to just seven points and 273 yards, including 53 rushing yards. That goes a long way to winning the eye test and resumé battle, but the biggest test will now be trying to get one back against Washington as the rematch is set for the Pac-12 Championship Game.