8 to 18 in College Football Playoff rankings

Tanya Simon
December 5, 2019

LSU is similar on the metrics front (No. 1 SOR; No. 2 GC) in a group of teams left that can possibly play their way in with Georgia (No. 3 SOR/No. 5 GC), Oklahoma (No. 7 SOR/No. 7 GC) Baylor (No. 8 SOR/No. 11 GC) and Utah (No. 12 SOR/No. 9 GC).

The Capital One Orange Bowl is given the ACC champion, but since No. 3 Clemson is in a semifinal, it would take the next highest-ranked ACC team, which is No. 23 Virginia. Utah and Oklahoma are the teams looking to sneak in to the national semifinals after the conference championship games this weekend.

With two losses, OR is out of the playoff picture, but Utah is very much in it. In that case, the Utes would be hoping to gain a Cotton Bowl berth by remaining ahead of teams such as No. 9 Florida in the final rankings - and those teams have completed their regular seasons. Oklahoma and Baylor have the same record and played an incredibly close game the first time, so neither would really be considered a bid thief. In this rematch, one team needs to grab a big lead and hang onto it, unlike the last game when Baylor blew a 28-3 lead and Oklahoma ultimately won, 34-31.

If the Utes miss the New Year's Six cut, their likely destination would be the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio against a Big 12 opponent such as Oklahoma State. James Franklin's program is also ranked above No. 12 Alabama, which slid down after losing to No. 11 Auburn over the weekend.

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It wasn't the prettiest of wins for Penn State, as it was a one-score game entering the fourth quarter and Sean Clifford, Noah Cain, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Tariq Castro-Fields all sat out due to injury. But there's no way Virginia is beating the Tigers, who might put up 50 points in this game.

It's one of the biggest pieces of the entire bowl puzzle, and not just for the Big Ten.

Big Ten championship game: No. 1 Ohio State (12-0) vs. But when these two teams met earlier this season, it was hardly a contest with Ohio State winning, 38-7, and a second win against the Badgers this season would hand the Buckeyes their third consecutive conference championship.

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