College Football Rankings 2017: Latest Polls, Predictions for Week 13 Standings

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 18:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide passes against the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After a couple of weeks of big upsets leading to massive shakeups in the college football rankings, Week 12 saw the top teams take care of business in orderly fashion. 

To find an upset in the College Football Playoff rankings entering Week 12, you have to look all the way to No. 13 Oklahoma State, who lost 45-40 to Kansas State. Every team ahead of the Cowboys did what they needed to do to get a win—some in dominant fashion against unremarkable competition—which means there is likely to be little change in the CFP rankings for Week 13.

As a barometer of what the playoff picture might look like when the new rankings are released Tuesday, here’s how the Associated Press and Amway Coaches polls look heading into Week 13. Scan them up and down, and you’ll see they hardly differ from the previous week’s versions. 

               

Week 13 AP Poll

1. Alabama (11-0)

2. Miami (10-0)

3. Oklahoma (10-1)

4. Clemson (10-1)

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

6. Auburn (9-2)

7. Georgia (10-1)

8. Ohio State (9-2)

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

10. TCU (9-2)

11. USC (10-2)

12. Penn State (9-2)

13. UCF (10-0)

14. Washington State (9-2)

15. Washington (9-2)

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

17. Memphis (9-1)

18. Oklahoma State (8-3)

19. LSU (8-3)

20. Stanford (8-3)

21. Michigan State (8-3)

22. South Florida (9-1)

23. Northwestern (8-3)

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

25. Boise State (9-2)

         

Week 13 Amway Coaches Poll

1. Alabama (11-0)

2. Miami (10-0)

3. Clemson (10-1)

4. Wisconsin (11-0)

5. Oklahoma (10-1)

6. Auburn (9-2)

7. Georgia (10-1)

8. Ohio State (9-2)

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

10. USC (10-2)

11. Penn State (9-2)

12. UCF (10-0)

13. TCU (9-2)

14. Washington (9-2)

15. Washington State (9-2)

16. Memphis (9-1)

17. Mississippi State (8-3)

18. LSU (8-3)

19. South Florida (9-1)

20. Stanford (8-3)

21. Oklahoma State (8-3)

22. Michigan State (8-3)

23. Northwestern (8-3)

24. Boise State (9-2)

25. Virginia Tech (8-3)

          

College Football Playoff Predictions For Week 13

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Miami (FL)

4. Oklahoma

No surprises here. Alabama and Clemson both walked over cupcake opponents in Week 12 as they gear up for big battles ahead, which should leave their statuses as the top teams in the nation intact.

Richard Shiro/Associated Press

The Crimson Tide walloped Mercer 56-0, while Clemson demolished The Citadel by a score of 61-3. Neither of those teams will have it easy in Week 13, however. Alabama plays Auburn in the Iron Bowl and Clemson gets a solid opponent in South Carolina. 

If either team had played down to their competition and looked sloppy, you could argue the likes of Miami and Oklahoma would get moved up a tick, but that simply didn’t happen in Week 12. Plus, the Hurricanes and Sooners didn’t exactly play great competition themselves. 

Miami struggled to put away a feisty Virginia team in Week 12. Virginia held a 28-14 lead into the third quarter, but the Hurricanes took off from there, scoring the last 30 points of the game to come away with a 44-28 victory. The turnover chain played a big role in the win, as a pick-six by Jaquan Johnson tied the game at 28 and keyed the big fourth quarter to come.

Here’s a look at the play, per the ACC Digital Network:

The Hurricanes are undefeated, so there’s a chance the committee could bump them ahead of Clemson for staying perfect this deep into the season. Even though they played down to their competition this week, the Canes are coming off impressive wins over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame as well.

However, Clemson has a similarly impressive win over Virginia Tech from earlier in the season, and big wins over the likes of Auburn, Louisville and North Carolina State give the Tigers a strong enough resume to stay in the No. 2 spot. 

Assuming both teams win their next games, the Clemson-Miami matchup on December 2 is going to be a massive affair, as it could well send the loser tumbling out of playoff contention. 

Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

As for Oklahoma, they could see a bump over Miami thanks to the manner of their easy 41-3 win over Kansas. But those are the 1-10 Jayhawks we are talking about, so the win did little to differentiate the Sooners at this point in the year. Virginia might not have been a tough opponent for Miami, but they at least have a winning record.

So with the top four potentially staying put, the impetus will be on the teams outside of the playoff picture to make their cases. The most likely team to edge its way in is No. 5 Wisconsin.

The Badgers beat a CFP-ranked team in Michigan 24-10 in Week 12 and remain undefeated. If they can manage to win out, the committee would be hard-pressed to exclude them. As Sports Illustrated‘s Joan Niesen wrote:

With the win, the Badgers moved to 11-0 for the first time in program history. They’re one of three remaining undefeated teams in FBS; UCF and No. 3 Miami won in the early slate of games. With the Hurricanes’ win, No. 2 Clemson and No. 1 Alabama thumping nonconference opponents, and No. 4 Oklahoma’s afternoon matchup with one-win Kansas, it seems unlikely Wisconsin would move up into the top four.

“But beating its second straight ranked opponent works in Wisconsin’s favor before it faces Minnesota, which was shut out by Northwestern on Saturday, next week. For the Badgers, everything rides on the Big Ten championship in two weeks against Ohio State. A win should still get the Badgers into the final four, no matter how soft their schedule was before mid-November.

With Week 12 seeing most teams do little to differentiate themselves, Week 13 and beyond will take on even greater significance. There are only a couple of chances remaining for the top teams to make their playoff cases.

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