Only one thing separates us from the final pairings of the 2019 College Football Playoff: conference championship weekend.
The final Playoff-contending teams were whittled down yet again on Saturday, with fifth-ranked Alabama and eighth-ranked Minnesota losing to Auburn and Wisconsin, respectively, in Rivalry Week. That sets up a mad dash among Georgia, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor for the fourth and final Playoff spot, assuming Ohio State and Clemson win this week.
MORE: Playoff picture: Four in, three to watch
As for Sporting News’ rankings, Alabama, Minnesota and Michigan all fell after their respective losses — the latter two in particular after blowout losses to Big Ten rivals. The Crimson Tide, while still ranked in the top 10, have been completely eliminated from Playoff contention and will have to settle for a New Year’s Day 6 bowl.
Of course, the winners of those respective games all saw big jumps, including the Buckeyes, which leaped LSU for the top spot in SN’s latest rankings. Other movers include Cincinnati, which lost a hard-fought American Athletic Conference matchup with Memphis on Friday, and Virginia, which ended a 15-year losing streak to Virginia Tech to break into the top 25.
With that, SN’s full top 25 college football rankings ahead of the Week 15 slate of games:
Sporting News Week 15 college football rankings
|1||Ohio State (12-0)||+1|
|12||Penn State (10-2)||—|
|13||Notre Dame (10-2)||—|
|16||Boise State (11-1)||—|
|21||App State (11-1)||+1|
Moved in: Virginia
Dropped out: Virginia Tech