Projecting the 2019 College Football Playoff Rankings Top 25 Before Tuesday Show

Projecting the 2019 College Football Playoff Rankings Top 25 Before Tuesday Show article feature image

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: J.K. Dobbins

  • The first set of 2019 College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday night between 9-9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
  • Our rankings below are intended to project what the CFP committee might do come Tuesday, not accurately rank the best teams in the country. That's what our power ratings are for.
  • There's still so much to be decided, but in three of the five College Football Playoff years, the No. 1 team in the first rankings has been the No. 1 seed in the CFP.

So long, AP Poll. Hello, College Football Playoff rankings.

The first Top 25 from the CFP committee will be released on Tuesday night at approximately 9-9:30 p.m. ET between the Champions Classic basketball games.

Below we’re predicting what the committee might do come Tuesday night ahead of a huge college football slate on Saturday that features Alabama-LSU and Penn State-Minnesota, among others.

If you’re looking to see who the best teams truly are, our Vegas-style power ratings try to determine that and rank each squad 1-130. But the list below is a reflection of what the committee might do come Tuesday night.

Our power ratings are available to Action EDGE members and can be used to project point spreads between any two teams. Use our Week 11 projected lines to find early betting value.

2019 College Football Playoff Rankings

We’ve grouped each College Football Playoff contender into one of three categories.

  • The elite teams that will be favored in all their remaining games.
  • Teams that control their own fate but will need a sizable win as an underdog over one of the elite teams.
  • The teams with one loss that aren’t dead, but need some chaos at the top.

We’ve also listed each team’s record, point spreads in for their remaining games via our oddsmaker-style power ratings, and’s playoff projection chances.

The Real CFP Contenders


  • Record: 8-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 50%
  • Toughest Games: vs. LSU (-7.5), at Auburn (-12)

Alabama was off this week, but of course hosts the biggest game of the college football season next week against LSU.

Several books opened the Tide around -7 last week, but Tua Tagovailoa’s health will be paramount to this line and the game.

Ohio State

  • Record: 8-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 62%
  • Toughest Games: vs. PSU (-15), at Michigan (-15.5)

The Buckeyes hold the top spot in our power ratings, and I don’t expect that to change.

LSU will likely hold the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff come Tuesday, but there’s certainly an argument to be made that the Buckeyes are the best team in the country.


  • Record: 9-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 82%
  • Toughest Games: at South Carolina (-21)

Clemson will be a three-touchdown favorite in all of its remaining games, including the ACC Championship Game, so there’s little reason to expect the Tigers to miss out on the CFP this season.

The Contenders That Need an Upset or Two


  • Record: 8-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 39%
  • Toughest Games: at Alabama (+7.5)

LSU could be a double-digit favorite in every remaining game but Alabama.

These things tend to work themselves out, but the College Football Playoff could get messy if LSU loses and teams like Ohio State and Clemson hold serve.

There are only four spots, but an 11-1 LSU with a loss only to Alabama certainly has a case.

Penn State

  • Record: 8-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 23%
  • Toughest Games: at Ohio State (+15.5), at Minnesota (-9)

How good is this Penn State team? The Nittany Lions just ground out three tough wins — at Iowa, Michigan, at Michigan State — but didn’t look incredibly convincing in any.

This coming week, PSU will likely be about a touchdown favorite at Minnesota.


  • Record: 8-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 12%
  • Toughest Games: vs. Oklahoma (+12), vs. Texas (-2)

Baylor moved from the “we can’t believe they’re undefeated” camp to “boy, they could really win out.”

The Bears survived against West Virginia on Thursday and could be favored in all their remaining games but a home date with Oklahoma (and vs. Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game, potentially).


  • Record: 8-0
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 5%
  • Toughest Games: vs. Penn State (+9), vs. Wisconsin (+9), at Iowa (+7.5)

Minnesota could be an underdog in three of its last four games, and if the Gophers do get to the Big Ten Championship, a big underdog there.

But Minnesota controls its own fate to reach the College Football Playoff, which is remarkable considering it’s November.

Teams Clinging to Some Hope


  • Record: 7-1
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 24%
  • Toughest Games: at Baylor (-12), at OK State (-16)

Oklahoma is off like the rest of the top teams this week. The Sooners can’t afford to slip up, but they’re far from eliminated despite losing to Kansas State last week.

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  • Record: 8-1
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 39%
  • Toughest Games: at Arizona State (-11)

The Ducks looked a little shaky in the first half against USC, but ended up with a big win and clear path to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Oregon’s toughest remaining game is at Arizona State, where it will be about an 11-point favorite. The Ducks also have Oregon State and Arizona remaining.

FiveThirtyEight now gives Oregon a 38% chance to make the College Football Playoff — the Ducks need to win out, then hope the SEC cannibalizes itself, or one of the other giants in the Power 5 goes down. It’s certainly looking more likely.


  • Record: 7-1
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 25%
  • Toughest Games: at Auburn (-2.5)

Georgia did enough to get past Florida, winning 24-17 and taking control of the SEC East.

The Dawgs have a tough test at Auburn in a few weeks, but surviving that will get them to the SEC Championship Game. With a win there, they’d reach the College Football Playoff.



  • Record: 8-1
  • College Football Playoff Odds: 24%
  • Toughest Games: at Arizona (-12.5)

Utah is on a collision course with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game — the Utes’ toughest game remaining will be -12.5 at Arizona, and the Ducks beating USC gives Utah the upper hand on the Trojans in the Pac-12 South.

Against UCLA and Colorado, Utah’s other two opponents, the Utes could be favored by at least 21 points.

Eliminated Today


  • Record: 7-2
  • College Football Playoff Odds: Less than 1%
  • Toughest Games: at Missouri (-1)

Florida had a chance to take control of the SEC East, but fell to Georgia in Jacksonville on Saturday. That ends any hope the Gators had for the College Football Playoff.


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