College Football Playoff 2019: Predicting Final Four Teams Post-Week 13 Rankings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 20, 2019

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert in an NCAA college football game agianst Southern California Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

The final College Football Playoff position appears to be down to the Pac-12 and the SEC. 

Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Utah landed at Nos. 4-7 in Tuesday's rankings release. 

The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide are ahead of the Pac-12 sides, but that could change in the coming weeks. 

Top-ranked LSU could knock off Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, and Alabama could tumble without an appearance in Atlanta. 

Unless the selection committee boosts Oklahoma up from No. 9 in the coming weeks or all sorts of chaos breaks out, one of those four teams from Nos. 4-7 will be headed to the final four. 


Final Four Prediction

Peach Bowl (December 28): No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oregon

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Fiesta Bowl (December 28): No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson 

LSU, Ohio State and Clemson continue to be in a class of their own. 

Thomas Graning/Associated Press

With Baylor and Minnesota losing in Week 12, the top three squads in the playoff rankings are the only undefeated teams remaining in the FBS. 

If all three programs win out, they will be slotted into the top three seeds, with the only debate surrounding LSU's and Ohio State's credentials for the No. 1 seed. 

Ed Orgeron's Tigers have four Top 10 wins and could earn another in Atlanta against SEC East champion Georgia. If that occurs, two-loss Georgia will drop from No. 4 into a New Year's Six bowl. 

Ohio State can match LSU's resume by reeling off three straight wins over Penn State, Michigan and either Minnesota or Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. With Minnesota at No. 10 and Wisconsin checking in at No. 12, the Buckeyes could be in possession of a pair of Top 10 wins in the final three weeks, in addition to beating No. 8 Penn State at home on Saturday. 

However, LSU's best wins over Georgia and Alabama should be enough to put the Tigers ahead of the Buckeyes, which would allow it to pick its semifinal site. 

The only way Clemson moves into the top two spots is if LSU or Ohio State suffers a defeat. Due to the weak ACC, Dabo Swinney's Tigers are at a disadvantage when it comes to resume comparison. 

Clemson has to hope the ACC Coastal champion finds a way to sneak into the CFB playoff rankings between now and the first weekend of December. Virginia Tech appeared at the bottom of the AP Top 25, but it was kept out of Tuesday's list by USC and SMU. 

That would leave one-loss Alabama and a one-loss Pac-12 champion for the No. 4 spot. 

Oklahoma may have a chance to slide into the discussion, but the selection committee did not move it much after it defeated Baylor on Saturday. 

In their best-case scenario, the Sooners would sit at No. 6 with either a second victory over Baylor or a triumph over a three-or-four loss team in the Big 12 Championship Game. 

Oregon is ahead of Utah now because it has a better loss to Auburn at a neutral site from Week 1. The Utes were upset by USC, which showed up at No. 23. 

Both the Ducks and Utes have dominated their Pac-12 schedules, but Oregon owns a slight edge because of its offensive production.

Justin Herbert and Co. has produced at least 34 points in the last five games, and they could be able to get the best of Utah's defense, which has held four of its last five opponents to single digits. Wide receiver Juwan Johnson, a transfer from Penn State, could be the difference-maker in the matchup, as he has 199 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the last two games. 

If Oregon is compared to Alabama, their respective games against Auburn may be brought up. 

However, Auburn is a much different team from Week 1 to Week 14, so that may not be the best factor used to decide the No. 4 seed. 

Even if the Crimson Tide run through the host Tigers in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30, Oregon could leapfrog past them with an additional game to impress the selection committee. 

Twelve straight wins, a conference title and a win over a Top 10 side should be enough to boost the Ducks into the playoff. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from