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AP College Football Poll 2019: Week 15 Top 25 Rankings Announced

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2019

AUBURN, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 30:  Bo Nix #10 of the Auburn Tigers reacts after their 48-45 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide with Arryn Siposs #90 at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Bring on the conference championships.   

With Week 14 complete, all that's left to do to decide the four teams that will end up in the College Football Playoff is play the conference championship games. There were a number of fascinating results ahead of them, however, that impacted the Week 15 Associated Press rankings.

Below, we'll take a look at the updated rankings and the results that triggered the changes in the AP Poll. 

                    

Rankings

1. LSU

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Georgia

5. Utah

6. Oklahoma

7. Florida

8. Baylor

9. Alabama 

10. Wisconsin 

11. Auburn

12. Penn State

13. Oregon

14. Notre Dame

15. Minnesota

16. Memphis

17. Michigan 

18. Iowa

19. Boise State

20. Appalachian State

21. Cincinnati 

22. Virginia

23. Navy

24. USC

25. Air Force

                  

Analysis

The dream is dead for Alabama. For the first time in College Football Playoff history, the Crimson Tide won't be among the final four. 

Auburn handed Alabama a 48-45 loss in another classic edition of the Iron Bowl, though Alabama will be left to lament what might have been after Joseph Bulovas missed what would have been the game-tying field goal with two minutes left and the Crimson Tide were called for an illegal substitution on fourth down of the ensuing possession, giving Auburn a first down that allowed it to run out the clock.

Auburn was also aided by two pick-sixes in the victory. It's been rare that the Crimson Tide have beaten themselves during Nick Saban's reign. On Saturday, they certainly didn't aid their own cause with crucial mistakes. 

"The disappointing thing to me was the idea that we came here to play with a lot of discipline, not get a lot of penalties, do a great job of executing and doing our job on a consistent basis," Saban said after the loss, per Alex Scarborough of ESPN. "... I don't think we did that great. We got way too many penalties, put ourselves in a lot of bad situations."

And out of the playoff.

Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny

#Alabama did too many things wrong yesterday to blame the officials for losing.

Barrett Sallee @BarrettSallee

This is the first time since 2008 that a team from the state of Alabama won't be in the meaningful college football postseason.

The issue for Alabama is that even if Ohio State, LSU and Clemson lose in the conference title games, there's a strong chance none would fall out of the playoff picture, given that they each would have just one loss. Ohio State staked its claim as a playoff team with an impressive 56-27 win over archrival Michigan.

It was Ohio State's eighth straight win over the Wolverines.

"It feels great just to continue the legacy of this great Ohio State tradition," superstar defensive end Chase Young told reporters. "We're just going to try to keep it moving and keep it rolling next week."

LSU smashed Texas A&M 50-7, while Clemson hammered South Carolina 38-3. 

But there are plenty of one-loss teams that are ahead of Alabama in the pecking order as well. Georgia has just one loss after Saturday's 52-7 win over Georgia Tech. Ditto for Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor, which all won this week. 

Heading into conference championship week, it's fair to assume that three of the playoff berths are secure. Maybe Clemson would drop out of contention with a loss given its weaker schedule, but don't bet on the Tigers losing to Virginia. 

Mike Francesa @MikeFrancesa

Ohio State, LSU and Clemson (yes Clemson) should all be playoff locks win or lose. They are clearly three best teams in the country.

And if Georgia beats LSU, it's likely that the current top four in the rankings will slide into the playoff. But if LSU beats Georgia, things get more interesting. 

In that scenario, the committee will have to decide between Utah (assuming it wins the Pac-12 title) and the Big 12 champion (either Oklahoma or Baylor). To this point, Utah has remained ranked ahead of both teams. It will be fascinating to see if that holds. 

Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny

If Georgia beats LSU the four teams in the playoff are set. If they don’t, my gut says they put in the winner of the Big 12 game over Utah. Not saying it’s the right thing to do, but that’s what I think will happen.

Clay Travis @ClayTravis

College football playoff picture is pretty simple: LSU & Ohio State are in regardless of what happens in title games. Clemson is in with ACC title game win. (May be in regardless.) Georgia is in with SEC title game win. Otherwise Utah, OU, & Baylor battle for fourth spot.

And there are some doozies to watch next week. Buckle up for Utah vs. Oregon, Baylor vs. Oklahoma, Cincinnati vs. Memphis, Georgia vs. LSU, Virginia vs. Clemson and Ohio State vs. Wisconsin. It's gonna be fun.