CFP Top 25: Stanford finishes 6th, will play Iowa in Rose Bowl
The Pac-12 will miss out on the four-team College Football Playoff this season, as the selection committee placed Stanford sixth. Top-ranked Clemson will play No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl for one semifinal, while No. 2 Alabama meets No. 3 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl for the other semifinal on New Year’s Eve.
Stanford will face No. 5 in the Rose Bowl on New Years Day. Other bowls involving Pac-12 teams will be announced later Sunday.
There were four Pac-12 teams in the final College Football Playoff rankings overall. In addition to Stanford, Oregon is No. 15, Utah is No. 22 and USC is No. 25. More details:
Playing for a national championship would be great, but the Rose Bowl isn’t a bad consolation prize for the Pac-12 champs. Two losses proved to be one too many for Stanford, which finds itself outside the College Football Playoff looking in at No. 6. There are probably plenty of Cardinal fans lamenting that season-opening loss to Northwestern or that heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Vernon Adams and Co., but Stanford and Christian McCaffrey were absolutely splendid in a 41-22 Pac-12 Football Championship Game triumph over USC that clinched Stanford’s spot in Pasadena and almost certainly booked McCaffrey’s ticket to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation next weekend. For its Saturday night efforts, Stanford jumped the Buckeyes to get to No. 6 and will face No. 5 Iowa in the Rose Bowl. That should be a fun one – Iowa was about 30 seconds away from being 13-0.
The Ducks moved up one spot to wrap up the CFP season at No. 15. It wasn’t quite enough to do the trick for 9-3 Oregon, as the Pac-12 North runners-up were left out of a New Year’s Six bowl and will play TCU in the Valero Alamo Bowl on January 2. Pretty solid for a team that started 3-3 ... the Ducks have a good chance for 10 wins and a victory in a high-quality bowl game.
Utah got a little help from Houston beating Temple and Stanford taking down USC to move up two slots to No. 22 in the final rankings. The 9-3 Utes will face rival BYU in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on December 19.
Well it looked like USC was going to get run out of Levi’s Stadium in the first half of Saturday's Pac-12 Championship Game, but the Trojans played stellar red-zone defense early on and briefly surged ahead in the second half before Stanford reasserted itself. The Trojans dropped five spots in the CFP rankings to No. 25, but their topsy turvy season can end on a high note in the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin on December 30 in San Diego. It feels like the program has real stability for the first time since Pete Carroll was in town with Clay Helton getting the full-time gig. The Trojans figure to be right in the thick of the Pac-12 South race for years to come.
Here’s the final CFP Top 25 in full:
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Florida State
- North Carolina
- Ole Miss
- Oklahoma State
Check pac-12.com's Pac-12 Bowl Central hub later in the day as bowl games are announced.