AP Photo/Paul Vernon
22mAdam Rittenberg

Yes, Ohio State has a chance: Observations from the CFP rankings

The fifth CFP rankings were mostly ho-hum. But with an upset or two this weekend, it's not impossible to imagine a scenario in which Ohio State or Stanford sneaks back into the playoff mix.

23mHeather Dinich

Playoff breakdown: If the games were today

The committee's top-five rankings remained the same, but North Carolina is situated behind multiple two-loss teams. How would all the New Year's Six games look if the season ended today?

College Football Playoff rankings: 1-6 (1:36)
Dinich: What to expect from tonight's rankings (4:45)
Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports

Sherman: How loyalty paid off for Iowa, Ferentz

Through all the good times and bad, the big wins and tough losses, Iowa and Kirk Ferentz have stuck together. Now they sit one win away from a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Richt a good fit for Miami? (2:39)

Clay Helton on new role, USC's expecations

USC coach Clay Helton dishes on player reaction to the Trojans' decision to name him permanent head coach, how the team has changed since playing Stanford in Week 3 and expectations for the squad.

John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Heisman Watch: Henry closes in, top 5 unchanged

Alabama running back Derrick Henry remains a firm No. 1 in this week's Heisman Watch after his 271-yard outing against Auburn, with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey remaining at Nos. 2 and 3.

Freshmen who made the biggest impact in Week 13 (5:38)
Drive Through: Weekend Reaction (8:01)
'Killer instinct' propels Michigan State (4:02)
USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images
1dMark Schlabach

The Eliminator wins big during Rivalry Week

Baylor, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are eliminated from CFP consideration with only one week to go before the actual selections are announced.

1dPaul Lukas

Uni Watch 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

In this year's Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, Paul Lukas provides some cool sports-themed gift ideas for the rabid fan in your life -- from books to bottle openers to drinking straws.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Ching: What's next for LSU?

Les Miles will definitely be back in 2016, but the same can't necessarily be said for the team's top assistants.


Myron Medcalf ESPN Staff Writer 

What in the name of Greg Oden and Evan Turner is Ohio State doing right now? We haven't seen an inspired effort like this all year from the Buckeyes. Same team that lost to Texas-Arlington, Memphis and Louisiana Tech is battling ACC contender Virginia? Gotta love the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

CFP rankings: 1-6

  • 1. Clemson (12-0)
  • 2. Alabama (11-1)
  • 3. Oklahoma (11-1)
  • 4. Iowa (12-0)
  • 5. Michigan State (11-1)
  • 6. Ohio State (11-1)

Criteria for top four of CFP rankings

College Football Playoff committee chair Jeff Long breaks down what teams need to do to state their case for the top 4 of the CFP rankings.


Current College Football Playoff bracket

After the latest rankings release, here's how the CFP would look if the season ended today.

ESPN Research

Will Buckeyes sneak back into top four?

Ohio State is on the outside looking in at No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Kirk Herbstreit breaks down the best scenarios that could get the Buckeyes back into the top four.


College Football Playoff rankings: 7-25

North Carolina comes in at No. 10, behind No. 9 Florida State, in the fifth version of the College Football Playoff rankings.


David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

North Carolina checks in at No. 10 in the penultimate Playoff rankings. With a win in the ACC Championship game, they'll move up... But will it be enough? The Heels trail Stanford by 3 spots, and with USC jumping from unranked to No. 20 could mean the Heels can't pass the Cardinal even with a win.

College Football Playoff rankings: 1-6

Rece Davis, Joey Galloway, David Pollack and Kirk Herbstreit reveal the top six in this week's College Football Playoff rankings, where the top five teams remained the same.


Biggest playoff ranking changes

  • Biggest riser: TCU (19 to 11)
  • Biggest faller: Navy (15 to 23)
  • New to rankings: Houston (19), USC (20), LSU (21), Tennessee (25)
  • Out of rankings: Washington St, Mississippi St, UCLA, Toledo

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Clemson was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the ACC, but now there's so much more on the line -- a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers remain No. 1 in the latest College Football Playoff ranking but it hardly matters how many weeks they have had the top spot. What really matters is what happens Saturday against No. 10 North Carolina in the ACC championship game. Win, and Clemson is in. Lose, and the Tigers can all but kiss those playoff hopes goodbye.

CFP rankings: 7-10

  • 7. Stanford (10-2)
  • 8. Notre Dame (10-2)
  • 9. Florida State (10-2)
  • 10. North Carolina (11-1)

CFP rankings: 11-15

  • 11. TCU (10-2)
  • 12. Baylor (9-2)
  • 13. Ole Miss (9-3)
  • 14. Northwestern (10-2)
  • 15. Michigan (9-3)

CFP rankings: 16-20

  • 16. Oregon (9-3)
  • 17. Oklahoma State (10-2)
  • 18. Florida (10-2)
  • 19. Houston (11-1)
  • 20. USC (8-4)

CFP rankings: 21-25

  • 21. LSU (8-3)
  • 22. Temple (10-2)
  • 23. Navy (9-2)
  • 24. Utah (9-3)
  • 25. Tennessee (8-4)

Watch: CFP rankings revealed

The 5th version of the College Football Playoff rankings are being released tonight on ESPN. But there may not be much movement at the top -- the top 5 teams in the previous rankings all won last week. Live on ESPN/WatchESPN

Will Ohio State sneak into the CFP?

The College Football Playoff selection committee has every statistic imaginable at its fingertips, writes ESPN's Heather Dinich. There's also one more very important detail at the top of the page, where it reads "Conference champion" -- followed by a yes or no. And it's a "no" for Ohio State. So how do they get in?

Clemson to host pizza party Sunday

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney announced the athletic department will host the event that's expected to feed thousands of fans in Memorial Stadium following the ACC title game on Saturday night. Said Swinney: "Win or lose, this team deserves to be celebrated."

Booger McFarland not apologizing to Iowa

Is SEC Network's Booger McFarland ready to apologize for calling out the Big Ten prior to the first College Football Playoff ranking? Only to Michigan State and Ohio State.


Dabo's turn to dab

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney knows how to dab, even if he doesn't quite know what it means.


Best landing spots for Mark Richt

Ryen Russillo and Danny Kanell believe the recently-fired Georgia coach would be a great replacement for the Miami Hurricanes.


Mark Richt interviews with Miami

Richt, fired on Sunday by Georgia, interviewed today for Miami's vacant head-coaching job. Miami is Richt's alma mater. Current Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, former Rutgers and Bucs coach Greg Schiano, and former Miami and North Carolina coach Butch Davis have all interviewed as well. Miami is looking to replace Al Golden, who was fired in October. (via ESPN sources and multiple reports)

Heisman Watch: Henry still tops

The top Heisman contenders, including Alabama's Derrick Henry, all had strong games this past weekend. As such, there was no change in the top 5. Rankings

John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Heather Dinich ESPN Staff Writer 

Some of the CFP committee members will remain at their meeting HQ in Grapevine, Texas following tonight's ranking because they will meet again Friday afternoon and watch the MAC title game together. They will meet again Saturday a.m., break to watch the games, and meet again Sat night after the last game ends. They will meet again Sunday morning -- Selection Day.