NCAAF Power Rankings: Week 15

By Scott Rickenbach - Covers Expert

The College Football Playoffs set, and with them, the final Power Rankings of the year. Georgia made it interesting in the SEC title game but Jalen Hurts and co. pulled it off allowing the Tide to go wire-to-wire at #1. The biggest riser this week was Fresno St. after their MWC Championship, up three spots to #18. Texas, after losing to Oklahoma in the BIG-12 title game, dropped five spots to #14. Look forward to a terrific Bowl Season!

ncf Power Rankings

Rank Last Week Change Team W-L-T (ATS) Power Rating Team Comments
1 1 same 13-0-0
(8-5-0)
-25 Alabama
- What a regular season it was for undefeated Alabama but will the Tua Tagovailoa injury end up derailing their title hopes as they look to keep up with potent Sooners offense in Orange Bowl?
2 2 same 13-0-0
(7-6-0)
-24.5 Clemson
- Undefeated Clemson dominated Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game and now face undefeated Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl for a shot at getting to the College Football Championship!
3 3 same 12-0-0
(7-4-1)
-24 Notre Dame
- The Fighting Irish now prepare for a shot at getting to the College Football Championship, but Clemson is so strong on both sides of the ball it is a tough match-up (and significant challenge) for Notre Dame.
4 5 up 1 12-1-0
(5-7-1)
-23 Oklahoma
- Oklahoma continued to impress in their win over Texas in the Big 12 Conference Championship Game. However, can the Sooners much-maligned defense generate enough stops to get past Alabama?
5 6 up 1 12-1-0
(6-7-0)
-22.5 Ohio State
- Ohio State completely dominated Michigan 2 weeks ago and then throttled Northwestern in the Big 10 Championship. Can the Buckeyes overcome missing the Playoff? Rose Bowl (Washington) awaits.
5 4 down 1 11-2-0
(8-5-0)
-22.5 Georgia
- The Bulldogs saw their CFB Championship hopes derailed by a late collapse against the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship. Can they regroup for a tough match-up with Texas in the Sugar Bowl?
7 7 same 12-0-0
(9-3-0)
-21.5 Central Florida
- Central Florida, has been surprisingly impressive even without QB McKenzie Milton at the controls. They were hoping for but, the 12-0 Knights are still in for quite a challenge with LSU in the Fiesta Bowl.
8 8 same 10-2-0
(6-6-0)
-20.5 Michigan
- Wolverines defense WAS tops in nation but there is simply no excuse for the way Michigan played overall at Columbus 2 weeks ago. How will they now respond in Peach Bowl against solid Florida?
9 11 up 2 10-3-0
(4-9-0)
-19.5 Washington
- The Huskies got the upset win over rival Washington State two weeks ago to earn a spot in the Pac 12 Conference Championship Game! After beating Utah, Washington is on a roll heading into Rose Bowl!
10 10 same 9-3-0
(8-4-0)
-18.5 Florida
- The Gators took care of business against rival Florida State 2 weeks ago and now prepare for Peach Bowl (tough D of Michigan) after finishing as the 3rd best team in the SEC regular season.
11 12 up 1 9-3-0
(7-5-0)
-17.5 Penn State
- The Nittany Lions have had a solid season and yet they were done in by the fact that they couldn’t get the job done against the elite teams in the Big Ten. Will same fate away against Kentucky in Citrus Bowl?
12 13 up 1 10-2-0
(10-2-0)
-17 Washington State
- Cougars lost to Washington in the battle for the Apple Cup 2 weeks ago after having won 13 straight home games. Now “only” the Alamo Bowl is up next for a disappointed Washington State team.
13 14 up 1 9-3-0
(6-6-0)
-17 Louisiana State
- LSU fell just short in the unbelievable 7-overtime thriller against the Aggies 2 weeks ago. The Tigers now await their bowl game which is an intriguing Fiesta Bowl match-up as UCF went 12-0 this season!
14 9 down 5 9-4-0
(5-7-1)
-16.5 Texas
- The Longhorns fell short against the tough Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game but certainly get a chance to redeem themselves in Sugar Bowl. Will they catch Georgia with a “Crimson Tide hangover”?
15 15 same 8-3-0
(6-3-2)
-16 West Virginia
- The Mountaineers struggled closing out the regular season with back to back losses to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Great offense but who stops who when they face powerful Syracuse offense in bowl?
16 16 same 9-3-0
(5-7-0)
-15 Kentucky
- Kentucky had a solid season but couldn’t get the job done in the biggest games. The Wildcats are a quality team now matched up in the Citrus Bowl with, ironically, a PSU team that had same problem!
17 18 up 1 9-3-0
(8-3-1)
-14 Syracuse
- Syracuse had quality season that was truly a pleasant surprise. The Orange now await a bowl game and look to continue to build momentum heading into next season. Plenty of offense in match-up with WV!
18 21 up 3 11-2-0
(9-4-0)
-12.5 Fresno State
- The Bulldogs finally got past Boise State for the MWC Championship. Do they ride the momentum or fall flat in Las Vegas Bowl – one of the best early bowl match-ups as 11-2 Fresno State faces ASU.
19 20 up 1 8-4-0
(8-4-0)
-12.5 Mississippi State
- Mississippi State played solid defense this season but, of course, playing in the tough SEC is why this Bulldogs team has 4 losses. They face Iowa (also a strong D) in a New Years Day bowl!
20 17 down 3 9-4-0
(7-6-0)
-12.5 Utah
- Utah very solid season but injuries at QB and RB were too much for the Utes to overcome and they lost the Pac 12 Conference Championship Game. Still short-handed when they play in the Holiday Bowl!
21 22 up 1 8-4-0
(8-4-0)
-12 Texas A&M
- The Aggies certainly earned this spot in the rankings as the 7-overtime win over LSU proved their resiliency. Texas A & M gets NC State in the Gator Bowl and should roll if they remain focused.
22 23 up 1 8-5-0
(6-5-2)
-11 Northwestern
- The Wildcats are a 4-loss team but, like Texas, Miss St, Texas A & M and Iowa St, they have faced a tough schedule and deserve being ranked. Northwestern now faces “wounded” Utah in Holiday Bowl.
23 19 down 4 10-3-0
(7-5-1)
-11 Boise State
- The Broncos fell short against Fresno State in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. Landing in a bowl game the day after Christmas was not ideal. Will they overlook Boston College?
24 24 same 8-4-0
(6-6-0)
-11 Iowa State
- Five straight wins for the Cyclones was the story 3 weeks ago heading down to Austin but that poor effort against Texas was surprising. Which Iowa State team will show up against Washington State?
25 25 same 10-2-0
(9-3-0)
-11 Utah State
- The Aggies cost themselves a chance to play for the Mountain West Conference title. Will they get over that disappointment and respond after being relegated to playing in “only” the New Mexico Bowl?

Power Ratings compute offensive and defensive statistics into one number for each team, while accounting for factors like recent performances and strength of schedule. Power Ratings can be used as a baseline for relative spread index to compare current or future match-ups between two teams. The relative spread does not account for non-statistical factors like home-field advantage, recent injuries, game time decisions, rivalries, publicity, and weather.

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