CFB Playoff Ranking Prediction

The College Football Playoff rankings come out Tuesday night. Here are my predictions for what they will look like.


Last week the CFB Playoff rankings had the following teams ranked 1 through 10.

  • 1) Mississippi State
  • 2) Oregon
  • 3) Florida State
  • 4) TCU
  • 5) Alabama
  • 6) Arizona State
  • 7) Baylor
  • 8) Ohio State
  • 9) Auburn
  • 10) Ole Miss
  • Here is how each team did this past weekend.

    Mississippi State lost to the CFB Playoff No. 5 team, Alabama, in a close game on the road 25-20.

    Oregon had the week off.

    Florida State won a close game to unranked Miami 30-26 on the road.

    TCU also won a close game 34-30 on the road against an unranked Kansas team.

    Alabama, at home, defeated No. 1 ranked Mississippi State 25-20.

    Arizona State lost on the road 35-27 to unranked Oregon State.

    Baylor had a bye week.

    Ohio State defeated the 25th ranked Minnesota 31-24 on the road.

    Auburn was defeated on the road 34-7 by No. 15th Georgia.

    Ole Miss had a bye week.

    So, what happens with the CFB Playoff rankings after this past weekend's results?

    Who is now No. 1?

    My guess for No. 1 is Oregon. They had an off week and were already No. 2. And FSU, ranked No. 3, did nothing to show that they deserved to jump Oregon, barely winning on the road against an unranked team.

    Who comes in 2nd, Florida State, TCU or Alabama?

    This is a close one but I believe that FSU will stay ahead of Bama. Alabama probably deserves it more due to beating the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs but FSU is still undefeated. And Bama won their game at home where they play outstanding football while FSU won on the road.

    Alabama comes in third by the slimmest of margins.

    Now, the all-important 4th spot in the CFB Playoff rankings. I see four teams competing for this spot - Baylor, Mississippi State, Ohio State and TCU.

    TCU was already 4th coming into the weekend and won their game, although it was only 34-30 against a bad Kansas team. But it was on the road. But in this case Kansas is not a good team even at home, losing to unranked Texas 23-0, unranked Oklahoma State 27-20 while winning games against Southeast Missouri State (34-28), Central Michigan (24-10) and Iowa State (34-14).

    Baylor was 7th and didn't play.

    Ohio State, 8th, went on the road and defeated 25th ranked Minnesota 31-24. Minnesota was 6-0 at home prior to their loss to Ohio State. The week before Ohio State defeated the then No. 8 ranked Michigan State and jumped 6 spots in the CFB Playoff rankings.

    Mississippi State obviously lost to No. 5 ranked Alabama on the road, 25-20.

    First off, I don't see Mississippi State dropping too many spots, definitely not all the way to 7th, which is 6 spots down from where they already were.

    As examples of teams that have dropped that many spots in the CFB Playoff rankings are Kansas State (6 spots), Auburn (6 spots), Ole Miss (7 spots) and Notre Dame (8 spots), all of whom lost by bigger margins or to teams unranked or much lower ranked in the rankings.

    Kansas State dropped from 7th to 13th after losing by 21 points on the road to then 6th ranked TCU. This was KSU's 2nd loss of the season.

    Auburn dropped from 3rd to 9th after losing by 3 to unranked Texas A&M at home. This was also Auburn's 2nd loss.

    Ole Miss dropped from 4th to 11th after losing 10-7 to then 19th ranked LSU on the road.

    Notre Dame dropped from 10th to 18th after losing by 24 to then 9th ranked Arizona State on the road. Like with Kansas State and Auburn, this was Notre Dame's second loss of the season.

    Mississippi State lost to then No. 5 ranked Alabama by 5 on the road. The game closest to this is the Kansas State-TCU game but MSU only lost by 5 to the 5th ranked team whereas Kansas State lost by 21 to the 6th ranked team. Both games were on the road. So, let's say you split the difference and MSU moves down 3 spots, which means they would move from 1st down to 4th.

    But that would mean TCU has to move from 4th down to 5th. Will the committee do that? The committee actually moved TCU up from 6th to 4th after they only won by 1 point at West Virginia, a team ranked 23rd at the time. But there is a difference between winning a close road game to a team ranked among the top-25 and one that was unranked.

    This one is a very, very, very close call and could go either way but my guess is the committee will put Mississippi State in the 4th spot by the very slimmest of margins.

    As for 6th and 7th, since last week's No. 6th ranked team Arizona State lost to unranked Oregon State on the road by 8, I believe Ohio State jumps to the 6th spot due to their win over Minnesota and Baylor remains in the 7th spot.

    The remainder of the top-10 are Ole Miss (8th), UCLA (9th) and Arizona State (10th).

    Here is what my predicted standings will look like Tuesday night.

  • 1) Oregon
  • 2) Florida State
  • 3) Alabama
  • 4) Mississippi State
  • 5) TCU
  • 6) Ohio State
  • 7) Baylor
  • 8) Ole Miss
  • 9) UCLA
  • 10) Arizona State

  • Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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