And just like that, November and the regular season are gone. Now it’s on to the conference championship games and the quest for those four precious spots in the college football playoff. Oklahoma had won six straight Big XII titles, Clemson six straight ACC crowns and Ohio State four successive Big Ten championships, all three were preseason top five teams, and none will be in their conference title games.
1. Georgia – The Bulldogs were impressive at Tech, improving to 12-0 with a dominating performance against the Yellow Jackets. Now it’s Alabama and the SEC Championship Game with the conference crown and top seed in the playoffs on the line.
2. Alabama – It was an Iron Bowl for the ages, as the Crimson Tide topped Auburn 24-22 in quadruple overtime at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Now it’s Georgia and the SEC Championship Game with the conference crown and top seed in the playoffs on the line.
3. Cincinnati – The Bearcats were very good once again and never in jeopardy of the upset at East Carolina. Now comes a very tough test against the Houston Cougars. Cincy plays excellent defense and gets outstanding quarterback play.
4. Michigan – In what goes down as the Wolverines biggest win since defeating Washington State in the Rose Bowl to clinch a share of the 1997 national title, Michigan finally beat Ohio State. Now, can the Wolverines handle Iowa and make it to the playoff?
5. Oklahoma State – It was one of the biggest wins in program history, as the Cowboys took down the old nemesis Oklahoma in a 37-33 thriller. Now it’s Baylor for the Big XII title and a possible playoff berth.
6. Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish now play the waiting game. Notre Dame took care of Stanford to go 11-1. Here’s where they have the advantage, or they may argue disadvantage, of not having a conference championship game.
7. Ole MIss – Lane Kiffin led the Rebels to a 10-2 regular season, the best they’ve had in a long, long time. There will likely be a berth in one of the major bowls coming now. The Egg Bowl, as always, was tremendous, and certainly sweet for Ole Miss to beat MSU.
8. Oregon – The Ducks had an impressive bounce back victory in the Civil War over old rival Oregon State. Oregon is now 10-2 and gets Utah in the PAC-12 Championship Game. Utah dominated the Ducks the week prior.
9. Ohio State – For just the third time in the last 20 years, the Buckeyes lost to Michigan. It was a snowy day in Ann Arbor, and Ohio State had its playoff hopes dashed. Next up is a major bowl berth. The Buckeyes will be the heavy favorites in the Big Ten next year.
10. Baylor – The Bears won a 27-24 thriller over Texas Tech to make it 10-2 on the season. That two point loss to TCU is haunting or they would be in the playoff picture. But Baylor can score, and they’ll battle Oklahoma State for the Big XII title.
11. Oklahoma – The Sooners lost a heartbreaker to Oklahoma State 37-33 and it eliminated them for the Big XII title game and playoff contention. Oklahoma will be the favorite again next season in the Big XII.
12. Michigan State – It was a snowy bounce back win for the Spartans, who beat Penn State 30-27. After that blowout loss to the Buckeyes, Sparty needed it badly. Now Mel Tucker’s team will be headed for a very good bowl game.
13. Iowa – It was an incredible couple of days for the Hawkeyes, who had a tremendous comeback to beat Nebraska 28-21 on Friday and then earned a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game after Wisconsin lost to Minnesota.
14. Pitt – The Panthers are 10-2 on the year and will play Wake Forest for the ACC Championship. Just as everyone predicted 😉 Pitt has lost by three to Western Michigan and by four to Miami.
15. Wake Forest – This has been an amazing season for the Demon Deacons, who are one of the game’s biggest surprises. Wake is bound for the ACC Championship Game with a 10-2 record. The Deacs smoked Boston College 41-10 at Chestnut Hill to earn the bid.