College football chaos reared its head once again in Week 13.
Several teams faced potentially fatal setbacks to their College Football Playoff hopes over Thanksgiving weekend, including in the Pac-12 and Big Ten. The biggest loser was Northwestern, which followed up an impressive win over previously unbeaten Wisconsin with a dud of a game against Michigan State, dropping the Wildcats to 5-1 on the season.
They were hardly the only loser out of the Big Ten, however: Ohio State was forced to cancel its game against Illinois due to a COVID-19 outbreak. One more missed game will cause the Buckeyes to be ineligible for the Big Ten championship; how would that affect their chances of making the Playoff?
CFB PROJECTIONS: Playoff | Bowls
The Pac-12 suffered similar setbacks to its top two teams. USC had to cancel its game against Colorado due to an insufficient number of scholarship players. The Trojans only have seven games to prove they’re deserving of a Playoff spot, so any missed game is a significant hit to that argument. Meanwhile, Oregon’s stunning loss to rival Oregon State not only hurt the Ducks’ chances of making the Playoff, but also hurt USC’s strength of schedule (assuming the teams met in the Pac-12 championship).
It wasn’t all bad, however: The nation’s top teams — Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson — all looked the part in dominant wins. So the top of Sunday’s polls should remain largely unchanged. But how will the rest look?
With that, Sporting News presents the college football polls after Week 13:
College football polls updated after Week 13
Moved in: Washington; Iowa; Liberty.
Others receiving votes:
Auburn 75; North Carolina 68; Missouri 43; Texas 40; NC State 40; Appalachian State 33; Buffalo 29; Colorado 27; San Jose State 19; Memphis 17; Boise State 15; Nevada 14; Boston College 10; Army 6; Mississippi 3; West Virginia 2; Florida Atlantic 1; Central Florida 1.
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