AP Photo/Paul Vernon
1hAdam Rittenberg

Yes, Ohio State has a chance: Observations from the CFP rankings

The fifth CFP rankings were mostly ho-hum. But with an upset or two this weekend, it's not impossible to imagine a scenario in which Ohio State or Stanford sneaks back into the playoff mix.

2hHeather Dinich

Playoff breakdown: If the games were today

The committee's top-five rankings remained the same, but North Carolina is situated behind multiple two-loss teams. How would all the New Year's Six games look if the season ended today?

Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports
Jay Boice, Reuben Fischer-Baum and Andrew Flowers

FiveThirtyEight: What if Clemson and Alabama lose?

If the Tigers and Tide lose in their respective conference championship games, it's unclear how that would affect the final rankings. Here are a few theories.

Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports

Sherman: How loyalty paid off for Iowa, Ferentz

Through all the good times and bad, the big wins and tough losses, Iowa and Kirk Ferentz have stuck together. Now they sit one win away from a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Richt a good fit for Miami? (2:39)

Clay Helton on new role, USC's expecations

USC coach Clay Helton dishes on player reaction to the Trojans' decision to name him permanent head coach, how the team has changed since playing Stanford in Week 3 and expectations for the squad.

John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Heisman Watch: Henry closes in, top 5 unchanged

Alabama running back Derrick Henry remains a firm No. 1 in this week's Heisman Watch after his 271-yard outing against Auburn, with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey remaining at Nos. 2 and 3.

Freshmen who made the biggest impact in Week 13 (5:38)
Drive Through: Weekend Reaction (8:01)
'Killer instinct' propels Michigan State (4:02)
USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images
2dMark Schlabach

The Eliminator wins big during Rivalry Week

Baylor, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are eliminated from CFP consideration with only one week to go before the actual selections are announced.

2dPaul Lukas

Uni Watch 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

In this year's Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, Paul Lukas provides some cool sports-themed gift ideas for the rabid fan in your life -- from books to bottle openers to drinking straws.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Ching: What's next for LSU?

Les Miles will definitely be back in 2016, but the same can't necessarily be said for the team's top assistants.


Current College Football Playoff bracket

After the latest rankings release, here's how the CFP would look if the season ended today. Full Rankings

ESPN Research

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saban tree just keeps expanding with Kirby Smart and Georgia. Not shocked by the decision but going the assistant route is risky for a program that just fired a winner. Figured Georgia would have considered established head coaches more. Smart is certainly familiar with the program but head-coaching experience is important

Greg Ostendorf ESPN Staff Writer 

If the Kirby Smart deal goes through and assuming both coaches are still there, Nick Saban (Alabama) and Smart (Georgia) would first meet in 2020. Obviously, the two could see each other sooner in the SEC championship game.

Schlabach: Georgia can be a top job

ESPN's Mark Schlabach explains why Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is a good choice to replace Mark Richt.


Georgia to hire Kirby Smart

The Alabama defensive coordinator will be named the Bulldog's new head football coach, barring a last-minute development, sources told ESPN's Mark Schlabach and first reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Smart played for Georgia from 1995-98.

Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

CFP rankings: 1-6

  • 1. Clemson (12-0)
  • 2. Alabama (11-1)
  • 3. Oklahoma (11-1)
  • 4. Iowa (12-0)
  • 5. Michigan State (11-1)
  • 6. Ohio State (11-1)

College Football Playoff rankings: 1-6

Rece Davis, Joey Galloway, David Pollack and Kirk Herbstreit reveal the top six in this week's College Football Playoff rankings, where the top five teams remained the same.


Myron Medcalf ESPN Staff Writer 

What in the name of Greg Oden and Evan Turner is Ohio State doing right now? We haven't seen an inspired effort like this all year from the Buckeyes. Same team that lost to Texas-Arlington, Memphis and Louisiana Tech is battling ACC contender Virginia? Gotta love the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Criteria for top four of CFP rankings

College Football Playoff committee chair Jeff Long breaks down what teams need to do to state their case for the top 4 of the CFP rankings.


Will Buckeyes sneak back into top four?

Ohio State is on the outside looking in at No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Kirk Herbstreit breaks down the best scenarios that could get the Buckeyes back into the top four.


College Football Playoff rankings: 7-25

North Carolina comes in at No. 10, behind No. 9 Florida State, in the fifth version of the College Football Playoff rankings.


David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

North Carolina checks in at No. 10 in the penultimate Playoff rankings. With a win in the ACC Championship game, they'll move up... But will it be enough? The Heels trail Stanford by 3 spots, and with USC jumping from unranked to No. 20 could mean the Heels can't pass the Cardinal even with a win.

Biggest playoff ranking changes

  • Biggest riser: TCU (19 to 11)
  • Biggest faller: Navy (15 to 23)
  • New to rankings: Houston (19), USC (20), LSU (21), Tennessee (25)
  • Out of rankings: Washington St, Mississippi St, UCLA, Toledo

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Clemson was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the ACC, but now there's so much more on the line -- a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers remain No. 1 in the latest College Football Playoff ranking but it hardly matters how many weeks they have had the top spot. What really matters is what happens Saturday against No. 10 North Carolina in the ACC championship game. Win, and Clemson is in. Lose, and the Tigers can all but kiss those playoff hopes goodbye.

CFP rankings: 7-10

  • 7. Stanford (10-2)
  • 8. Notre Dame (10-2)
  • 9. Florida State (10-2)
  • 10. North Carolina (11-1)

CFP rankings: 11-15

  • 11. TCU (10-2)
  • 12. Baylor (9-2)
  • 13. Ole Miss (9-3)
  • 14. Northwestern (10-2)
  • 15. Michigan (9-3)

CFP rankings: 16-20

  • 16. Oregon (9-3)
  • 17. Oklahoma State (10-2)
  • 18. Florida (10-2)
  • 19. Houston (11-1)
  • 20. USC (8-4)

CFP rankings: 21-25

  • 21. LSU (8-3)
  • 22. Temple (10-2)
  • 23. Navy (9-2)
  • 24. Utah (9-3)
  • 25. Tennessee (8-4)

Watch: CFP rankings revealed

The 5th version of the College Football Playoff rankings are being released tonight on ESPN. But there may not be much movement at the top -- the top 5 teams in the previous rankings all won last week. Live on ESPN/WatchESPN

Will Ohio State sneak into the CFP?

The College Football Playoff selection committee has every statistic imaginable at its fingertips, writes ESPN's Heather Dinich. There's also one more very important detail at the top of the page, where it reads "Conference champion" -- followed by a yes or no. And it's a "no" for Ohio State. So how do they get in?

Clemson to host pizza party Sunday

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney announced the athletic department will host the event that's expected to feed thousands of fans in Memorial Stadium following the ACC title game on Saturday night. Said Swinney: "Win or lose, this team deserves to be celebrated."

Booger McFarland not apologizing to Iowa

Is SEC Network's Booger McFarland ready to apologize for calling out the Big Ten prior to the first College Football Playoff ranking? Only to Michigan State and Ohio State.