NCAA Football Rankings 2019: Predictions Based on Week 15 Results

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 07: The LSU Tigers celebrate with the trophy after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 to win the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With championship week in the books, the moment the college football world has been waiting the entire season for is almost here: the unveiling of the College Football Playoff field.

The majority of the field has seemingly been set for weeks now, as Clemson, LSU and Ohio State have each run the table. The only questions surrounding those teams' inclusion have been the order. There has, however, been no shortage of intrigue regarding the fourth and final spot, with Baylor, Georgia, Oklahoma and Utah each entering the weekend looking to make their case.

Below is how the rankings should look following the latest action.


Top 25

1. LSU (13-0)

2. Ohio State (13-0)

3. Clemson (13-0)

4. Oklahoma (12-1)

5. Georgia (11-2)

6. Oregon (11-2)

7. Wisconsin (10-3)

8. Baylor (11-2)

9. Florida (10-2)

10. Penn State (10-2) 

11. Auburn (9-3)

12. Alabama (10-2) 

13. Utah (11-2)

14. Michigan (9-3)

15. Notre Dame (10-2)

16. Memphis (12-1)

17. Iowa (9-3)

18. Minnesota (10-2)

19. Boise State (12-1)

20. Cincinnati (10-3)

21. Appalachian State (12-1)

22. USC (8-4)

23. Navy (9-2)

24. Virginia (9-4)

25. Oklahoma State (8-4)


The battle for the No. 1 spot went down to the wire, as both LSU and Ohio State took turns boosting their respective resumes down the stretch. In the end, though, the Tigers appear to have the edge.

After a relative cakewalk through the first half of the season, Ohio State has piled up four victories against Top 15 foes in its past six games. Head coach Ryan Day's squad has taken down the likes of Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin (twice).

The Buckeyes—led by Heisman Trophy candidates Chase Young, Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins—haven't just won games. They've dominated games. They trailed in only two games and played from behind for a total of nine minutes and 37 seconds...over the course of a 12-game schedule.

They won by an average of 38.1 points per game, with their closest contest being decided by 11 points.

LSU, meanwhile, may have the best collection of wins of any team in the nation, having defeated Auburn, Florida, Alabama (on the road) and now Georgia. All four teams entered championship week ranked in the Top 12.

With Heisman favorite Joe Burrow (77.9 completion percentage, 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns) shattering records, the Tigers offense has been lighting up the scoreboard all season long. It entered the SEC championship game averaging 48.7 points per game.

The Buckeyes entered rivalry week atop the rankings, and a 29-point shellacking of archrival Michigan in the Big House may have created some separation. However, the Tigers' complete domination of the Bulldogs will be tough for the committee to ignore, especially given LSU's overall body of work.

As the defending champs, Clemson has earned the right to be in the mix after going undefeated. However, when it comes to the No. 1 spot, it was a two-team race based on this season's on-field performances.

The fourth spot completely opened up as Oregon lost to Arizona State on Nov. 23 and Alabama lost to Auburn on Nov. 30. Utah appeared to be in position to receive serious consideration before a 37-15 loss to the Ducks in the Pac-12 title game Friday ended its hopes.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 has been gaining momentum in recent weeks. Oklahoma responded to a midseason loss to Kansas State with five consecutive wins, including a pair over Baylor. The latest came in Saturday's Big 12 Championship Game, with the Bears ranked seventh.

With Utah's loss Friday and Georgia's loss Saturday, all signs point to Oklahoma sneaking into the CFP.