2019 NCAAF Power Rankings – Week 15

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The final week of the regular season is in the books. The stage is now set for what looks like an excellent slate of Conference Championship games. The action gets underway on Friday night with the Pac-12 title tilt between Oregon and Utah.

On Saturday night, the ACC gets decided between Virginia and Clemson, while Ohio State and Wisconsin square off for the Big Ten. The other seven conferences will have their title games on Saturday afternoon.

Add it all up, and we have several dandies to look forward to. The final spot in the College Football Playoffs will come into focus once the weekend is through, and there’s always the possibility of an upset or two to really shake things up.

Let’s take a look at how the Top 25 teams in the nation align as we look ahead to Conference Championship weekend.

1. LSU Tigers

LSU Tigers Logo

  • Record: 12-0
  • AP Rank: 1
  • Standings: 1-SEC West

Heading into the regular season finale with Texas A&M, there were still some questions about undefeated LSU, namely on the defensive side of the ball. The team responded with one of its most complete performances of the season in a 50-7 win. Heisman favorite Joe Burrow tossed three scores in the victory. On Saturday, the Tigers square off with Georgia to decide the SEC.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State Buckeyes Logo

  • Record: 12-0
  • AP Rank: 2
  • Standings: 1-B10 East

Michigan kept it interesting for about a quarter or so on Saturday, but they had no answer for the Buckeyes the rest of the way. Ohio State cruised to a 56-27 victory to cap off an undefeated regular season in which each win came by 10+ points. A Saturday night clash with Wisconsin is for the Big Ten crown.

3. Clemson Tigers

Clemson Tigers Logo

  • Record: 12-0
  • AP Rank: 3
  • Standings: 1-ACC Atlantic

The Tigers smoked South Carolina by a score of 38-3 to run the record to 12-0. The team has held 11 of its 12 opponents to 14 points or less this season. While often knocked on strength of schedule, the team continues to handle business. They’ll square off with Virginia with the ACC on the line.

4. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 4
  • Standings: 1-SEC East

After wrapping up the regular season with a 52-7 rout of Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs enter Conference Championship week as the favorite for the 4th spot in the CFP. Locking it down won’t be easy as they have LSU up next in the SEC title game with other 1-loss squads lurking.

5. Utah Utes

Utah Utes Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 5
  • Standings: 1-P12 North

The Utes are in the mix for a CFP berth, but a date with Oregon in the Pac-12 title game comes first. An impressive win there gives them a strong case, while a loss brings the dream to an end. Either way, it has been an impressive season for Utah with the lone loss coming on the road to USC.

6. Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Sooners Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 6
  • Standings: 1-B12

The Sooners are in the exact same spot as the Utes. They’ll square off with Baylor in the Big 12 title game and will need a convincing win to bolster their argument. When the two clubs hooked up in the regular season, Oklahoma has to rally from a double-digit deficit to escape with a field goal win.

7. Baylor Bears

Baylor Bears Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 6
  • Standings: 2-B12

The Bears enter Saturday’s Big 12 title game versus Oklahoma as 8-point underdogs as of this writing. For the first meeting, they held a commanding 31-10 lead at the half, but it was all Sooners the rest of the way as they collapsed in a 34-31 defeat.

8. Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 8
  • Standings: 1-B10 West

The Badgers received a big wake up call in the middle of the regular season with back-to-back losses to Illinois and Ohio State, but the club was able to right the ship and close out strong. They have a date with Ohio State on Saturday to decide the Big Ten title as big underdogs.

9. Florida Gators

Florida Gators Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 7
  • Standings: 2-SEC East

While there will be no SEC title game for the Gators this season, a 10-win campaign versus a tough schedule is nothing to sneeze at. The team’s defeats came at the hands of LSU and Georgia, two of the nation’s best in 2019. Florida will patiently await its bowl assignment.

10. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama Crimson Tide Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 9
  • Standings: 2-SEC West

The Crimson Tide went into Saturday’s Iron Bowl game versus Auburn needing a convincing win to keep its slip playoff hopes alive. A 48-45 loss later, and the team is now resigned to waiting for its bowl game destination. The team was just 1-2 versus ranked foes this season with the other loss coming to LSU.

11. Auburn Tigers

Auburn Tigers Logo

  • Record: 9-3
  • AP Rank: 11
  • Standings: 3-SEC West

The Tigers closed out the season on a high note with the victory over Auburn. The team’s three losses all came to squads ranked in the Top 10. For the season, the club was 3-3 versus ranked foes. A 9-3 mark versus an incredibly tough schedule has to be considered a success.

12. Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 13
  • Standings: 1-P12 North

The Ducks bounced back from an upset loss to Arizona State with a 24-10 home victory over Oregon State. The team’s CFP hopes were squelched with loss number two, but they can still win the Pac-12 if they handle business versus Utah on Friday night.

13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 14
  • Standings: Independent

A trip to Stanford was the only thing standing in the way of a 10-win season for the Fighting Irish. They answered the bell without issue in a 45-24 victory behind a 4-TD day from Ian Book. A primo bowl spot is coming for a team whose only two losses came to Georgia and Michigan.

14. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota Golden Gophers Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 15
  • Standings: 2-B10 West

The Golden Gophers couldn’t cap off what was nearly a storybook season. After opening up at 9-0, the team dropped two of its last three, including Saturday’s defeat to Wisconsin which decided the Big Ten West. Nonetheless, a 10-win season is an impressive feat in a tough conference.

15. Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State Nittany Lions Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 12
  • Standings: 2-B10 East

The Nittany Lions closed out the regular season by having their way with Rutgers. The team’s two losses came at the hands of Ohio State and Minnesota, two of the top programs in the Big Ten in 2019. While it’s little solace, Penn State impressed in racking up 10 wins.

16. Memphis Tigers

Memphis Tigers Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 16
  • Standings: 1-AAC West

On Friday, the Tigers handled business versus Cincinnati to run the record to 11-1. The two teams meet again this weekend, this time with the AAC title on the line. An impressive win for Memphis would make them the frontrunner for top Group of Five program in the country.

17. Boise State Broncos

Boise State Broncos Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 19
  • Standings: 1-MW Mountain

Boise State can make a case for that title as well, but they first will have to take care of business versus Hawaii in the Mountain West title game. The Broncos were perfect in regular season play this season with the only loss coming in a 28-25 road defeat to BYU.

18. Appalachian State Mountaineers

Appalachian State Mountaineers Logo

  • Record: 11-1
  • AP Rank: 10
  • Standings: 1-SB East

The Mountaineers closed out the regular season with a 48-13 thrashing of Troy. That was the team’s fourth straight victory, with the last three coming by double digits. The lone loss was a 24-21 decision to Georgia Southern. The team takes on Louisiana to decide the Sun Belt on Saturday.

19. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan Wolverines Logo

  • Record: 9-3
  • AP Rank: 17
  • Standings: 3-B10 East

The Wolverines put up a fight versus Ohio State for a little while, but they were once again steamrolled in the end. A 56-27 clobbering at the hands of its biggest rival brought a disappointing end to a regular season for which the program had much bigger goals heading in.

20. Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa Hawkeyes Logo

  • Record: 9-3
  • AP Rank: 18
  • Standings: 3-B10 West

The Hawkeyes wrapped things up with a 27-24 road win over Nebraska, the team’s third straight victory. All three of the losses came to ranked conference rivals and were by a grand total of 14 points. The team was solid defensively this year, but the offensive output left a lot to be desired.

21. Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Cavaliers Logo

  • Record: 9-3
  • AP Rank: 22
  • Standings: 1-ACC Coastal

As home underdogs to Virginia Tech with the ACC Coastal division on the line, the Cavaliers needed an inspired performance to get the job done. It happened. Bryce Perkins led the way with a 3-TD day for a 39-30 victory. Virginia moves on to face Clemson in the ACC title game.

22. Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati Bearcats Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 21
  • Standings: 1-AAC East

The Bearcats were 13-point underdogs for Friday’s road game with Memphis. They kept it closer than that in a 34-24 defeat, but that doesn’t lead to a ton of optimism heading into Saturday’s rematch for the conference crown. Cincinnati’s only other loss this season was a hammering by Ohio State.

23. Navy Midshipmen

Navy Midshipmen Logo

  • Record: 9-2
  • AP Rank: 23
  • Standings: 2-AAC West

Since falling to Notre Dame, the Midshipmen have bounced back to win two straight by double digits. The team still has a game left as the annual game with Army takes place on December 14. The club’s only other loss was a 35-23 road defeat to Memphis.

24. Air Force Falcons

Air Force Falcons Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: 25
  • Standings: 2-MW Mountain

The Falcons have closed out the regular season with seven consecutive wins. Six of the victories over that span came by double digits. The team’s lone losses this season came in road defeats to Boise State and Navy. Air Force has impressed mightily in 2019.

25. Louisiana Ragin Cajuns

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Logo

  • Record: 10-2
  • AP Rank: NA
  • Standings: 1-SB East

The Ragin Cajuns escaped with a 31-30 victory over ULM to run the record to 10-2. The team has won its last six in a row as it gets set for Saturday’s Sun Belt title game versus Appalachian State. The two teams hooked up earlier this season, a 17-7 win for the Mountaineers.

NCAAF Teams knocking on the Door

  • SMU Mustangs
  • USC Trojans
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys
  • Kansas State Wildcats
  • UCF Knights

A 2-loss regular season is much more than what was expected out of SMU. USC has cracked the AP and Coaches polls, while Oklahoma State and Kansas State are among those right on the outside looking in. UCF had big goals this season, but a 9-3 record has prevented them from reaching them.

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Chris Feery / author

Chris has been covering sports professionally since 2014. Initially focused on the NFL and College Football, he has branched out to cover all of the other major team sports such as MLB, NHL, NBA, and College Basketball. Chris also has extensive experience in the world of fantasy sports. His work has been recognized on two separate occasions by the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association. From parlays to power rankings and previews to picks, Chris prides himself on delivering exceptional content with actionable information.