In a week that has seen the country’s top four teams struggle, do our latest College Football Playoff Rankings predictions point to a late move just two weeks to “Selection Sunday”? Or will we see the same CFP rankings as a week ago if college football’s only remaining undefeated teams continue their winning streak?
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Michigan Wolverines
- Ohio state horse chestnuts
- TCU Horned Frogs
1) Georgia Bulldogs
With just one game left against Georgia Tech, the Georgia Bulldogs went unbeaten in the SEC for the second straight year with a 16-6 win over Kentucky in College Football Week 12.
While it was the kind of craftsmanship Michigan had previously been criticized by the CFP selection committee, the Bulldogs hold the top spot in our college football playoff predictions.
There are a variety of factors at play as to why Georgia should remain at the top of the CFP rankings. No matter how they got the result against Kentucky, a win is a win, and it’s hard to imagine anything other than a loss being enough to unseat the Bulldogs from their place in the “back four” advance.
If you don’t think a narrow win over an unranked Wildcats team that advanced to 6-5 in an ultimately disappointing season for the Kentucky program is enough to root Georgia as the best team in the nation, then who’s good enough played to oust them ahead of college football week 13?
Four of the five chasing teams were equally lackluster this week, as we’ll discover as we review these College Football Playoff predictions.
Their dominant defense, an offense that has struggled to put points on the board this week but is still one of the nation’s top-ranked units, and ranked wins over Tennessee and Oregon bolster a resume that’s a -150 favorite to him as national team repeat champions according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
2) Ohio state horse chestnuts
It’s a case of the same old, brand-new you in our college football playoff predictions, as the Ohio State Buckeyes should retain their second-place finish despite a scare against a defiant Maryland team when the latest CFP rankings are released Tuesday .
The 43-30 score is flattering to deceive, but the Buckeyes could have fallen down the College Football Playoff rankings had it not been for a late defensive rally.
On a day when the Buckeyes proved they could have one of the best running back rooms and wide receiver rooms in the nation, freshman Dallan Hayden found the end zone three times and TreVeyon Henderson converted a short pass from CJ Stroud for 31 yards -Score.
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However, they had to settle for three field goals from Noah Ruggles, allowing Taulia Tagovailoa to keep the pressure up late into the fourth quarter.
However, it was the defensive unit that bolstered their CFP summary this year with their improvement that got the Buckeyes across the finish line to stick with our CFP predictions. Sacks from a dominant Zach Harrison in back-to-back games resulted in a fumble return touchdown from Steele Chambers, who ended the game with 0:09 to go.
With an emphasis on CFP selection committee balance, Ohio State boasts a top-10 offensive and defensive unit and an undefeated record. The only loss in The Game rivalry and subsequent failure to win the Big Ten title stands between them and a place in the Final Four.
As second favorites to win the national championship (+240) from DraftKings, they will likely go into this game as the nation’s No. 2.
3) Michigan wolverines
Did Michigan’s 19-17 win over Illinois actually boost Blake Corum’s candidacy for the Heisman Trophy? After giving Michigan an early lead with his 18th rushing result of the season, the running star suffered a pre-half injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the game.
From there, Michigan struggled to get anything going offensively and had to rely on Jake Moody’s heroics to snatch a win.
It was the epitome of craftsmanship that saw the Wolverines start outside the top 4 in the first CFP rankings of the season. For a long time on Saturday, it looked like they would return to that original ranking — or worse — as they struggled to live with a wild Illinois defense. Meanwhile, their normally rock-solid unit was unable to contain Chase Brown at times.
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Ultimately, they managed to do enough on both sides of the ball to pull off a win enough to keep them as the third-place team in our College Football Playoff predictions. Elsewhere, Jim Harbaugh can thank the results for Michigan’s continued presence in close proximity to their hated conference rival.
A sweeping TCU or Tennessee win could have toppled the Wolverines. However, they go into “The Game” knowing that a win — coupled with a Big Ten title — will secure their spot in the “Final Four.”
Nevertheless, they are considered hopeless to win a national title with odds of +1000 by Draftkings.
4) TCU Horned Frogs
If a top-four spot in the CFP rankings for college football’s most proficient coach were guaranteed, Sonny Dykes would have the TCU Horned Frogs at the top of the nation with zero challengers.
With the clock ticking fast, Dykes played two behind a field goal with a rushing game that made the seconds tick by. It set off chaotic scenes as the field-goal unit charged the field and only added to the drama when Griffin Kell pinned a 40-yard game winner to keep the Frogs undefeated.
It’s fair to say that for TCU this season – they’ve easily been one of the most entertaining teams in the nation. Their balanced offense between Max Duggan’s quarterback play and a Kendre Miller-led ground play has provided us with highlight reel games every week. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs’ defense has shown it can mix and match with some of the nation’s strongest offenses.
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However, they were routinely exposed on the ground, allowing Blake Shapen to make several top-level throws on Saturday as they lost the lead three times.
When Richard Reese hit the end zone 28-20, it looked like the Frogs’ fairytale adventure in college football playoff land was over. Nonetheless, they were “saved by The Kell” after the time was up.
Though they remain fourth in our College Football Playoff predictions, another win that put their defense to the test could give the CFP selection committee the ammunition to cement their claim to a Final Four spot confirm.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time they’ve played this card. Tennessee’s loss, LSU’s loss to a Group 5 team, and USC’s narrow win over UCLA should ensure no other team jumps over the Horned Frogs this week.