NCAA Football Rankings 2019: Predicting Movers in Week 15 After Latest Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 1, 2019

Auburn defensive lineman Nick Coe (91) celebrates after Alabama missed a field goal that would have tied the game in a 48-45 win over Alabama during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

For the second straight week, a pair of Top 10 teams are expected to tumble in the college football rankings. 

By suffering Week 14 losses, Alabama and Minnesota joined Oregon and Penn State in the growing list of programs with their College Football Playoff dreams dashed in November. 

The Crimson Tide could remain in the Top 10 because they were competitive in their Iron Bowl loss to Auburn, but the same can't be said for the Golden Gophers, who fell by 21 points at home to Wisconsin. 

Auburn's victory could push it up a few spots and it could give the top-heavy SEC five teams in the Top 12. 


Biggest Movers in Week 15 Polls


AUBURN, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 30:  Joseph Bulovas #97 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after missing a game-tying field goal in the final minutes of their 48-45 loss to the Auburn Tigers with Mac Jones #10 at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Aub
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Saturday's loss to Auburn confirmed Alabama will miss out on the playoff for the first time since it was installed back in 2014. 

Entering Week 14, Nick Saban's team had a chance to sneak in as the No. 4 seed, but it needed to beat the Tigers in convincing fashion since it had no conference championship appearance. 

Instead, the Crimson Tide have two defeats to SEC West rivals and are bound for a New Year's Six bowl. 

In the 48-45 loss, Mac Jones threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice. 

In fact, Alabama outgained Auburn 515-354, had 11 more minutes of possession and was more efficient on third and fourth downs. 

But its two turnovers were costly, as both of Jones' interceptions were returned for touchdowns, including a 100-yard score from Zakoby McClain in the third quarter. 

The loss should drop Alabama at least three positions since Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor, all of whom are still in playoff contention, won ahead of Championship Week appearances. 

Some voters may be willing to drop the Crimson Tide beneath Penn State, Florida or Wisconsin, but due to the close nature of their loss, the realistic landing spot is the back end of the Top 10. 



MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - NOVEMBER 30: Eric Burrell #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers breaks up a pass intended for Rashod Bateman #13 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the second quarter of the game at TCF Bank Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Minneapolis,
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Minnesota dropped its second straight game to a ranked Big Ten West foe and lost Paul Bunyan's axe after a year of possession in its rivalry with Wisconsin. 

The Golden Gophers struggled to establish their ground attack in adverse conditions, as they totaled 76 rushing yards compared to Wisconsin's 173. 

Tanner Morgan, who was the star of the win over Penn State, was inefficient in the pocket by going 20-for-37 for 296 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. 

Once the loss wears off, those within and outside the program can look back on a massive step forward in P.J. Fleck's third season. 

A year ago, Minnesota beat Wisconsin to become bowl eligible and finished 7-6. This season, it is 10-2 with a chance to earn an 11th win in a bowl game. 

A fall of four or five spots is expected since the Golden Gophers lost by three scores in their home stadium.

Baylor, Penn State, Florida and Wisconsin should jump over them and Auburn could too, depending on how high some pollsters want to position a three-loss team.



Butch Dill/Associated Press

Auburn is not your typical three-loss squad, as its defeats came at the hands of LSU, Georgia and Florida. 

That will be taken into consideration when the ballots are submitted for Sunday's polls and Tuesday's playoff rankings. 

Additionally, the Tigers win over Oregon could generate a boost depending on how many voters value head-to-head results. 

At minimum, Gus Malzahn's team will leap over Michigan, and a larger leap is contingent on how far Minnesota tumbles.

The debate to move the Tigers over Oregon could have an affect on the playoff discussion since the Ducks face Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

If Auburn moves ahead of Oregon, it would make Utah's possible best win over No. 14, instead of No. 12 or No. 13, which may be significant when breaking down the minute details of each team's resume.  

Auburn will not jump high enough to make it into a New Year's Six bowl, but it should finish the season in the Citrus or Outback Bowl depending on how many SEC squads get into the six premier postseason games.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from


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