College Football Playoff Rankings: Who’s In?

The 2015 college football regular season and conference title games have passed and it’s now down to the postseason and that means learning which four teams will make this year’s playoff. The playoff committee announced the final top 25 on Sunday which included the top four and it will be the top-seeded Clemson Tigers playing the No. 4 seed Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl while the No. 2 seed Alabama Crimson Tide will face the third-seeded Michigan State Spartans in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

All four teams were conference champions which left Pac-12 champion Stanford on the outside looking in. Clemson beat Oklahoma last year 40-6 when the two teams played in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The Sooners will have a chance to redeem themselves for that loss. Nick Saban used to be the coach of Michigan State which makes the other semifinal just as interesting. The first game of the semifinals will begin just after 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Here is a look at the game times, schedule for the other New Year’s Six games and the final top 25 playoff rankings.

December 31 Semifinals

Orange Bowl: (1) Clemson vs. (4) Oklahoma, 4 p.m., ESPN- The Tigers will be looking to keep their undefeated season alive against the Sooners, who may have one loss on their record but have been playing the best football in all of college football recently.

Cotton Bowl: (2) Alabama vs. (3) Michigan State, 8 p.m., ESPN- The Crimson Tide played a Big Ten team last season in the semifinals in Ohio State and ended up losing. Will Alabama be able to overcome the Spartans’ tough defense and allow Derrick Henry to run wild?

New Year’s Six Games

December 31

Peach Bowl: Florida State vs. Houston, Noon, ESPN- The Seminoles may look at this game as easy due to the their opponents but Houston is a talented team that could put a shock into Florida State. The Cougars won the American Athletic Conference and have proven to be a quality team this year with a 12-1 record.

January 1

Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, 1 p.m., ESPN- A matchup that every football fan loves seeing with two of the most decorated colleges in the whole country. Will the Fighting Irish, who have two losses by a combined four points, be able to win a big game unlike some previous years?

Rose Bowl: Iowa vs. Stanford, 5 p.m., ABC- The granddaddy of them all gets a traditional Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup. Both the Hawkeyes and Cardinal have a case that they should have made the playoff but will play now to prove who is the No. 5 team in the country. Will that be enough for these two?

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss, 8:30 p.m., ESPN- The rankings for the two teams may not look great but the Sugar Bowl has to take the Big 12 and SEC champions and with both of them in the semifinal, the Cowboys and Rebels get to play in New Orleans in what should be a high-scoring game.

Final Top 25 Rankings

  1. Clemson (13-0)
  2. Alabama (12-1)
  3. Michigan State (12-1)
  4. Oklahoma (11-1)
  5. Iowa (12-1)
  6. Stanford (11-2)
  7. Ohio State (11-1)
  8. Notre Dame (10-2)
  9. Florida State (10-2)
  10. North Carolina (11-2)
  11. TCU (10-2)
  12. Ole Miss (9-3)
  13. Northwestern (10-2)
  14. Michigan (9-3)
  15. Oregon (9-3)
  16. Oklahoma State (10-2)
  17. Baylor (9-3)
  18. Houston (12-1)
  19. Florida (10-3)
  20. LSU (8-3)
  21. Navy (9-2)
  22. Utah (9-3)
  23. Tennessee (8-4)
  24. Temple (10-3)
  25. USC (8-5)
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