An action-packed close to the regular season leaves us with just the conference championships and bowl games remaining in the 2018 season. As expected, narrowing in on the top 4 is taking care of itself on the field.
Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame took care of their business and are the lone undefeated teams in the FBS. With that said, The Tide and Tigers have a Conference Championship to play this coming weekend while the Irish have nothing left to add to their resume.
The conference championship games have monumental implications on the all-important final set of rankings. If the season ended today, our staff has it:
- Notre Dame
With Alabama and Georgia squaring off in the SEC Championship, we are guaranteed to see a team in the top-4 take an L this weekend. Clemson should cruise to a win over Pitt BUT the last time the two matched up, the Nathan Peterman-led Panthers beat the Deshaun Watson-led Tigers in 2016. In fact, Clemson has never defeated Pitt with the only other matchup taking place in 1977.
On the outside looking in of the top-4 is Oklahoma and Ohio State who both play for their respective conference championships this weekend. Style points will absolutely matter when it comes down to determining the final playoff spot should multiple 1-loss teams remain. Is there a scenario where 2-loss Georgia gets in? We shall see.
The biggest climber in this week’s poll is Washington who handled Washington State in the Apple Cup and rose 6 spots. The biggest faller is Utah State who lost to Boise State in a play-in game for the Mountain West Championship.
We welcome Iowa State to the poll while saying goodbye to NC State who narrowly beat UNC on Saturday.
As a reminder, our poll is the consensus of all members of the TDN staff’s individual rankings averaged out to build a composite poll. 31 different teams received votes from our staff (listed below).
Our top 25 after Week 13:
Others receiving votes: Cincinnati, Auburn, NC State, Army, Oklahoma State, Buffalo