2019 College Football Playoff Rankings With 8-Team Playoff Expansion
4 or 8? Choose your adventure.
These are the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings as they stand today, or perhaps as they stood yesterday. These things change every week.
The four teams you see in the bracket below are the teams announced by the College Football Playoff selection committee. Were the season to end today, these are the teams which would play for the whole bag of marbles in December and/or January. We are tracking them in much the same way as last season.
However, we are throwing in new bonus content this year. We have revealed before our proposed model for an eight-team College Football Playoff. In 2019, we will track that live, week after week. This is to give you a view into how an eight-team playoff would look, and get used to that, because it will happen someday. As soon as the conferences and networks decide they want more money (which is all the time), this will be a go.
You can always view our CFB 130 rankings here, which goes far beyond what some big shots do in a hotel in Texas.
2019 College Football Playoff Rankings
Last Updated December 8, 2019
The field for the 2019 College Football Playoff is set. #1 LSU will face #4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, while #2 Ohio State meets #3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. The first two teams out were Georgia and Oregon.
This Week’s 8-Team College Football Playoff
Last Updated December 8, 2019
As a reminder, this model gives automatic bids to the five Power Five conference champions as well as the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. The remaining two bids are at-larges.
2019 College Football Playoff Rankings Analysis
Most recent update at the bottom. Keep scrolling, if necessary.
November 5, 2019: Dabo Swinney will be all worked up over this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, even though he knows they mean nothing at this stage. Clemson will be fine if they win out, which is very possible. We know at least one of these teams is going to lose a game very soon: Alabama or LSU, Penn State or Ohio State. The SEC or Big Ten getting two bids will still be difficult, but let’s be honest: they are not BOTH going to do it. If you need to motivate your team, that is one thing, but there is far too much football to be played for any fans to get their proverbial knickers in a twist.
Oregon and Utah need help at 7 and 8, respectively, but neither is done. Oklahoma at nine might be, and two-loss Florida at 10 has no chance.
November 12, 2019: This past weekend was shakeup weekend, reflected in the new College Football Playoff rankings for this week. The top three are correct, in our estimation. Georgia is a little overrated at four but it is not worth stress: if the Bulldogs do not win out, including an SEC championship win over (ostensibly) LSU, they are not making the playoff, anyway. Alabama at five is probably right but if you are an Alabama hater, you are lamenting how hard it is to get rid of this team. Oregon would have been our preferred fourth team, and if they win out, they will have a case for it. Utah at seven is following the same track as Oregon.
Minnesota got a good spot at eight, but they have to go undefeated to give themselves a case.
The other surprise undefeated team, Baylor, is not viewed as kindly by the committee. Minnesota did not get much respect until they beat Penn State; Baylor plays Oklahoma this weekend and then Texas the following week. We can’t say they are not getting their chance to earn that respect.
November 19, 2019: Nothing changed in the top six of the College Football Playoff rankings, with all of those teams winning. Alabama was the question mark of the week, with some wondering if they would drop thanks to Tua’s injury. They did not, but not controlling their own SEC West destiny, they are on borrowed time short of something chaotic occurring.
Georgia is still also a placeholder unless they beat LSU to win the SEC. That would open the door to a team like Oregon or Utah, whichever emerges the strongest (with one loss, ideally) from the Pac-12. Both of those teams have a realistic chance at the playoff as of November 19. Of course, only one will make it, if any.
The Big 12 is done unless a few teams in front of them collapse. Beating Baylor did not net them much, but in a positive development for both the Bears and Minnesota, their losses to legitimate competition cost them each only small ground.
November 26, 2019: Ohio State took the top spot back from LSU with their solid win over Penn State. Neither Buckeyes nor Tigers fans need to kvetch, not that Ohio State fans would this week. Win your games and it will all work itself out. Besides, do you think playing the number three team in the country is going to be much harder than number four? Take care of your business.
The only way the SEC perhaps gets two teams in the playoff is if LSU loses the championship to Georgia. LSU might not fall out of the top four with a first loss to Georgia, but Georgia for certain falls out with a second loss in the SEC title game. Further, for Alabama to make it at 11-1 sitting at home on championship Saturday would elicit calls of bias, but in reality, they need a lot of help. It would take Georgia losing, Utah losing, and maybe even Oklahoma and Clemson losing before they could feel assured of a bid.
December 3, 2019: This is where we stand with each contender, as well as notable non-contenders:
Ohio State: Win and in; most likely lose and still in.
LSU: Same situation as Ohio State, except they will sweat it out a little more.
Clemson: Win and in; lose and out.
Georgia: Same situation as Clemson.
Utah: Needs to win the Pac-12 title game and hope Georgia and/or Clemson loses. Almost certainly in with a win and Georgia and Clemson losses, regardless of what the Big 12 does.
Oklahoma and Baylor: A must-win for both teams, for obvious reasons, but they need help. Utah and Georgia and/or Clemson losses and the winner of this game is in decent shape.
Wisconsin: A win over Ohio State would make this very interesting, but there has not yet been a two-loss playoff team.
Alabama: Quite done at #12.
December 8, 2019: The Selection Committee got it right. Assuming that there was very little difference between LSU and Ohio State before the championships, LSU got the upper hand on Saturday. The Tigers smashed the #4 team in the country while Ohio State, also playing a very good team, had a tougher time. They could have gone either way without much objection, but LSU first is what we would have done.
This was the least dramatic playoff reveal since it began in 2014. Not a college football fan out there did not know it would be Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, and Oklahoma. There was no argument to be made for the other teams, most of which had two losses or more. Utah and Georgia blowing it eliminated any intrigue over the selection.