College Football Playoff Rundown- November 29 rankings


The North Carolina Tar Heels will look to dethrone Clemson as the best of the ACC this weekend

Trevor Butler, Sports Editor

There’s a reason everyone loves rivalry week. Whether you’re in the hunt for the playoff or limping to the finish, there’s always a chance of beating up on your rival. That’s what happened this season, as rivalry week caused a major shakeup in the playoff rankings.  

  1. Georgia (1) 
  2. Michigan (3)
  3. TCU (4) 
  4. USC (6)
  5. Ohio State (2) 
  6. Alabama (7) 
  7. Tennessee (10) 
  8. Penn State (11) 
  9. Clemson (8) 
  10. Kansas State (12) 
  11. Utah (14) 
  12. Washington (13) 
  13. Florida State (16) 
  14. LSU (5) 
  15. Oregon State (21) 
  16. Oregon (9) 
  17. UCLA (18) 
  18. Tulane (19) 
  19. South Carolina (NR) 
  20. Texas (23) 
  21. Notre Dame (15) 
  22. UCF (22) 
  23. North Carolina (17) 
  24. Mississippi State (NR)
  25. NC State (NR) 

“I mostly agree with this week’s rankings, however I think Ohio State should have dropped more after getting smoked by Michigan. I also think that Clemson should have dropped more than one spot after losing to an unranked South Carolina even though it was a close game,” Kyler Jensen said. 

“Bama shouldn’t be that high. Tennessee are frauds and TCU are insanely overrated and will get crushed if they make it in over USC. The PAC-12 championship is BS, Utah shouldn’t be in and Washington should because they beat Oregon and Utah lost to Oregon. And Ohio State should go to the Rose Bowl not the playoff,” Drew Jansen said.  


Rivalry week brought some surprises, both in the form of upsets and blowouts. Michigan traveled to Columbus looking to win at The Shoe for the first time since 2000, while Clemson looked to keep their playoff hopes alive in the Palmetto Bowl against South Carolina. 

#3 Michigan 45, #2 Ohio State 23 

Woah. The matchup touted as the best of the year between the best offense in the country and the best defense in the country ended in blowout fashion, as Blake Corum battled through a season-ending knee injury to lead the Wolverines to a blowout victory. Ohio State fans chanted “We Want Urban” as they left the stadium in the fourth quarter, advocating for the return of former coach Urban Meyer. The matchup was tight into the third, but consecutive touchdowns from the Wolverines offense put the game out of reach for the Buckeyes. The win sets Michigan up for a date with the Purdue Boilermakers in Indianapolis for the Big 10 championship game. 

Texas A&M 38, #5 LSU 23 

All the Tigers had to do was win in College Station to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the struggling Aggies had other plans. Reeling from a rough season, A&M needed a bright spot to close out the season, and upsetting a highly ranked LSU team would do just the trick. The Aggies were in control for the whole game, striking first in the first quarter and never looking back en route to the dominating victory. LSU heads to the SEC championship game with their playoff hopes dashed, while A&M heads to the offseason with the transfer portal looming. 

#21 Oregon State 38, #9 Oregon 34 

The Ducks were in control of the Civil war through the first three quarters, holding a commanding 31-10 lead with three minutes left in the quarter before Deshaun Fenwick punched in a touchdown for the Bevers to cut the lead to 14. Oregon State’s ground game came alive in the fourth, as they almost exclusively ran the ball throughout the quarter. Camden Lewis’ field goal extended the lead to 17 for the Ducks, but three straight rushing touchdowns for the beavers capped off a miraculous comeback as Oregon State practically snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. 

Georgia Southern 51, Appalachian State 48 

Just because a game doesn’t make an impact on the playoff race doesn’t mean it can’t be an all-time classic. That was the case in Statesboro, Georgia as the Eagles of Georgia Southern needed a win to get themselves into a bowl game. The Eagles and Mountaineers went back and forth, trading scores all game. A Kyle Vantreese TD run tied the game at 38 as regulation ended, but the first overtime period saw Georgia Southern and App State trade touchdowns yet again. OT2 saw the Eagles defense hold the Mountaineers to a field goal, which set the stage for Vantreese to sling a walk off, 25-yard touchdown pass to Ezrah Archie to send Allen E. Paulson Stadium into a frenzy and send the Eagles bowling. 

South Carolina 31, #8 Clemson 30 

Only a week after South Carolina shocked Tennessee, they traveled to Death Valley to take on rival Clemson. The Tigers jumped ahead 16-7 in the second quarter, and maintained that lead until the fourth, beginning the quarter with a 30-28 lead. Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks kept the game close, which gave SCar kicker Mitch Jeter the opportunity to convert a field goal to put the visitors ahead 31-30. DJ Uiagalelei and the Clemson offense couldn’t muster any more scoring, as South Carolina handed the Tigers their first home loss since 2016. 


As conference championship week approaches, the four top 10 losses provide a major shakeup in my rankings.  

  1. Michigan (+1) 
  2. Georgia (-1) 
  3. TCU 
  4. USC 
  5. Ohio State 
  6. Penn State (+2)
  7. Alabama (-1) 
  8. Tennessee (-1) 
  9. Washington (+3) 
  10. Kansas State  
  11. Utah  
  12. Florida State (+1) 
  13. Clemson (-4) 
  14. Oregon State (+1) 
  15. UCLA (+2) 
  16. Oregon 
  17. LSU (-3) 
  18. Tulane 
  19. South Carolina 
  20. Texas 
  21. UCF (+1) 
  22. Notre Dame (-1) 
  23. North Carolina 
  24. Mississippi State 
  25. NC State 


Conference Championship week serves as the final chance for playoff contenders to cement themselves with a ticket to the dance or for their opponents to shake up the race. Games span Friday and Saturday, with four of the five serving as possible impact games for the playoff race. 

#11 Utah at #4 USC (Las Vegas, NV, 5:00 PM Friday, Dec 2, FOX) 

Caleb Williams is the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, and the Trojans are one win away from sending themselves to the playoff for the first time. All they have to do is get through the #11 Utes. They say it’s hard to beat the same team twice, and Utah is the only team to beat USC this season. 

#10 Kansas State at #3 TCU (Arlington, TX, 9:00 AM Saturday, Dec 3, FOX) 

The Wildcats won their way into the Big 12 title game, beating Kansas 47-27 in the Sunflower Showdown and knocking Texas out of the game. They’ll look to get revenge on a TCU team who beat them by 10 earlier in the season, while shaking up the playoff. 

#14 LSU at #1 Georgia (Atlanta, GA, 1:00 PM Saturday, Dec 3, CBS) 

Live from the Bulldogs’ backyard, it’s the SEC Championship Game! In what many consider to effectively be a home game for Georgia, LSU will look to rebound from an upsetting loss at Kyle Field to the Aggies of Texas A&M to really throw a wrench in the CFP race. To do so, they’ll need the defensive efforts of Harold Perkins to shine once again as they look to topple the Dawgs. 

Purdue at #2 Michigan (Indianapolis, IN, 5:00 PM Saturday, Dec 3, FOX) 

With no Blake Corum for the rest of the year, the weight of the Wolverines ground attack falls into the arms of Donovan Edwards. Michigan will look to strengthen their case for #1, while Purdue will look to again live up to the “Spoilermakers” moniker with a shocking upset victory. 

#9 Clemson at #23 North Carolina (Charlotte, NC, 5:00 PM Saturday, Dec 3, ABC) 

Clemson’s loss all but bounces the ACC from the playoff for the second year in a row, but the Tigers and Tar Heels will still fight it out for a spot in the Orange Bowl. Dabo Swinney and Clemson have long reigned over the ACC, but it’s North Carolina and legendary head coach Mack Brown’s turn to knock off the Tigers.