After three months, the college football regular season comes down to one final week. No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 LSU, and No. 3 Clemson all control their own destiny. You could say that No. 4 Georgia also controls their own destiny as well since they will play LSU in the SEC Championship. However, teams like No. 5 Alabama, No. 6. Utah, and No. 7 Oklahoma will need some help to move up in the College Football Playoff rankings.
This past Tuesday, the committee revealed their latest playoff rankings*. The top five remain the same, but a string of one-loss teams sit at 6-9.
For comparison, my College Football Playoff after Week 13 includes:
- Ohio State
I don’t believe in moving a team back after a win so LSU is still my number one. That doesn’t mean they’re better than Ohio State, but LSU has better quality wins so they’re still my top team. The regular season comes to an end with rivalry weekend. The marquee games include Ohio State taking on Michigan and Alabama traveling to Auburn. Here are the Top 5 CFP storylines heading into Week 14.
Can Ohio State Complete A Dominant Regular Season?
This year’s Ohio State team is approaching all-time great territory. Before the Penn State game, the Buckeyes had won every game by at least 24 points. Last week was easily Ohio State’s worst game of the season and they still won by double digits. Now, Justin Fields (who may be injured), Chase Young, and co. must go to the Big House and take on a hot Michigan team. If Ohio State goes to Michigan and dominates the Wolverines, the Buckeyes will move into the top 10 of the greatest college teams of all time.
Can LSU reclaim the top spot?
Last weekend, LSU destroyed Arkansas by 36 points and yet Ohio State surpassed the Tigers in the rankings. Neither Ohio State nor LSU wants to play Clemson, who will be the third seed if both the Buckeyes and Tigers win out. So both teams still want to impress the committee these final two weeks. Ohio State has the upper hand this week because beating Michigan on the road will go farther than LSU beating Texas A&M in Baton Rouge. That being said, if LSU knocks off Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, then the Tigers could catapult past the Buckeyes back to number one. Keep an eye on LSU this weekend to see if they run up the score to gain style points with the committee.
Utah Has A Path To The College Football Playoff
Simply put, Utah is the real deal. The Utes have the third-ranked defense in the country have allowed 7 points or less in five out of six games. Utah should get past Colorado this weekend and enter the Pac-12 Championship game at 11-1. Oregon’s loss hurt’s Utah’s resume, but it’s not a deal-breaker. Can Utah jump Alabama in the standings if the Utes are 12-1 with a Pac-12 Championship and the Tide are 11-1 with no conference title? The answer should be yes, but I’m not convinced it will happen. What Utah needs to do is dominate Colorado and then blow out Oregon in order to convince the committee they belong in the playoff.
Wisconsin And Minnesota Play For A Spot In The Big Ten Championship
The Big Ten West comes down to the last game of the regular season as No. 12 Wisconsin plays No. 8 Minnesota for the Paul Bunyan Axe. Last year, Minnesota defeated Wisconsin for the first time since 2003. This year, the stakes are even higher as the Gophers still have a fighter’s chance to make the playoff. Expect a low scoring game with an emphasis on ball control as both teams rank in the top five for time of possession.
Who Will Be The Top Group Of Five Team To End The Season?
The teams who will play in the New Year’s Six is starting to take shape, but which team will be from the Group of Five? Currently, the highest-ranked Group of Five team is No. 18 Memphis. After that comes No. 19 Cincinnati. Fittingly, Cincinnatti plays Memphis on Friday night with huge AAC implications on the line. If Memphis wins, they will play Cincinnatti at home for the AAC Championship next week. If Cincinnatti wins, then the game will be in Cincinnatti against either Navy if the Midshipmen win against Houston. If Navy loses, then Memphis will face Cincinnati in the title game. Tune in for Round 1 on Friday.
Bonus Storyline: Alabama Is Still Alive
Do not count out the Crimson Tide just yet. Alabama is more than alive for the playoff. The Tide are ranked fifth in the country and are on the outside looking in. If they get past Auburn in the Iron Bowl, they will have to sit and wait for the conference championships to finish. I’m not so sure that Utah, Oklahoma, Minnesota, or Baylor can pass the Tide in the rankings. We will know more after this weekend.
What are your top College Football Playoff storylines for Week 14? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Rankings used in this article are from the latest College Football Playoff Rankings.