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College football rankings: How Week 14’s top-25 scores changed the Playoff and bowls

Top-25 final scores and notes on how the last weekend will finish shaping bowl season.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Saturday night, college football’s regular season ended. Already! Sunday afternoon, we’ll have a Playoff, and by Sunday night, we’ll have a full bowl season.

We know how most of the puzzle fits together at this point, but a few games can still swing things.

Below, notes on the weekend’s ranked FBS games and conference championships.

I think eight teams started the weekend with chances. We’re now down to six.

  • Alabama’s in, as is Clemson.
  • I think Ohio State’s already in (explained below).
  • Pac-12 champion Washington could still sweat it out, but is probably in.
  • Big Ten champ Penn State has a case, as does the current No. 5 team Michigan, which beat PSU by 39.

Here are the scores of relevant games that’ve gone final.

No. 1 Alabama 54 (13-0), No. 15 Florida 16 (8-4)

Playoff No. 1 in the Peach against No. 4. The SEC’s Sugar team will be Auburn.

No. 3 Clemson 42 (12-1), No. 23 Virginia Tech 35 (9-4)

Playoff, likely in the No. 2 vs. No. 3 Fiesta. Virginia Tech should get one of the ACC’s better bids, such as the Citrus. The Orange is either Florida State or Louisville, depending on final rankings.

No. 4 Washington 41 (12-1), No. 8 Colorado 10 (10-3)

Playoff, probably. The committee doesn’t like UW’s schedule, but this was an impressive title game showing. If UW’s in the Playoff, Colorado or USC will take the Rose, depending on final rankings. I’m guessing USC.

No. 7 Penn State 38 (11-2), No. 6 Wisconsin 31 (10-3)

No one knows what happens now. Look at the stuff the committee would use to compare Penn State vs. Ohio State, which only matter if the committee suddenly decides PSU is OSU’s overall equal (remember, PSU started the weekend ranking five spots behind):

  • PSU would have a conference-title advantage and head-to-head advantage over Ohio State.
  • If PSU beats UW, PSU will have gone 5-1 against common opponents. But Ohio State will have gone 6-0 and could have about a 100-point advantage in scoring margin against common opponents, thanks to a 62-3 beatdown (yes, OSU had two of those) of Maryland and a 49-10 Penn State loss to Michigan.
  • PSU would be 2-2 against the current top 25 and 7-2 against bowl teams. OSU is 3-1 against the top nine and 8-1 against bowl teams.

So the two teams would split the committee’s tiebreaker things. Since OSU entered the weekend five spots higher, I think OSU would finish higher. PSU’s a bigger threat to OSU, though.

However, Ohio State isn’t the only team against which PSU will be compared. Washington will also get an inspection.

Either way, a Big Ten champion PSU would either be in the Playoff or the Rose. UW could fall to the Orange or Cotton.

No. 9 Oklahoma 38 (10-2), No. 10 Oklahoma State 20 (9-3)

Sugar Bowl. The loser’s probably in the Alamo.

No. 16 West Virginia 24 (10-2), Baylor 21 (6-6)

Doesn’t matter much. WVU’s probably in the Russell Athletic. Baylor’s not getting into an especially good bowl.

No. 17 Western Michigan 29 (13-0), Ohio 26 (8-5)

Cotton Bowl, unless something stupid happens. Unranked Temple’s win over Navy should mean no other mid-major can approach the undefeated MAC champions for the automatic non-power New Year’s bid.

Temple 34 (10-3), No. 19 Navy 10 (9-3)

WMU should go to the Cotton, so just regular-person bowls for these two.

Western Kentucky 58 (10-3), Louisiana Tech 44 (8-5)

C-USA’s champion gets its pick from among the conference’s 2016 bids. WKU prefers the Boca Raton.

San Diego State 27 (10-3), Wyoming 24 (8-5)

SDSU will go to the Las Vegas Bowl, reportedly against Houston. Wyoming seems likely for the Poinsettia against BYU.

Georgia Southern 28 (5-7), Troy 24 (9-3)
Arkansas State 36 (7-5), Texas State 14 (2-10)

The Sun Belt awards co-championships. Appalachian State was in the clubhouse with a share, and Arkansas State just picked up one as well. Troy misses out. The Sun Belt’s top three bowls are the New Orleans, Dollar General in Mobile, and Camellia in Montgomery, not that any would be obligated to pick a league champ.

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