football-fbs flag

Stan Becton | | November 26, 2023

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: What conference championship week could look like

The most successful walk-ons in recent college football history

Conference championship week is here and the penultimate College Football Rankings are approaching. Before the CFP committee unveils the rankings, I predict where the top 25 teams will land.

The fifth of six CFP top 25 reveals happens on Tuesday, Nov. 28 (here's the full schedule). Ahead of the announcement, here's a prediction of how the committee could rank its top 25 teams. Note that these are my predictions and mine alone. I take a look at head-to-head results, schedule strength, games against ranked teams and more to help rank the teams how I think the CFP committee will do so. You can read the CFP committee's official protocols here.

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Week 14 Top 25 projections

These predictions are as of Sunday, November 26.ย 

  1. Georgia (12-0) | LW: 1 โ€” Georgia defeated a good Georgia Tech team on the road. The Bulldogs have picked up a string of ranked wins in prior weeks that will let them hold on to the top spot.
  2. Michigan (12-0) | LW: 2 โ€” Michigan can argue for No. 1 with the best win in the country over Ohio State, but the Wolverines will have to settle for No. 2 in these rankings.
  3. Washington (12-0) | LW: 4 โ€” Washington moves up one spot after an Apple Cup win.
  4. Florida State (12-0) | LW: 5 โ€” Florida State moves back into the top four since it's undefeated, even though the Seminoles looked underwhelming with its backup quarterback.
  5. Oregon (11-1) | LW: 6 โ€” Oregon should be fifth in these rankings after Ohio State's loss and a dominant ranked win. The Ducks just have to win and they're in.
  6. Texas (11-1) | LW: 7 โ€” Texas should be above Ohio State in the committee's eyes after blowing out Texas Tech ahead of the Big 12 championship game. Texas' win over Alabama still holds a lot of weight.
  7. Alabama (11-1) | LW: 8 โ€” Alabama stays behind Texas after a close win over Auburn. The Crimson Tide could stay behind Ohio State here, but the committee will see ranked wins over Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU and maybe Kentucky as reasons to knock the Buckeyes a spot below.
  8. Ohio State (11-1) | LW: 2 โ€” Ohio State falls six spots to No. 8 after its loss to Michigan. There's still a chance to rank as high as No. 6, but I think the committee will keep a team that doesn't control its destiny at the bottom of the one-loss team order.
  9. Missouri (10-2) | LW: 9 โ€” Missouri remains the best two-loss team in the country after a win over Arkansas.
  10. Penn State (10-2) | LW: 11 โ€” Penn State moves back into the top 10 after shutting out Michigan State.
  11. Ole Miss (10-2) | LW: 12 โ€” Ole Miss won the Egg Bowl to move up one spot.
  12. Oklahoma (10-2) | LW: 13 โ€” Oklahoma blasted TCU, but it'll miss out on the Big 12 title game. The Sooners won't have a shot at entering the top 10 before bowls.
  13. Louisville (10-2) | LW: 10 โ€” Louisville falls three spots after losing to an unranked, five-loss Kentucky team.
  14. LSU (9-3) | LW: 14 โ€” LSU and Heisman candidate Jayden Daniels will finish the regular season as the top three-loss team in the country.
  15. Arizona (9-3) | LW: 15 โ€” A 500-plus yard day from Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita has the Wildcats peaking at the right time entering bowl games.
  16. Iowa (10-2) | LW: 17 โ€” Iowa continues to look like the most unimpressive 9-2 team in the country and a 13-10 win over Nebraska won't move the needle.
  17. Notre Dame (9-3) | LW: 18 โ€” Notre Dame handled business against a lowly Stanford team and it'll move up one spot.
  18. Oklahoma State (9-3) | LW: 20 โ€” Oklahoma State needed two overtimes to defeat BYU for a berth in the Big 12 championship game. It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win for the Cowboys.
  19. Tennessee (8-4) | LW: 21 โ€” Tennessee blasted Vanderbilt and should be the highest-ranked four-loss team for another week.
  20. NC State (9-3) | LW: 22 โ€” NC State has a better record than Tennessee, but that was the case last week. I don't think a win over an unranked North Carolina team moves the Wolfpack in front of the Vols.
  21. Oregon State (8-4) | LW: 16 โ€” Back-to-back losses to top-10 teams will knock Oregon out of the top 20.
  22. Tulane (11-1) | LW: 23 โ€” Tulane holds on for another week above Liberty, but it can't afford any slip-ups in the AAC championship if it wants a New Year's Six bowl.
  23. Clemson (8-4) | LW: 24 โ€” Clemson defeated rival South Carolina and will move up one spot in the rankings.
  24. Liberty (12-0) | LW: 25 โ€” Liberty will need to send a statement in the C-USA championship game to surpass Tulane in the rankings for a shot at a New Year's Six bowl. The committee hasn't been impressed by Liberty's undefeated record yet, only coming in at No. 25 a week ago.
  25. Toledo (11-1) | LW: NR โ€” Past rankings make it doubtful the committee ranks another school outside of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 or SEC, but I think this week the committee ranks Toledo to give a clearer picture of the New Year's Six Bowl picture.

New Team: Toledo
Team to drop out: Kansas State (19)

CFP๐Ÿ†:ย College Football Playoff rankings release schedule

Notable College Football Playoff rankings questions

Can Michigan get the top spot for a week?

No team has a better win than Michigan's win over Ohio State. Will that be enough for the Wolverines to hold the No. 1 spot this week? It seems like a given that Georgia โ€” if it beats Alabama โ€” will be the No. 1 team entering the playoffs if both teams win, but maybe Michigan can hold No. 1 for a little bit before that happens.

GO BLUE:ย Michigan edges Ohio State 30-24, claims Big Ten East crown

How far will Ohio State fall?

Even with a loss to Michigan, there are still a few scenarios where Ohio State can get a College Football Playoff spot. All of the scenarios likely require a Georgia and Michigan win and a Florida State and Texas loss, but there's a chance. That said, where Ohio State ranks entering conference championship week will show how much of a shot the Buckeyes have.

UNDEFEATED TRACKER:ย Here's a look at all of the undefeated FBS teams

Is there anything Liberty can do to move past Tulane?

Liberty is undefeated while Tulane has one loss. Yet, Tulane has โ€” and likely will โ€” rank above Liberty for another week. With a New Year's Six bowl on the line, one has to wonder if there's anything Liberty can do to move beyond Tulane in the rankings if both schools win.


2023 SEC Championship Game: Date, time, history

Here's the quick guide to the 2023 SEC Championship Game, which will have the SEC East and SEC West champions face off.

2023 Alabama football schedule: Dates, times, TV channels, scores

Check out the 2023 Alabama Crimson Tide's football schedule. This will be updated all season long for game times, TV channels and scores.

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: What Week 12 could look like

The third College Football Playoff rankings will be revealed on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Here's what the top 25 could look like.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners