Tomorrow’s Top 25 Today: Utah, Kansas State see significant jumps in new college football rankings

Scores and results from Championship Weekend in college football provided the final data points for the last update to the College Football Playoff Rankings. The CFP Selection Committee will release its final rankings on Sunday afternoon, and the AP Top 25 will offer its penultimate update as well with one final release coming after bowl season.

While the AP voters are not the committee members, they are facing the same debates when it comes to reacting to Friday and Saturday’s action, including what to do with TCU after the Horned Frogs lost in overtime to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game.

The entire top 10 is going to be difficult to sort out for voters as two teams in the top four lost (TCU, USC) and five teams weren’t even in action. There’s also the issue of where to slot the conference championship winners from the Big 12 and the Pac-12 as Kansas State and Utah both started weekend outside of the top 10 in the AP Top 25.

CBS Sports bowls expert Jerry Palm projects that TCU will in fact hold its position at No. 3 even after the loss as the defeat left the Horned Frogs with a 12-1 record on the year. And we’ve got Ohio State bumping up into the No. 4 spot as voters try their best to weigh in on those same playoff debates and perhaps in doing so offer a ranking similar to what we are expecting from the committee on Sunday.

Kansas State is sure to see a surge in the wake of taking down TCU, but one of the most notable adjustments might be Utah’s jump ahead of several two-loss teams after beating USC. Both of these three-loss conference champions are going to have recency bias and quality wins anchoring arguments that they should be ahead of two-loss teams in the top 10, and voters are likely to be swayed by those signature wins added to Kansas State and Utah’s profiles this weekend.

Here’s how we think the new AP Top 25 will look on Sunday:

1.Georgia (Last week — 1): The Bulldogs saw a couple first-place votes drift away to Michigan last week, but after thrashing LSU in the SEC Championship Game, we could see Georgia move back closer to the near-unanimous No. 1 status it’s held for much of the season’s second half.

2. Michigan (2): The The Wolverines pulled away from Purdue to secure their second straight Big Ten championshipbut their win was far less impressive than that of the Dawgs giving voters no reason to elevate Michigan past Georgia.

3. TCU (3): AP voters may have a long record of reacting to results with a “win move up, lose move down” mentality, but the body of work for TCU — 12-1, only loss coming by three points in overtime to another top team — is still the third-best profile in the country.

4. Ohio State (5): The Buckeyes were not in action over the championship weekend, though they were one of the weekend’s big winners thanks to USC’s loss and the opportunity to climb back into the top four of the rankings.

5. Alabama (6): The Crimson Tide were not in action over championship weekend, though Nick Saban did his best to campaign for Alabama Throughout Saturday afternoon and evening. We will find out on Sunday if the many interviews and stump speeches worked in terms of influencing the selection committee.

6. Tennessee (7): The Volunteers were not in action over championship weekend.

7. Utah (12): In beating USC twiceUtah will not only force AP voters to give more respect to the head-to-head advantage against the Trojans but the Utes also get to boast two top-10 wins. That powers a move ahead of some two-loss teams that can’t claim the same number of top-end wins.

8. Kansas State (13): The AP voters were much harsher on Kansas State’s profile than the committee, slotting the Wildcats three spots lower than their position in the CFP Rankings after Week 13. That means there is more ground to make up, and the AP Top 25 ranking may be lower than what some Kansas State fans will be expecting on Sunday.

9. USC (4): The Trojans fall could be more dramatic due to the 23-point margin of defeat, and while the 11-2 profile includes a trio of wins against ranked teams (Oregon State, UCLA, Notre Dame), none of those wins are of the top -10 or above-15 variety.

10. Penn State (8): The Nittany Lions were not in action over the championship weekend.

11. Clemson (10): The move to Cade Klubnik sets the stage for the future of the quarterback position at Clemson, and a dominant win against North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game could be grounds for a slight bump in the pecking order of two-loss teams.

12. Washington (9): The Huskies were not in action over championship weekend.

13. Florida State (14): The Seminoles were not in action over championship weekend.

14. LSU (11): There is no shame in losing to the No. 1 team in the country, but the 50-30 final score is going to make it easier for voters to slide the Tigers down as Utah and Kansas State make their climb up the rankings. It could be enough for voters to bring the head-to-head result against Florida State back into consideration to split hairs around No. 13 and No. 14, though this positioning represents the floor for any rankings fall.

15. Tulane (18): College football’s most impressive one-year turnaround was completed with , avenging the lone regular-season conference loss and winning the program’s first league title since 1998. The Green Wave were 2-10 in 2021 and flipped it to 11-2, plus got a commitment from Willie Fritz after other schools were inquiring about his availability. All in all, a great week for Tulane football, which won’t jump ahead of Florida State but could see a boost just based on momentum from the 45-28 win against UCF.

16. Oregon (15): The Ducks were not in action over championship weekend.

17. Oregon State (16): The Beavers were not in action over championship weekend.

18. UCLA (17): The Bruins were not in action over championship weekend.

19. Notre Dame (19): The Fighting Irish were not in action over championship weekend.

20. South Carolina (20): The Gamecocks were not in action over championship weekend.

21. Texas (21): The Longhorns were not in action over the championship weekend.

22. UTSA (23): Jeff Traylor secured back-to-back Conference USA titles for UTSA with Friday’s 48-27 win against North Texas, and it sets up an opportunity for the Roadrunners to finish in in the final AP Top 25 for the first time in program history with a bowlwin.

23. Mississippi State (25): The Bulldogs were not in action over the championship weekend.

24. Troy (NR): Year 1 for Jon Sumrall has been about as successful as anyone at Troy could have hoped as the former Kentucky defensive coordinator led the Trojans to an 11-2 finish and a Sun Belt championship, the program’s first conference title since 2017.

25. Fresno State (NR): The Bulldogs only had four voting points last week, but Saturday’s dominant win at Boise State in the Mountain West title game might be enough to jump the line and pick up some spots at the end of voters’ ballots. Fresno State is 9-4 on the year, which alone doesn’t look great, but it also has won eight straight games and just dominated a Boise team. The voters had 29th in voting points just last week.

Projected to drop out: No. 22 UCF, No. 24 North Carolina

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