Tomorrow's Top 25 Today: Auburn, Utah will make key moves in college football rankings
Predicting the new AP Top 25 college football rankings after Week 14 of the 2019 season
The top four teams in the country all won in Week 14, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any notable shakeups to keep an eye on when the new college football rankings are released on Sunday. For starters, the AP Top 25 will have a choice as to whether they will follow the College Football Playoff Selection Committee in naming Ohio State the No. 1 team in the country.
The Buckeyes were impressive and dominant in their win against Michigan, but it did not come paired with a loss or setback for LSU, the team that received 50 of the 62 first-place votes in last week's polling. The Tigers beat Texas A&M by 43 and will likely keep that No. 1 spot as No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Georgia followed suit with impressive and as expected wins against their Rivalry Week opponents.
One of the biggest questions for the AP voters and those who handle college football rankings will be how to deal with Alabama after its loss to Auburn. The one thing we know for sure is the Tide's loss has opened the door for Utah, which should enter the Pac-12 Championship Game with an expectation that it's got a good shot to make the College Football Playoff should it win against Oregon.
Further down in the rankings, we see some shake-ups in the 20s and a handful of Big Ten teams twisting up the spots outside the top 10. Here's how we expect it all to look on Sunday.
1. LSU (Last Week -- 1): I don't think we'll see the AP voters follow the committee's lead, especially after LSU's dominant 50-7 win against Texas A&M. The Tigers are 12-0 with some of the best wins in the country on its profile, so they'll keep the top spot in the media's rankings.
2. Ohio State (2): Michigan was playing its best football of the year, and the Buckeyes still overwhelmed the Wolverines in all three phases of the game in a win that may draw a few more first-place votes.
3. Clemson (3): Discussing this year's Tigers team almost always starts with Trevor Lawrence, but Saturday was yet another reminder of Travis Etienne rare status among Clemson's all-time greats. The reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year broke James Conner's career ACC records for rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns in a 35-point win against South Carolina.
4. Georgia (4): Voters won't react to the negative storylines and how the Bulldogs will be impacted by injuries and ejections. They'll instead focus on the 45-point win and keep the SEC East champs at No. 4.
5. Utah (6): The Utes are one of the most complete teams in the country. The last 9-10 weeks of evidence should let anyone know that this is not only a conference championship contender but a national championship contender. That challenge now is to prove it on the Pac-12's biggest stage against an Oregon team that occupied that playoff-contending seat just a few weeks ago.
6. Oklahoma (7): Mike Gundy diagnosed Oklahoma's offense well heading into the game and then had to watch as that same dominant ground attack wore down the Cowboys and closed out a 13th win in the last 15 meetings between the Bedlam rivals. The way that Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma running backs wear down opponents over the course of the game makes it elite in the fourth quarter, holding full control of the game once it can take the lead.
7. Florida (8): Saturday night marked Florida's first win against Florida State in The Swamp since 2009 and the first back-to-back 10-win seasons since 2008-09. The offense was humming in a way it hasn't since that same Urban Meyer era, so it's understandable why Florida fans are going to come into next season with 2008-09 type expectations for Dan Mullen. The Gators have to this point been ranked far higher in the AP Top 25 than the CFP Rankings.
8. Alabama (5): According to SEC Network, the Tide have missed 101 field goals in the Nick Saban era, more than any other program in the span. For all the hand-wringing about Alabama's penalties, Mac Jones' two pick-sixes and the way Auburn won, this was still a game that could have easily broken the other way with a few different bounces. Alabama is a 10-2 team with two losses to quality teams and showed that it can score against elite defenses even without Tua Tagovailoa.
9. Baylor (11): Matt Rhule has to like the state of his team heading into the rematch with Oklahoma after a 61-6 win against Kansas in the regular-season finale.
10. Auburn (16): We're going to guess that the Tigers' three losses take a back seat to the instant impact of Saturday's win against Alabama and we see Auburn land ahead of the handful of Big Ten teams knocking on the door of the top 10.
11. Wisconsin (13): The Badgers needed Jack Coan to play well in order to secure a return to the Big Ten Championship Game, and he stepped up to the challenge in a snowstorm on the road at Minnesota. The conditions suggested a heavy dose of Jonathan Taylor might be enough, but Coan's key throws put the Badgers in control of the de facto Big Ten West title game.
12. Minnesota (9): A slight step back after the loss is cushioned by a head-to-head win against Penn State. P.J. Fleck won't be rowing his boat to Indianapolis, but the Golden Gophers can hang on in the top 15 after taking on some water on Saturday.
13. Penn State (12): It's awfully tough to get up for a regular-season finale against Rutgers, but I think voters will see something left to be desired from the 27-6 win against the Scarlet Knights.
14. Oregon (14): The Ducks defense led the way in 24-10 win against Oregon State. That marks three straight wins for Oregon in the Civil War series, and now the Ducks turn their attention to claiming the Pac-12 Championship Game next weekend against Utah.
15. Michigan (10): Falling five spots after losing to arguably the best team in the country is probably an overreaction, but the tangled web of head-to-head results among the other ranked teams in the Big Ten make it possible for the Wolverines to end up outside the top dozen.
16. Notre Dame (15): A slow start against Stanford provided some reason for concern early in Notre Dame's regular-season finale, but Ian Book's four touchdowns helped course correct the Irish in a win that secured Brian Kelly's third straight 10-win season.
17. Memphis (17): The Tigers beat Cincinnati, and now it's time to repeat the feat after pulling out nearly all of the stops on Friday in the Liberty Bowl. Memphis is still in the driver's seat for the New Year's Six for now, but it needs this last win to have the championship needed for eligibility.
18. Iowa (19): After dominating early, Iowa allowed Nebraska to climb back into the game and nearly suffered what would have been an incredibly disappointing loss to its corn-forward rival. The Hawkeyes closed it out in extra time, and their 9-3 profile is good enough to hang tight inside the top 20.
19. Boise State (20): Colorado State made things very interesting, but the Broncos held on to their spot in the race for a New Year's Six bowl with the narrow win on Friday. Boise State needs Cincinnati to beat Memphis, at a minimum, but the Broncos are close to the Cotton Bowl.
20. Appalachian State (22): Friday night's 48-13 win against Troy has the Mountaineers once again hosting Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship Game next Saturday.
21. Navy (24): A wild high-scoring affair with Houston has Navy at 9-2, outside of the AAC title game but in a prime position to get revenge against Army when the two rivals collide in two weeks.
22. USC (25): The Trojans wrapped up their regular season last week with a win against UCLA. That 52-35 victory pushed USC over the edge and into the top 25, so I expect the shakeup at the back of the poll leaves them in the mix even during an idle week.
23. Virginia (NR): Not only have all seven ACC Coastal teams won the divisional crown in the last seven years, but five of those have been by first-timers. Virginia joined that group with its win against Virginia Tech, closing out a 9-3 record that will take from No. 27 into the top 25.
24. Cincinnati (18): There's an absence of attractive options on the edge of the top 25 when voters consider whether to keep 10-2 Cincinnati in the mix after its loss to Memphis. Iowa State and Texas A&M were the next teams up besides Virginia, so after their losses on Saturday, I think the Bearcats will remain ranked heading into next weekend's rematch in the AAC Championship Game.
25. Oklahoma State (21): Will the Cowboys get bounced after losing by 18 to a top-10 team that was favored by 14? We've already got one four-loss team in the top 25 (USC), so I think the voters might not have one strong consensus pick to replace the Cowboys in the AP Top 25.
Projected to drop out: Virginia Tech (23)
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Enter our free Pick'em Challenge & compete to win $5,000.
Hafley is finishing his first season at Ohio State after spending the prior seven years in...
The 120th Army-Navy Game will air live on CBS to conclude the regular season on Saturday, Dec....
The 120th Army-Navy Game concludes the 2019 regular season live this Saturday on CBS
Emory Hunt has his finger on the pulse of college football and just locked in his bowl confidence...
Odom spent the past four seasons as the head coach of the Tigers
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's Navy vs. Army game 10,000 times.
Ohio State made a strong case to be the top team in the final CFP Rankings with its comeback...
No. 3 Clemson took care of business against Virginia, and now its campaign for a higher ranking...
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Boise State vs. Hawaii football game