The regular season has come to an end. Labor Day to Halloween to Thanksgiving … poof. There are three undefeated teams whose playoff hopes should already be assured. If Southern Cal wins the PAC-12 Championship Game, the Trojans are in. What a season. There’s nothing like college football.
1. Georgia – The Bulldogs were tight with the Yellow Jackets in the first half, then pulled away for a 37-14 victory to make it 12-0. The reigning national champions will now battle LSU for the Southeastern Conference championship and playoff berth.
2. Michigan – For a second straight season, the Wolverines beat Ohio State, and they are rocking in Ann Arbor after the 45-23 win. That likely locked up a playoff berth for the Wolverines, who will be heavily favored in the Big Ten Championship Game.
3. TCU – There was no upset opportunity for Iowa State, as the Horned Frogs came out and put up tremendous numbers in a 62-14 blowout of the Cyclones. Now it’s on to the Big XII Championship Game, as TCU plays Kansas State with a playoff berth dangling.
4. Southern Cal – The Trojans are one of the hottest teams in the country. USC took care of Notre Dame 38-27, and now it’s on to the PAC-12 Championship Game. The national championship game is in LA. If the Trojans win, they’re in the CFP.
5. Ohio State – The Buckeyes were humbled by Michigan 45-23 Columbus, and now Ohio State plays the waiting and hoping game. In the 2000s and 2010s, Ohio State completely dominated the series, but now Michigan has won two in a row.
6. Tennessee – The Volunteers came back from a humbling loss at South Carolina to blow away Vanderbilt. This is the best season that Tennessee has had since 2001, and even though the Vols aren’t heading for Atlanta, they are 10-2 and major bowl bound.
7. Alabama – The Crimson Tide bested Auburn in the Iron Bowl 49-27 to finish the regular season 10-2. Bryce Young is just fantastic. Now Alabama waits to see what major bowl game is on the docket. Nick Saban’s record in Tuscaloosa is incredible.
8. Penn State – The Nittany Lions only two losses this season have been to Michigan and Ohio State. Penn State took care of Michigan State to put the finishing touches on a 10-2 regular season. The Lions will be heading for one of the big bowls.
9. Washington – The Huskies came storming back in the second half and rolled past Washington State 51-33. It was 28-27 at the half, then Washington took control. The Huskies are 10-2 and on the way to a big bowl game.
10. Clemson – The Tigers suffered an all-time heartbreaking loss to South Carolina, falling to the Gamecocks in a 31-30 thriller in Death Valley. With the playoff hopes sent a crushing blow, all the focus now is on the ACC Championship Game.
11. Florida State – The Seminoles pulled out a thrilling 45-38 victory over Florida in Tallahassee to close out the regular season at 9-3. Bookending the campaign with wins over LSU and the Gators is a good accomplishment for Florida State.
12. LSU – The Fighting Tigers have had four and five game winning streaks this season. LSU suffered a disappointing loss at Texas A&M and now heads to Atlanta to face the Bulldogs. Their playoff hopes have been dashed, but LSU can win the SEC title.
13. Kansas State – The Wildcats are heading to the Big XII Championship Game for a battle with TCU. K-State took down Kansas 47-27 this past week. Their losses this season are Tulane, TCU and Texas. No shame there.
14. Utah – The Running Utes of Kyle Whittingham took no sympathy with struggling Colorado, rolling past the Buffaloes 63-21. When the Utes came into the PAC-12, there was skepticism, but they have responded by constantly staging in the mix.
15. Tulane – The Green Wave – with one of the coolest logos in sports – edged Cincinnati 27-24 to improve to 10-2. It was a fantastic game and a win for Tulane. Now it’s on to the American Championship. This is one of Tulane’s best seasons in the past 50 years.