College Football Rankings Top 25: No. 11 Washington, No. 13 Washington State, No. 17 Utah
Washington will enter the Pac-12 Football Championship Game with a No. 11 ranking, while Utah will head to Santa Clara ranked 17th, per the latest College Football Playoff Top 25 released Tuesday afternoon. Washington State is also in the rankings at No. 13 to give the Pac-12 three top-20 teams.
If the College Football Playoff were to begin today, No. 1 Alabama would face No. 4 Georgia in what would be a rematch of Saturday’s SEC Championship game, while No. 2 Clemson would play No. 3 Notre Dame in the other semifinal.
The Pac-12’s loss is the Huskies’ gain. Washington’s 28-15 Apple Cup victory at Washington State Friday night essentially knocked the Pac-12 out of the College Football Playoff for the third straight year, but you won’t hear any complaining on Montlake. Another thoroughly impressive performance against their rivals has the Dawgs in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game for the second time in three seasons. The win moved the Dawgs to 9-3 overall, 7-2 in the Pac-12 North and up five spots to No. 11 in the latest CFP rankings. In a total chaos scenario, if No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 7 UCF were to all lose their conference championship games, maybe the Huskies would get some outside consideration. But a) that scenario is highly unlikely and b) it almost certainly still wouldn’t be enough (heck, No. 14 Texas could conceivably jump the Huskies if it were to play out this way, since the Longhorns’ Big 12 Championship Game win would be over a higher-ranked opponent than Washington’s potential Pac-12 Football Championship game victory). Back to the land of reality – a second Pac-12 title in three years and a third straight New Year’s Six bowl would be quite the accomplishment.
The heavy snow in Pullman certainly didn’t help the Air Raid offense, as the Cougars’ feel-good 2018 season hit a major bump in the road with the loss to Washington. The 28-15 defeat knocked the Cougars out of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, denying them of their first Pac-12 North title. It also eliminated the Cougars from CFP consideration, dropping the Cougs five spots to No. 13 with no more opportunities to make a statement to the CFP committee. However, 10-2 is still an impressive season, and Washington State will still be playing in a pretty juicy bowl game. It likely won’t be in a New Year’s Six game (maybe there’s a chance; there have been two Power Five teams ranked lower than 13th to make a New Year’s Six game in the CFP era), but the Cougs will still probably find themselves in a top-20 matchup.
The Utes stood pat at No. 17, but they’ll certainly feel quite good about themselves after a thrilling comeback victory over rival BYU on Saturday night. Having wrapped up the Pac-12 South the week prior, Utah enters its first Pac-12 Football Championship Game winners of three straight and seven of its last eight. If it wasn’t for an inept offensive performance the first time around against the Dawgs and a couple of plays that could have gone either way against Washington State, the Utes might have been in the College Football Playoff conversation. They haven’t missed a beat without starting quarterback Tyler Huntley and starting running back Zack Moss (kudos to Jason Shelley and Armand Shyne), and the Utes are just one win away from their first major bowl game since joining the Pac-12.
Here’s the CFP Top 25 in full:
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Washington State
- West Virginia
- Mississippi State
- Texas A&M
- Boise State
- Iowa State
- Fresno State