College Football Playoff Rankings: Georgia Remains the Team to Beat Ahead of Championship Weekend

    The race to the final four is nearly run, with the penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings detailing the top 25 teams in the nation ahead of Week 14.

    This. Is. It. Well, kind of. The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2023 season reveals who has the best shot to make the final four ahead of “Championship Weekend” and “Selection Sunday”.

    How does the College Football Playoff Selection Committee view the 25 best teams in the nation following a frenetic final week of the 2023 college football regular season?

    College Football Playoff Rankings

    For every team in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, you’ll find a series of stats. Those include their rankings by multiple outlets — including College Football Network’s College Football Top 25 Power Rankings — following Week 13 of the college season.

    SOS stands for strength of schedule and is from sports-reference.com. It attempts to quantify how easy a team’s schedule has been (the higher the number, the harder the schedule).

    1) Georgia Bulldogs

    AP Poll: 1st | Coaches Poll: 1st | CFN Ranking: 1st | Record: 12-0 | Offensive Rank: 8/133 | Defensive Rank: 6/133 | Points scored: 475 (39.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 189 (15.8 PAPG) | SOS: 0.67 (67/133)

    Despite a close fought win over Georgia Tech in Week 13, the Georgia Bulldogs fought off the Michigan Wolverines to remain as the top ranked team in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Undefeated while ranking in the top 10 in the nation for both scoring offense and defense, the Bulldogs may even be able to withstand a loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

    2) Michigan Wolverines

    AP Poll: 2nd | Coaches Poll: 2nd | CFN Ranking: 2nd | Record: 12-0 | Offensive Rank: 13/133 | Defensive Rank: 1/133 | Points scored: 451 (37.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 123 (10.2 PAPG) | SOS: 4.21 (24/133)

    After beating the Ohio State Buckeyes in “The Game” the Wolverines jump up one spot to second in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. A win in the Big Ten Championship Game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, for many a foregone conclusion, will ensure Jim Harbaugh returns to the sidelines for a playoff semi-final clash following his three-game ban.

    3) Washington Huskies

    AP Poll: 3rd | Coaches Poll: 3rd | CFN Ranking: 3rd | Record: 12-0 | Offensive Rank: 11/133 | Defensive Rank: 48/133 | Points scored: 456 (38.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 276 (23.0 PAPG) | SOS: 4.55 (19/133)

    After ranking third in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, its a win and in scenario for the Washington Huskies as they prepare to face the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Their résumé isn’t without question after another close win over a team who won’t participate in the post season, but the committee clearly like the Huskies more than one other undefeated team.

    4) Florida State Seminoles

    AP Poll: 4th | Coaches Poll: 4th | CFN Ranking: 5th | Record: 12-0 | Offensive Rank: 10/133 | Defensive Rank: 11/133 | Points scored: 465 (38.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 201 (16.8 PAPG) | SOS: 1.28 (64/133)

    Like Washington above them, it very much appears that it’s a win and in situation for the Florida State Seminoles following the latest College Football Playoff rankings. A Jordan Travis-less ‘Noles team managed to take care of bitter rival Florida in Week 13, and after watching Louisville downed by Kentucky to end the season, they’ll be confident of getting the job done on Saturday.

    5) Oregon Ducks

    AP Poll: 5th | Coaches Poll: 5th | CFN Ranking: 4th | Record: 11-1 | Offensive Rank: 2/133 | Defensive Rank: 7/133 | Points scored: 543 (45.2 PPG) | Points allowed: 191 (15.9 PAPG) | SOS: 1.82 (59/133)

    With the Texas Longhorns sitting ahead of Alabama in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the message that wins in the head-to-head matter will ring clearly in the ears of the Oregon Ducks. They’re already seen as the best one-loss team in the nation, and a comfortable win over Washington in the Pac-12 title game should vault them into the final four come Sunday.

    6) Ohio State Buckeyes

    AP Poll: 6th | Coaches Poll: 6th | CFN Ranking: 8th | Record: 11-1 | Offensive Rank: 33/133 | Defensive Rank: 2/133 | Points scored: 394 (32.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 132 (11.0 PAPG) | SOS: 4.94 (12/133)

    Without a conference championship game to play in, the Ohio State Buckeyes have to sit back this weekend and hope for chaos to ensue. The committee clearly holds Ryan Day’s team in high regard, currently sat as the second ranked one-loss team.

    Florida State and Washington losses are a minimum for the Buckeyes to stand any chance of vaulting into the final four, but it could take more than that depending on how highly the committee values a one-loss conference champion against a one-loss team without a conference crown to their name.

    7) Texas Longhorns

    AP Poll: 7th | Coaches Poll: 7th | CFN Ranking: 7th | Record: 11-1 | Offensive Rank: 22/133 | Defensive Rank: 12/133 | Points scored: 421 (35.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 207 (17.2 PAPG) | SOS: 6.04 (2/133)

    Coming in as the third-ranked one-loss team in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the Texas Longhorns need to put on a show against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game and for other results to go their way. Oregon and FSU losses combined with a convincing win could vault them towards the final four, but will it be enough to leapfrog Ohio State?

    8) Alabama Crimson Tide

    AP Poll: 8th | Coaches Poll: 8th | CFN Ranking: 6th | Record: 11-1 | Offensive Rank: 17/133 | Defensive Rank: 15/133 | Points scored: 429 (35.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 215 (17.9 PAPG) | SOS: 3.87 (27/133)

    Alabama has consistently sat behind Texas in the College Football Playoff rankings, and need a shock win over Georgia to stand any chance of making the final four. That result isn’t out of the question as the Crimson Tide are peaking at the right time behind quarterback Jalen Milroe, and it wouldn’t be the first time Nick Saban’s team got the better of number one ranked Georgia in Mercedes-Benz Stadium to win the SEC Championship Game.

    9) Missouri Tigers

    AP Poll: 9th | Coaches Poll: 9th | CFN Ranking: 10th | Record: 10-2 | Offensive Rank: 27/133 | Defensive Rank: 44/133 | Points scored: 409 (34.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 268 (22.3 PAPG) | SOS: 3.52 (37/133)

    No movement for the Missouri Tigers in the latest College Football Playoff rankings as expected. Eli Drinkwitz’s team rounded off a sensation campaign with a 10th win of the year against Arkansas, and are nicely positioned for a good New Year’s Six bowl game slot.

    10) Penn State Nittany Lions

    AP Poll: 10th | Coaches Poll: 10th | CFN Ranking: 12th | Record: 10-2 | Offensive Rank: 14/133 | Defensive Rank: 3/133 | Points scored: 446 (37.2 PPG) | Points allowed: 137 (11.4 PAPG) | SOS: 3.65 (32/133)

    With Louisville losing to Kentucky to close out the season, the Penn State Nittany Lions move up to 10th in the latest College Football Playoff rankings where they’ll likely stay. That could see James Franklin’s team be the opponent for whichever Group of Five team qualifies for the NY6 — probably the Tulane Green Wave as long as they take care of business in their title game.

    11) Ole Miss Rebels

    AP Poll: 11th | Coaches Poll: 11th | CFN Ranking: 13th | Record: 10-2 | Offensive Rank: 23/133 | Defensive Rank: 43/133 | Points scored: 418 (34.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 268 (22.3 PAPG) | SOS: 2.91 (44/133)

    12) Oklahoma Sooners

    AP Poll: 12th | Coaches Poll: 12th | CFN Ranking: 17th | Record: 10-2 | Offensive Rank: 3/133 | Defensive Rank: 42/133 | Points scored: 518 (43.2 PPG) | Points allowed: 267 (22.2 PAPG) | SOS: 4.61 (16/133)

    13) LSU Tigers

    AP Poll: 13th | Coaches Poll: 13th | CFN Ranking: 21st | Record: 9-3 | Offensive Rank: 1/133 | Defensive Rank: 82/133 | Points scored: 557 (46.4 PPG) | Points allowed: 333 (27.8 PAPG) | SOS: 4.48 (21/133)

    14) Louisville Cardinals

    AP Poll: 15th | Coaches Poll: 14th | CFN Ranking: 18th | Record: 10-2 | Offensive Rank: 32/133 | Defensive Rank: 25/133 | Points scored: 396 (33.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 240 (20.0 PAPG) | SOS: 2.11 (55/133)

    15) Arizona Wildcats

    AP Poll: 14th | Coaches Poll: 15th | CFN Ranking: 14th | Record: 9-3 | Offensive Rank: 25/133 | Defensive Rank: 29/133 | Points scored: 412 (34.3 PPG) | Points allowed: 250 (20.8 PAPG) | SOS: 1.47 (63/133)

    16) Iowa Hawkeyes

    AP Poll: 18th | Coaches Poll: 17th | CFN Ranking: 20th | Record: 10-2 | Offensive Rank: 124/133 | Defensive Rank: 4/133 | Points scored: 216 (18.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 146 (12.2 PAPG) | SOS: 2.46 (51/133)

    17) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    AP Poll: 16th | Coaches Poll: 16th | CFN Ranking: 19th | Record: 9-3 | Offensive Rank: 9/133 | Defensive Rank: 9/133 | Points scored: 469 (39.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 199 (16.6 PAPG) | SOS: 1.83 (58/133)

    18) Oklahoma State Cowboys

    AP Poll: 19th | Coaches Poll: 19th | CFN Ranking: 20th | Record: 9-3 | Offensive Rank: 49/133 | Defensive Rank: 77/133 | Points scored: 362 (30.2 PPG) | Points allowed: 328 (27.3 PAPG) | SOS: 2.56 (49/133)

    19) NC State Wolfpack

    AP Poll: 21st | Coaches Poll: 20th | CFN Ranking: 23rd | Record: 9-3 | Offensive Rank: 70/133 | Defensive Rank: 26/133 | Points scored: 322 (26.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 242 (20.2 PAPG) | SOS: 2.53 (50/133)

    20) Oregon State Beavers

    AP Poll: 22nd | Coaches Poll: 21st | CFN Ranking: 24th | Record: 8-4 | Offensive Rank: 29/133 | Defensive Rank: 34/133 | Points scored: 406 (33.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 258 (21.5 PAPG) | SOS: 3.60 (34/133)

    21) Tennessee Volunteers

    AP Poll: N/A | Coaches Poll: 23rd | CFN Ranking: 19th | Record: 8-4 | Offensive Rank: 42/133 | Defensive Rank: 40/133 | Points scored: 378 (31.5 PPG) | Points allowed: 264 (22.0 PPG) | SOS: 2.81 (46/133)

    22) Tulane Green Wave

    AP Poll: 17th | Coaches Poll: 18th | CFN Ranking: 11th | Record: 11-1 | Offensive Rank: 63/133 | Defensive Rank: 18/133 | Points scored: 335 (27.9 PPG) | Points allowed: 220 (18.3 PAPG) | SOS: -3.70 (105/133)

    23) Clemson Tigers

    AP Poll: N/A | Coaches Poll: N/A | CFN Ranking: N/A | Record: 8-4 | Offensive Rank: 56/133 | Defensive Rank: 24/133 | Points scored: 350 (29.2 PPG) | Points allowed: 239 (19.9 PAPG) | SOS: 3.81 (30/133)

    24) Liberty Flames

    AP Poll: 20th | Coaches Poll: 22nd | CFN Ranking: 9th | Record: 12-0 | Offensive Rank: 6/133 | Defensive Rank: 36/133 | Points scored: 481 (40.1 PPG) | Points allowed:  260 (21.7 PAPG) | SOS: -6.09 (125/133)

    25) Kansas State Wildcats

    AP Poll: N/A | Coaches Poll: 20th | CFN Ranking: 24th | Record: 8-4 | Offensive Rank: 12/133 | Defensive Rank: 31/133 | Points scored: 454 (37.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 254 (21.2 PAPG) | SOS: 5.00 (11/133)

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