College Football Power Rankings: Playoff gets clarity after rivalry weekend




 

For those into playoff chaos, the dream of a two-loss LSU Tigers team knocking off Georgia and crashing the playoff has evaporated with LSU's loss to Texas A&M.

With everything that went down on rivalry weekend, it looks like the playoff field is set, assuming Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and USC can win on championship weekend.

Ohio State, still with just one loss, remains an interesting option, but their 22-point loss to Michigan casts created a shadow on their playoff prospects. They'll need someone other than Michigan to have hopes of getting in the playoff field.

Over the last couple of weeks, South Carolina and Spencer Rattler have played spoiler. Two weeks ago, they took Josh Heupel and Tennessee out of playoff contention and this week did the same with Dabo Swinney and Clemson. If this was indeed Spencer Rattler's final season in college football before turning pro, he went out with a bang.

Georgia Bulldogs (12-0)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Kendall Milton (2) gets lifted by offensive lineman Tate Ratledge (69) after running for a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1

This Week: Beat Georgia Tech 37-14

The defending national champion looks like the cream of the crop heading into championship weekend. Does anyone have a realistic shot at knocking them out of the top spot?

For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, check out UGA Wire.

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Michigan Wolverines (12-0)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Michigan Wolverines players plant the flag on the Ohio State Buckeyes fifty yard line following the win at Ohio Stadium. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 3

This Week: Beat Ohio State 45-23

That was as emphatic a win as you'll see in a rivalry game by the road team. After losing eight in a row to the Buckeyes, Michigan's won the last two contests and looks to have punched their ticket to the College Football Playoff. All that stands in their way is Purdue.

For more Michigan coverage, check out Wolverines Wire.

TCU Horned Frogs (12-0)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; The TCU Horned Frogs sing the fight song following a 62-14 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 4

This Week: Beat Iowa State 62-14

A win against Kansas State and the Horned Frogs could avoid a date with the Georgia Bulldogs. Don't let anyone mislead you, this TCU team is good. They've got a great offense and a defense that's peaking at the right time.

USC Trojans (11-1)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 5

This Week: Beat Notre Dame 38-27

A win over Utah in the Pac-12 championship is all that stands between Lincoln Riley, Caleb Williams, and USC getting into the College Football Playoff. Can the former Sooners fare better in this situation than they did a year ago with the Big 12 title game and CFP on the line?

For more on USC, check out Trojans Wire.

Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Bennett Christian (85) and wide receiver Xavier Johnson (10) walks off the field after the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 2

This Week: Lost to Michigan 45-23

Squash the noise about Ohio State deserving to be in the playoff. They lost by 22 to their rivals at home. You're done.

For more on Ohio State, check out Buckeyes Wire.

Alabama Crimson Tide (10-2)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Ja'Corey Brooks (7) recovers an onside kick attempt by the Auburn Tigers and runs it up the sideline as running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) trails at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 49-27. Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 8

This Week: Beat Auburn 49-27

The Crimson Tide scored an emphatic win in the Iron Bowl to finish the season strong and put them in position to take advantage if someone loses on championship weekend.

For more coverage on Alabama, check out Roll Tide Wire.

Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2)

 

Nov 26, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; A detailed view of the Land Grant Trophy as the Penn State Nittany Lion players sing their alma mater following the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan State 35-16. Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 10

This Week: Beat Michigan State 35-16

Where would Penn State rank if they were in any other division than the Big Ten East? Their only two losses this season were to Michigan and Ohio State.

For more Penn State coverage, check out Nittany Lions Wire.

Kansas State Wildcats (9-3)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back DJ Giddens (31) runs away from Kansas Jayhawks defensive end Zion DeBose (35) during the fourth quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 11

This Week: Beat Kansas 47-27

19 years ago, the Kansas State Wildcats played spoiler to the Oklahoma Sooners, who were the undefeated No. 1 team in the nation going into the Big 12 title game. Can they spoil TCU's chance at heading to the College Football Playoff?

Washington Huskies (10-2)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies running back Wayne Taulapapa (21) carries the ball against the Washington State Cougars in the second half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Washington won 51-33. James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 13

This Week: Beat Washington State 51-33

Washington's had a strong season in 2022. They picked up wins over Oregon and Oregon State, but their losses to UCLA and Arizona State hurt would could have been a magical Pac-12 title run.

Tennessee Volunteers (10-2)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Clark Lea and Tennessee Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel meet at mid field after a shutout win by the Volunteers at FirstBank Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 14

This Week: Beat Vanderbilt 56-0

For more on Tennessee, check out Vols Wire.

Tennessee's magical run didn't end in the playoff, but the Volunteers put together a heck of a season in 2022 and will be a team to watch in the years to come.

Utah Utes (9-3)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Utah Utes offensive lineman Paul Maile (54) lines up across from the Colorado Buffaloes in the first quarter at Folsom Field. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 15

This Week: Beat Colorado 63-21

Utah's huge win over Colorado, and Oregon's loss, sets the stage for a rematch between the Utes and USC for the Pac-12 title. Can Utah prevent the Trojans from reaching the title game? There's one fan base that hopes so.

LSU Tigers (9-3)

 

Nov 26, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly checks the replay screen during the second half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 6

This Week: Lost to Texas A&M 38-23

Wow. LSU was looking like a potential playoff team and then went from Tiger to kitty cat in their loss to the floundering Aggies.

Check out LSU Wire for more coverage of the Tigers.

Oregon Ducks (9-3)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning reacts on the sidelines during the second half against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 9

This Week: Beat Oregon State 38-34

Tough loss for Oregon, who had a great season in Dan Lanning's first with the Ducks.

For more on Oregon, check out Ducks Wire.

Clemson Tigers (10-2)

 

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers yells to his team against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Last Week: 7

This Week: Lost to South Carolina 31-30

If you're going to talk, you better have the team to back it up. Dabo Swinney underestimated South Carolina and paid for it. The Tigers were on the verge of playoff contention. Now they'll spend a second straight season watching Georgia contend for the natty.

For more Clemson coverage, check out Clemson Wire.

UCLA Bruins (9-3)

 

November 25, 2022; Berkeley, California, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Carl Jones Jr. (35) celebrates after recovering the football on a fumble by the California Golden Bears during the fourth quarter at California Memorial Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 16

This Week: Beat Cal 35-28

Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a strong performance for the Bruins collecting 277 total yards and three touchdowns in UCLA's win over Cal.

Florida State Seminoles (9-3)

 

Nov 25, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles fans storm the field after defeating the Florida Gators at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 17

This Week: Beat Florida 45-38

Is Florida State back? We'll see. After picking up a win over the Florida Gators, the Seminoles have a shot at their best record since Jimbo Fisher won 10 games in 2015.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne (10) following the loss against the Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 12

This Week: Lost to USC 38-27

You had one job to do.

Just when it looked like Notre Dame was going to erase their slow start to the season and finish with a bang, they weren't able to contain Caleb Williams and the Trojans.

For more coverage of Notre Dame, visit Fighting Irish Wire.

Texas Longhorns (8-4)

 

Nov 25, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker DeMarvion Overshown and linebacker Barryn Sorrell (88) celebrate after a sack during the second half against the Baylor Bears at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 18

This Week: Beat Baylor 38-27

Texas may not be back yet, but their 8-4 finish is a strong indicator that things are heading in the right direction. They'll have to replace DaMarvion Overshown and Bijan Robinson, but there's a lot of talent in Austin.

Check out Longhorns Wire for more coverage of the Texas Longhorns

Tulane Green Wave (10-2)

 

Nov. 25, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats running back Ethan Wright (4) spins out of a tackle on a punt return in the fourth quarter during a college football game, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 21

This Week: Beat Cincinnati 27-24

The Group of Five's top team will take on UCF in the American Athletic Conference for a shot at a New Year's Six bowl.

South Carolina Gamecocks (8-4)

 

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 26: Spencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks gets tackled by Trenton Simpson #22 of the Clemson Tigers in the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Last Week: 23

This Week: Beat Clemson, 31-30

Two emphatic wins by Shane Beamer, Spencer Rattler and the South Carolina Gamecocks to close the season over Tennessee and Clemson to knock both out of playoff contention. Begs the question, where's that been all year?

Oregon State Beavers (9-3)

 

Nov 26, 2022; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith is dosed with water after defeating the Oregon Ducks at Reser Stadium. Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 24

This Week: Beat Oregon 38-34

The Beavers beat Oregon with a strong defensive stand inside the 10-yard line with under four minutes to play.

NC State Wolfpack (8-4)

 

Nov 25, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Ben Finley (10) passes the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels defensive lineman Kaimon Rucker (25) defends in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: NR

This Week: Beat UNC, 30-27

An overtime win against your in-state rivals makes for a great way to end the season. It won't completely erase the losses to Boston College and Louisville, but it's positive vibes heading into bowl season for the Wolfpack.

North Carolina Tar Heels (9-3)

 

Nov 25, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels kicker Noah Burnette (98) misses a field goal in the second overtime as punter Cole Maynard (92) holds and North Carolina State Wolfpack cornerback Shyheim Battle (25) and defensive tackle C.J. Clark (5) linebacker Drake Thomas (32) celebrate at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 20

This Week: Lost to NC State, 30-27

North Carolina has a bright future with Drake May at quarterback, but they'll have to improve on both sides of the ball if they want to take a step toward national title contention.

For more coverage of North Carolina, check out Tar Heels Wire.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

 

Nov 24, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs players celebrate with the Egg Bowl trophy after the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: NR

This Week: Beat Ole Miss 24-22

Mississippi State closed out their season with a win over Ole Miss, who at one point was seen as a top 10 team.

Ole Miss Rebels

 

Nov 24, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin reacts while a play is revewed during the fourth quarter of the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 19

This Week: Lost to Mississippi State 24-22

The coaching carousel rumors, at some point, have to have an impact on teams as they prepare for games. In the lead-up to Ole Miss' Egg Bowl matchup with Mississippi State, all the talk was Lane Kiffin was heading for Auburn. Well, he's staying in Oxford and got a hefty extension to do so.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire

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