How will the College Football Playoff committee rank teams this Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET?
We use analytics to make an educated guess. Based on last week's committee rankings, my algorithm adjusts teams based on the most recent opponent and margin of victory.
Teams that win keep their place unless they need overtime to beat Florida Atlantic. Teams that lose drop, but not as much if they lose to a Top 10 team. You get the idea.
Let's look at the top movers from Week 12.
|1||Clemson (11-0)||Won vs. Wake Forest, 33-13|
|2||Alabama (10-1)||Won vs. Charleston Southern, 56-6|
|3||Notre Dame (10-1)||Won vs. Boston College, 19-16|
|4||Iowa (11-0)||Won vs. Purdue, 40-20|
|5||Oklahoma (10-1)||Won vs. TCU, 30-29|
|6||Baylor (9-1)||Won at Oklahoma State, 45-35|
|7||Michigan State (10-1)||Won at Ohio State, 17-14|
|8||Ohio State (10-1)||Lost vs. Michigan State, 17-14|
|9||Stanford (9-2)||Won vs. Cal, 35-22|
|10||Florida (10-1)||Won vs. Florida Atlantic, 20-14 OT|
|11||Oklahoma State (10-1)||Lost vs. Baylor, 45-35|
|12||Michigan (9-2)||Won at Penn State, 28-16|
|13||Florida State (9-2)||Won vs. Chattanooga, 52-13|
|14||Ole Miss (8-3)||Won vs. LSU, 38-17|
|15||Northwestern (9-2)||Won at Wisconsin, 13-7|
|16||Oregon (8-3)||Won vs. USC, 48-28|
|17||Navy (9-1)||Won at Tulsa, 44-21|
|18||North Carolina (10-1)||Won at Virginia Tech, 30-27 OT|
|19||TCU (9-2)||Lost at Oklahoma, 30-29|
|20||Utah (8-3)||Lost vs. UCLA, 17-9|
|21||UCLA (8-3)||Won at Utah, 17-9|
|22||Mississippi State (8-3)||Won at Arkansas, 51-50|
|23||Washington State (8-3)||Won vs. Colorado, 27-3|
|24||Wisconsin (8-3)||Lost vs. Northwestern, 13-7|
|25||Pittsburgh (8-3)||Won vs. Louisville, 45-34|
Ohio State's Title Defense Is Likely Over
The stage was set for Ohio State to surge toward 11-0 and a berth in the College Football Playoff. It had Michigan State coming to The Horseshoe without the services of star QB Connor Cook.
However, Michigan State rained on the Buckeyes' party and won a slow, ugly game 17-14. The Spartans defense, which had looked awful against Air Force and Rutgers, showed up in a big way and allowed only 132 yards on 2.9 yards per play to a potent Ohio State offense.
Of course, any defense will look better against questionable play-calling. Urban Meyer's staff called numerous QB runs for J.T. Barrett, and Barrett ended the game with more carries than Ezekiel Elliott. Barrett is a fine runner, but he's not the explosive threat of Heisman candidate Elliott.
After the game, Elliott criticized the Buckeyes' play-calling. However, news also came out that Elliott spent three days this week in the hospital, according to Tim Moody of Scout.com, so the coaching staff may have been trying to protect him.
In any event, Ohio State's drop in the rankings will be interesting. Will the committee consider the absence of Cook in judging the Buckeyes? I predict Ohio State drops to eighth, but the actual drop could be greater if the committee penalizes the Buckeyes for losing to a depleted Michigan State.
Baylor Stays Alive in Upsetting Undefeated Oklahoma State
Art Briles makes you question whether it matters which quarterback he plays. Jarrett Stidham, the backup at the beginning of the season, started for Baylor against Oklahoma State and led the Bears to a 24-14 halftime lead.
However, Stidham injured his ankle and his hand and couldn't play the second half. Third-string QB Chris Johnson came in and threw two perfect strikes for touchdowns of 39 and 71 yards. He added another rushing touchdown to lead Baylor to a 45-35 win.
With the win, Baylor moves up to sixth in the committee rankings. The Bears could still make the playoff, but they are behind an Oklahoma team they lost to last week.
Oklahoma State lost its first game of the season, which drops the Cowboys to 11th in the committee rankings. To make the playoff, they need a big win over Oklahoma next week and many teams to lose.
Florida Survives Near-Death Experience Against Florida Atlantic
Florida entered the game against Florida Atlantic as a 31-point favorite, per Odds Shark, but needed overtime to win 20-14. The result drops Florida to 10th in the committee rankings.
It's time to question whether the Gators deserve consideration for one of four playoff spots.
Florida didn't make the Top 25 of the preseason coaches poll. This might seem irrelevant this late in the season, but preseason polls are remarkable predictors. The preseason coaches poll has predicted 59.9 percent of bowl-game winners since 2005, not far behind the 61.5 percent for teams favored by the gambling markets.
In addition, Florida has survived close games against weak Kentucky and Vanderbilt teams. The Gators' loss to LSU looks worse every week as the Tigers have lost three straight games and are spiraling.
Florida still has a shot at the College Football Playoff, especially since it has already secured a spot in the SEC Championship Game. However, with the close call against Florida Atlantic, its game against rival Florida State next week suddenly seems like a giant road block.