clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

College Football Playoff Rankings Released

Looking at who is where, why and what lies ahead.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The countdown to the second College Football Playoff officially kicked off last night with the release of the initial CFP rankings of 2015. As expected by those with a basic understanding of how scheduling and wins work, both Iowa and Iowa State were left out of the top four spots. Somewhat shockingly, however, TCU and Baylor, both undefeated with better resumes, were left out of the top five; the committee chose one loss Alabama and Notre Dame for their fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

For a full list of the rankings, click here.

There are still five more weekends of college football left to be played before the final and binding rankings are released on December 6th, and much will change between now and then.




Best Win

Toughest Game(s) Remaining


Clemson Tigers


#5 Notre Dame 24-22

#16 FSU 11/7 - ACC Champ*


LSU Tigers


#10 Florida 35-28

@ #4 Bama 11/7 - SEC Champ*


Ohio State Buckeyes


@ Indiana (seriously)

#7 MSU 11/21 - B1G Champ*


Alabama Crimson Tide


@ #19 Texas A&M 41-23

#2 LSU 11/7 - SEC Champ*


Notre Dame Fighting Irish


@ #22 Temple 24-20

@ #11 Stanford 11/28


Baylor Bears


Texas Tech 63-35

#15 OU, #14 OSU, #8 TCU


Michigan State Spartans


@ #17 Michigan 27-23

@ #3 OSU 11/21 - B1G Champ*


TCU Horned Frogs


@ Texas Tech 55-52

#14 OSU, #15 OU, #6 Baylor


Iowa Hawkeyes


@ Iowa State 31-17

Nobody/ B1G Champ*


Florida Gators


#18 Ole Miss 38-10

#16 Florida State 11/28

* Assuming they make the conference championship game

What this means for:

Big 12

The big boys in the Big 12 scheduled their big games for November, ensuring the CFB committee would remember their names come December 6th. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor have one loss between them (really, Oklahoma?) and all face each other this month in a winner take all round robin.

A one loss team could and should make the playoff from this conference, considering the month ahead of us. Oklahoma's loss in the Cotton Bowl will be a distant memory with wins over TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma State.

A loss to either Oklahoma, Baylor or Okie State wouldn't be that embarrassing to a TCU squad that has the nation's most exciting quarterback.

Baylor losing one game using a backup quarterback shouldn't dissuade any voter either, in my opinion.

And, Oklahoma State, assuming they don't stumble in Ames again, has been impressive in their resiliency if not their victories. Losing to the likes of the Sooners, Horned Frogs or Bears (oh, my) should not exclude the Pokes from the playoffs.

Of that group, Oklahoma and TCU have the best opportunity to make it in, assuming chaos doesn't ensue.


Seemingly every team in the SEC has been ranked at one point this season, continuing the national narrative that this is the best and deepest conference in the nation. Derp.

This has allowed Alabama to leapfrog unbeaten teams - such as Michigan State, Baylor and TCU - into the top four, even with that loss to Ole Miss on its resume. Thankfully, it will be next to impossible for the SEC to keep two teams in the top four as #2 LSU meets #4 Bama this weekend in Tuscaloosa. Of course it'll be interesting to see how far a one loss LSU team drops should they lose.

God, I hate the SEC and their shills.


Like the Big 12, the B1G's heavy hitters haven't really played anyone to date, due to a conference bloated with sub-standard football teams and crafty schedulers. Michigan State survived a visit to Ann Arbor in October on a gift from the special team gods, but otherwise their resume is less than impressive thanks in part to a struggling Oregon team.

Ohio State's record is almost as laughable as Iowa's when one views how they got there. But, the Buckeyes still have Michigan State, Michigan and whichever team is fortunate enough to survive the gauntlet that is the B1G West ahead of them, and there is no way the committee leaves out an undefeated team defending its national title - just ask Florida State.

Any one loss team from this conference would have a difficult time making its case for a spot in the playoffs.


Clemson has one more hurdle in front of them on their journey to the playoffs, Florida State, which they face this weekend in Death Valley. Unless Clemson beats Clemson, their spot is secure.

Pac 12

Stanford and Utah are the West Coast's only hope of making an appearance in the postseason bracket. Stanford plays #5 Notre Dame on November 28th and should have a spot reserved for them in the Pac 12 Championship game on December 5th. Barring any upset, they should face the team ranked just below them, Utah, who still has to travel to Washington and Arizona before a November 21st showdown with #23 UCLA. It is plausible that either of these teams could get into the top 4 if they win out.