NCAA Football Rankings 2015: Week 13 College Top 25 Standings Predictions

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2015

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 14: Head coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans leads his team out of the tunnel prior to the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Spartan Stadium  on November 14, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

After a typical crazy late November weekend, voters have some tough decisions to make. 

Only two teams from the Associated Press Top 10 went down on Saturday (Ohio State and Oklahoma State), but a number of other interesting outcomes, such as Florida's close call against Florida Atlantic, are sure to shake things up. 

The following is a projection of how the AP poll will look when it's released on Sunday afternoon, followed by a breakdown of a few notable teams moving up or down in this week's rankings.

Projected NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings
3Notre Dame10-1
6Michigan State10-1
8Ohio State10-1
9Oklahoma State10-1
11North Carolina10-1
14Florida State9-2
20Washington State8-3
21Ole Miss8-3

Notable Teams

No. 6. Michigan State

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 21:  Michael Thomas #3 of the Ohio State Buckeyes goes high to attempt to block a 41-yard field goal attempt by Michael Geiger #4 of the Michigan State Spartans as time expires at Ohio Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Mark Dantonio has put together a strong run at Michigan State, but Saturday's upset of Ohio State may have been the most impressive victory of his career. 

Since Urban Meyer joined the Big Ten, his only two conference losses have come at the hands of Dantonio's Spartans.

With backup quarterback Tyler O'Connor filling in for starter Connor Cook, the Spartans were heavy underdogs but controlled the clock and played stifling defense to knock off the Buckeyes. 

Now Michigan State controls its own destiny to win the Big Ten and likely advance to the College Football Playoff. 

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But first, the Spartans need Cook to get healthy. Without him, the regular-season finale against Penn State is not a guaranteed victory, and even more shake-up could be coming if the Spartans go down.

No. 10. Florida

Nov 21, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain looks on during the second quarter against the Florida Atlantic Owls at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Gators' overtime victory over Florida Atlantic creates an interesting dilemma for voters. 

Teams are rarely dropped in the rankings for an ugly victory unless others jump them with more meaningful wins. But Florida's performance against the 2-9 Owls was so abysmal that it will be tough for many voters to justify leaving the Gators in the Top 10. 

The Gators were ranked No. 8 in the AP poll a week ago but are likely to slide a few spots.

Jim McElwain will say "A win is a win," but it's not. This was bad. Hard to justify this today. #Gators

— Dari Nowkhah (@ESPNDari) November 21, 2015

The College Football Playoff committee will be left with an even more difficult decision in a few weeks should Florida win the SEC Championship Game over Alabama or Ole Miss.

Could a team that nearly lost to Florida Atlantic in late November really be among the four best in the country?

No. 15. TCU

Nov 21, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Bram Kohlhausen (6) throws during the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Clearly, TCU will fall after suffering its second loss of the season. However, the Horned Frogs might not drop too far. 

The loss of quarterback Trevone Boykin was a devastating blow to TCU, and voters may be inclined to forgive the loss to Oklahoma due to the Horned Frogs' ability to keep the game close with their backup quarterback. 

After struggling to put away lowly Kansas without Boykin, the mere fact that TCU had a chance to win in the final moments against the Sooners was an accomplishment. 

No. 17. Oregon

Nov 21, 2015; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (3) points to the sky before the game against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon was ranked No. 23 a week ago as the second-highest three-loss team, behind USC. But after dismantling the Trojans, it's clear that Mark Helfrich's squad is the best of the three-loss crew. 

The question is: How high can a three-loss team climb?

Voters will likely be all over the board with their placement of Oregon. 

On one hand, the Ducks have three losses, which should dictate a spot near the bottom of the Top 25. 

On the other hand, two losses were without Vernon Adams, and all three were to teams ranked in last week's AP poll (Michigan State, Utah, Washington State). And now that Adams is healthy, the Ducks are steamrolling through the Pac-12 and might be the most dangerous team in the conference. 

Vernon Adams today: 6 TD 4 Incompletions He's the 1st QB EVER to throw for 6 TD against USC. pic.twitter.com/fdHvydENEE

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 21, 2015

One could argue Oregon is among the 10 best teams in the country right now, justifying a much higher placement on some voters' ballots. 

The AP's ranking of Oregon could be a potential preview of how the committee views the team later this week, which will be crucial to the Ducks' potential inclusion in one of the New Year's Six bowl games. 


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