#25 SMU (9-1, LW: 25)
SMU needs some help, namely a Memphis loss, to win the AAC West, but if they can do that and beat Cincinnati in the conference title game, they should have a good shot at a New Year’s Six bowl.
#24 Navy (7-1, LW: 24)
An off week allows Navy to stay pat, but they have a chance for a resume boosing win against Notre Dame this week.
#23 Kansas State (6-3, LW: 16)
The Oklahoma win is nice, and all three losses will have come to higher-ranked teams. The Wildcats should stay ranked even after losing to Texas.
#22 Oklahoma State (6-3, LW: 23)
The Kansas State win doesn’t look as great now, but the Cowboys will slide up a spot this week.
#21 Texas (6-3, LW: NR)
The win over Kansas State will push the Longhorns back into the top 25 as Wake Forest drops out following their loss to Virginia Tech.
#20 Iowa (6-3, LW: 18)
Iowa dropped a game on the road to a higher ranked team by two, the committee shouldn’t punish them too much for that.
#19 Boise State (8-1, LW: 22)
Boise hasn’t looked great in recent weeks, and they’ll probably need a lot of help to get into a New Year’s Six bowl over the AAC champ.
#18 Memphis (8-1, LW: 21)
Memphis is the only team to have beaten either Navy or SMU, and still control their own destiny to the New Year’s Six.
#17 Cincinnati (8-1, LW: 20)
Cincinnati will move up thanks to some losses ahead of them, and will remain the leader of the Group of Five.
#16 Notre Dame (7-2, LW: 15)
A 10-2 finish would probably put Notre Dame right on the bubble of a New Year’s Six game, they have to win out before they get their hopes too far up, though.
#15 Michigan (7-2, LW: 14)
I happen to believe that Michigan may be the best two-loss team in the country. With Michigan State, Indiana, and Ohio State still on the schedule, the Wolverines control their own destiny to a New Year’s Six bowl.
#14 Wisconsin (7-2, LW: 13)
The Badgers picked up a nice win over Iowa last week, but they’ll still need to win out and for Minnesota to lose once more to make the Rose Bowl.
#13 Auburn (7-2, LW: 11)
Auburn’s playoff hopes are gone, but with games against Georgia and Alabama still on the docket, the Tigers could end the year in the top six.
#12 Florida (8-2, LW: 10)
Florida will remain the highest ranked team with no real path to the playoff, but the Gators should still contend for a New Year’s Six Bowl.
#11 Baylor (9-0, LW: 12)
Baylor remained unbeaten after a scare against a good TCU team, but the Bears still won’t crack the top ten. Beat Oklahoma this week, though, and they will assuredly do so.
#10 Oklahoma (8-1, LW: 9)
The near-loss to Iowa State will see the Sooners drop a spot, but a win against Baylor this week will put them right back into the mix
#9 Penn State (8-1, LW: 4)
Penn State lost to an undefeated team on the road, they shouldn’t slide too much. The Nittany Lions still control their own destiny to the College Football Playoff.
#8 Utah (8-1, LW: 8)
The Utes were off, they’ll stay in eighth.
#7 Oregon (8-1, LW: 7)
Oregon didn’t play this week, they’ll stay in seventh.
#6 Minnesota (9-0, LW: 17)
After being the lowest-ranked unbeaten Power Five team in College Football Playoff history, the Gophers should skyrocket up the rankings after beating then-#4 Penn State. The resume is probably top four, but controlling their own destiny, I think Minnesota fans will settle for sixth.
#5 Georgia (8-1, LW: 6)
Georgia’s one loss, South Carolina, continues to collapse, but the Bulldogs themselves keep winning, and with a resume including wins over Notre Dame and Florida, the Dawgs will move into the top five,
#4 Alabama (8-1, LW: 3)
This team just went to the wire with the best team in the country, so I don’t think the committee drops the Crimson Tide too much. ‘Bama hasn’t really beaten anyone, but similar to Clemson, I think the eye test is enough to keep the Crimson Tide in the top four.
#3 Clemson (10-0, LW: 5)
Clemson continues to beat up on poor ACC teams. Their resume probably isn’t at the level of a Minnesota or even a Baylor, but I think the committee uses the eye test to justify moving the Tigers up to #3.
#2 Ohio Sate (9-0, LW: 1)
Is it dumb to drop a team after winning a game 73-14? Maybe! But LSU just beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, so Ohio State ends up on the other end of the Tigers’ rise to #1.
#1 LSU (9-0, LW: 2)
LSU has wins over three top 15 teams in Florida, Auburn, and now, #3 Alabama on the road. This team deserves to be #1, and they’ll control their own destiny to the #1 overall seed in the College Football Playoff come year end.