The second set of College Football Playoff rankings are out now — who surprised, who was shockingly snubbed, and what do the latest CFP rankings tell us about how the final four might shape up in less than a month?
Between now and “Selection Sunday” on Dec. 4, these CFP rankings will be released weekly, revealing the four teams that will contend for a shot at the College Football National Championship.
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 Pro Football Network’s College Football Top 25 — following Week 10 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 | PFN Ranking: 1st | Record: 9-0 | Offensive Rank: 11/131 | Defensive Rank: 2/131 | Points scored: 361 (40.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 97 (10.8 PAPG) | SOS: 2.66 (45/131)
Perhaps a shocking omission from the top spot in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, there are no shocks here as the Georgia Bulldogs reclaim their place as the premier team in the nation.
Kirby Smart’s team shut down the high-powered Tennessee offense in Week 10, proving that the Bulldogs’ defense is comfortably the best in the nation. Georgia is on a collision course with the SEC Championship, College Football Playoffs, and, ultimately a repeat of their national title.
2) Ohio State Buckeyes
AP Poll: 2nd | Coaches Poll: 2nd | PFN Ranking: 2nd | Record: 9-0 | Offensive Rank: 1/131 | Defensive Rank: 8/131 | Points scored: 412 (45.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 142 (15.8 PAPG) | SOS: 3.06 (37/131)
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee preaches balance as one of their guiding principles, and with a top-10 offense and defense, there are few more balanced teams than the Ohio State Buckeyes.
While their win over Northwestern wasn’t convincing, and C.J. Stroud had his struggles, there isn’t enough of a reason for the Buckeyes to lose their standing as the second-ranked team in the country. Their date with Michigan at the end of November remains pivotal for both teams.
3) Michigan Wolverines
AP Poll: 3rd | Coaches Poll: 3rd | PFN Ranking: 3rd | Record: 9-0 | Offensive Rank: 5/131 | Defensive Rank: 3/131 | Points scored: 380 (42.2 PPG) | Points allowed: 109 (12.1 PAPG) | SOS: -1.78 (78/131)
The Michigan Wolverines make a jump from their initial spot in the CFP rankings this week, sliding into the three spot and vaulting over Tennessee and Clemson programs, who were dealt their first defeat of the year.
Although they struggled in the first half of the win over Rutgers, their commanding ground game and rock-solid defense ensure that the Wolverines are one of the most balanced teams in the nation. They’ll likely need to beat Ohio State to remain in the final four, however.
4) TCU Horned Frogs
AP Poll: 4th | Coaches Poll: 4th | PFN Ranking: 4th | Record: 9-0 | Offensive Rank: 4/131 | Defensive Rank: 73/131 | Points scored: 388 (43.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 224 (26.9 PAPG) | SOS: 3.91 (26/131)
TCU was one of the most disrespected teams in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, sitting behind a one-loss Alabama team despite sitting as the unbeaten head of a Power Five conference.
With results around them and their own win over Texas Tech, the Horned Frogs find themselves on a collision course with the Fiesta Bowl and landing at the fourth spot in the latest CFP rankings. A win over number 18 Texas in Week 11 would go a long way to solidifying their résumé further.
5) Tennessee Volunteers
AP Poll: 5th | Coaches Poll: 5th | PFN Ranking: 6th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 2/131 | Defensive Rank: 37/131 | Points scored: 408 (45.3 PPG) | Points allowed: 195 (21.7 PAPG) | SOS: 4.24 (19/131)
The number one team in the nation slips outside of the final four following their loss to Georgia. Tennessee still has the potential to secure a College Football Playoff berth when the final rankings are announced on Dec. 4, but they need to win out and pray that the dominoes around them fall in the right way.
Having the number two offense in the nation, combined with one of the tougher strengths of schedule, could help if it comes down to a tight decision for the CFP Selection Committee.
6) Oregon Ducks
AP Poll: 6th | Coaches Poll: 6th | PFN Ranking: 5th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 3/131 | Defensive Rank: 70/131 | Points scored: 388 (43.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 237 (26.3 PAPG) | SOS: 1.37 (57/131)
While they remain on the outside looking in, don’t discount the Oregon Ducks from crashing the College Football Playoff. They rise up to six in the most recent CFP rankings following their entertaining and creative win over Colorado.
Their offense is flying, and the defense is starting to play better than their overall rank suggests. That single defeat to Georgia and a Pac-12 championship will be hard to argue against if there’s a number of one-loss teams on “Selection Sunday.”
7) LSU Tigers
AP Poll: 7th | Coaches Poll: 8th | PFN Ranking: 8th | Record: 7-2 | Offensive Rank: 30/131 | Defensive Rank: 39/131 | Points scored: 313 (34.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 200 (22.2 PAPG) | SOS: 5.91 (14/131)
8) USC Trojans
AP Poll: 8th | Coaches Poll: 7th | PFN Ranking: 7th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 7/131 | Defensive Rank: 60/131 | Points scored: 369 (41.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 227 (25.2 PAPG) | SOS: 1.90 (53/131)
9) Alabama Crimson Tide
AP Poll: 10th | Coaches Poll: 11th | PFN Ranking: 10th | Record: 7-2 | Offensive Rank: 6/131 | Defensive Rank: 14/131 | Points scored: 376 (41.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 165 (18.3 PAPG) | SOS: 5.57 (16/131)
10) Clemson Tigers
AP Poll: 12th | Coaches Poll: 12th | PFN Ranking: 12th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 31/131 | Defensive Rank: 34/131 | Points scored: 311 (34.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 194 (21.6 PAPG) | SOS: 2.63 (46/131)
11) Ole Miss Rebels
AP Poll: 11th | Coaches Poll: 9th | PFN Ranking: 13th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 16/131 | Defensive Rank: 35/131 | Points scored: 337 (37.4 PPG) | Points allowed: 194 (21.6 PAPG) | SOS: 0.31 (65/131)
12) UCLA Bruins
AP Poll: 9th | Coaches Poll: 10th | PFN Ranking: 9th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 8/131 | Defensive Rank: 64/131 | Points scored: 367 (40.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 230 (25.6 PAPG) | SOS: 0.51 (63/131)
13) Utah Utes
AP Poll: 13th | Coaches Poll: 13th | PFN Ranking: 14th | Record: 7-2 | Offensive Rank: 12/131 | Defensive Rank: 33/131 | Points scored: 351 (39.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 193 (21.4 PAPG) | SOS: 2.34 (49/131)
14) Penn State Nittany Lions
AP Poll: 14th | Coaches Poll: 15th | PFN Ranking: 15th | Record: 7-2 | Offensive Rank: 32/131 | Defensive Rank: 26/131 | Points scored: 310 (34.4 PPG) | Points allowed: 190 (21.1 PAPG) | SOS: 3.90 (27/131)
15) North Carolina Tar Heels
AP Poll: 15th | Coaches Poll: 14th | PFN Ranking: 11th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 9/131 | Defensive Rank: 104/131 | Points scored: 365 (40.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 279 (31.0 PAPG) | SOS: -0.30 (69/131)
16) North Carolina State Wolfpack
AP Poll: 17th | Coaches Poll: 16th | PFN Ranking: 18th | Record: 7-2 | Offensive Rank: 77/131 | Defensive Rank: 13/131 | Points scored: 244 (27.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 160 (17.8 PAPG) | SOS: 4.07 (21/131)
17) Tulane Green Wave
AP Poll: 16th | Coaches Poll: 17th | PFN Ranking: 19th | Record: 8-1 | Offensive Rank: 38/131 | Defensive Rank: 11/131 | Points scored: 296 (32.9 PPG) | Points allowed: 152 (16.9 PAPG) | SOS: -2.46 (83/131)
18) Texas Longhorns
AP Poll: 18th | Coaches Poll: 18th | PFN Ranking: 24th | Record: 6-3 | Offensive Rank: 24/131 | Defensive Rank: 38/131 | Points scored: 325 (36.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 196 (21.8 PAPG) | SOS: 7.98 (1/131)
19) Kansas State Wildcats
AP Poll: 23rd | Coaches Poll: 22nd | PFN Ranking: 25th | Record: 6-2 | Offensive Rank: 57/131 | Defensive Rank: 11/131 | Points scored: 248 (31.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 138 (17.2 PAPG) | SOS: 6.86 (4/131)
20) Notre Dame Fighting Irish
AP Poll: 20th | Coaches Poll: 25th | PFN Ranking: 22nd | Record: 6-3 | Offensive Rank: 69/131 | Defensive Rank: 28/131 | Points scored: 262 (29.1 PPG) | Points allowed: 191 (21.2 PAPG) | SOS: 6.41 (8/131)
21) Illinois Fighting Illini
AP Poll: 21st | Coaches Poll: 20th | PFN Ranking: 16th | Record: 7-1 | Offensive Rank: 87/131 | Defensive Rank: 1/131 | Points scored: 208 (26.0 PPG) | Points allowed: 71 (8.9 PAPG) | SOS: -1.46 (79/131)
22) UCF Golden Knights
AP Poll: 22nd | Coaches Poll: 21st | PFN Ranking: 23rd | Record: 6-2 | Offensive Rank: 24/131 | Defensive Rank: 16/131 | Points scored: 286 (35.8 PPG) | Points allowed: 141 (17.6 PAPG) | SOS: -0.25 (69/131)
23) Florida State
AP Poll: 25th | Coaches Poll: N/A | PFN Ranking: N/A | Record: 6-3 | Offensive Rank: 34/131 | Defensive Rank: 22/131 | Points scored: 302 (33.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 19.8 (22/131) | SOS: 3.75 (29/131)
24) Kentucky Wildcats
AP Poll: N/A | Coaches Poll: 24 | PFN Ranking: N/A | Record: 6-3 | Offensive Rank: 97/131 | Defensive Rank: 21/131 | Points scored: 212 (23.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 176 (19.6 PAPG) | SOS: 2.74 (43/131)
25) Washington Huskies
AP Poll: 24th | Coaches Poll: 23rd | PFN Ranking: 17th | Record: 7-2 | Offensive Rank: 13/131 | Defensive Rank: 81/131 | Points scored: 347 (38.6 PPG) | Points allowed: 248 (27.6 PAPG) | SOS: -0.85 (75/131)