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NCAA Football Rankings 2019: Early Predictions for College Polls After Week 15

Jake RillAnalyst IIIDecember 2, 2019

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws against Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

For some college football teams, the 2019 season is over. For others, the most important games are still to come.

This weekend, conference championships will be decided and College Football Playoff berths will be secured by the top teams in the nation. Ohio State, LSU and Clemson will all look to remain undefeated while trying to win their respective conference championship games.

As long as those three teams win, they'll earn three of the four Playoff berths. And for Ohio State and LSU, even losses may not prevent them from reaching the CFP.

Here's a look at the AP and Coaches Polls heading into Week 15, followed by predictions for conference championship weekend.

      

Week 15 College Football Polls

AP Top 25

1. LSU (12-0)

2. Ohio State (12-0)

3. Clemson (12-0)

4. Georgia (11-1)

5. Utah (11-1)

6. Oklahoma (11-1)

7. Florida (10-2)

8. Baylor (11-1)

9. Alabama (10-2)

10. Wisconsin (10-2)

11. Auburn (9-3)

12. Penn State (10-2)

13. Oregon (10-2)

14. Notre Dame (10-2)

15. Minnesota (10-2)

16. Memphis (11-1)

17. Michigan (9-3)

18. Iowa (9-3)

19. Boise State (11-1)

20. Appalachian State (11-1)

21. Cincinnati (10-2)

22. Virginia (9-3)

23. Navy (9-2)

24. USC (8-4)

25. Air Force (10-2)

      

Amway Coaches Poll

1. LSU (12-0)

2. Ohio State (12-0)

3. Clemson (12-0)

4. Georgia (11-1)

5. Utah (11-1)

6. Oklahoma (11-1)

7. Florida (10-2)

8. Baylor (11-1)

9. Alabama (10-2)

10. Wisconsin (10-2)

11. Penn State (10-2)

12. Auburn (9-3)

13. Oregon (10-2)

14. Notre Dame (10-2)

15. Minnesota (10-2)

16. Memphis (11-1)

17. Boise State (11-1)

18. Michigan (9-3)

19. Iowa (9-3)

20. Appalachian State (11-1)

21. Cincinnati (10-2)

22. Virginia (9-3)

23. Navy (9-2)

24. USC (8-4)

25. Air Force (10-2)

       

Predictions for College Football Playoff

Ohio State, LSU and Clemson have all been unbeatable this season. And it's unlikely that's going to change this weekend.

In the Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State will face Wisconsin, which earned its spot in the game with a win over Minnesota this past Saturday. The Buckeyes and Badgers already played earlier this season, a contest that Ohio State won 38-7 at home on Oct. 26.

The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten title each of the previous two seasons, and it's unlikely that that streak will come to an end on Saturday—especially because this may be the best team they've had during that time.

Ohio State leads the Big Ten in points per game (49.9), points allowed per game (11.8), total yards per game (534.3) and total yards allowed per game (232.3). It has cruised through its conference schedule, which includes wins over Penn State and Michigan the past two weekends.

The Buckeyes should roll to another victory over Wisconsin and secure the No. 1 seed in the Playoff.

LSU faces the toughest challenge of the three top undefeated teams in its conference championship game, as it will face Georgia, which is ranked No. 4 in the CFP rankings, for the SEC title on Saturday in Atlanta.

The Bulldogs have lost only one game, a double-overtime home defeat to South Carolina on Oct. 12. Since then, they've rebounded with six straight wins, including quality victories over Florida and Auburn.

But LSU is on a different level from the rest of Georgia's opponents so far. The Tigers have impressed throughout their 12-0 start, notching victories over Alabama, Florida, Auburn and Texas.

Expect LSU to continue its dominant season, locking up the No. 2 Playoff seed with another impressive win.

With Georgia suffering its second loss of the year, it's unlikely to reach the College Football Playoff. If the Bulldogs lose in the SEC Championship Game, they would need some other teams (such as Clemson, Utah and/or Oklahoma) to also lose this weekend to potentially make it as a two-loss team.

Clemson should have the most dominant conference championship victory. The Tigers are set to face Virginia for the first time this season in the ACC Championship Game.

Much like the majority of its schedule, Clemson will be heavily favored. It should have no trouble winning the ACC title and reaching the Playoff for the fifth straight season.

As for the fourth spot in the CFP, Utah and Oklahoma are the most likely teams to earn the berth. The Utes are set to play Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game, while the Sooners are facing Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.

So, which of the two will earn that last spot? Oklahoma will earn the more impressive victory, to go along with its already more impressive schedule, and make the Playoff for the third straight season.