An exciting weekend of Conference Championship games is in the books. We can now set our sights on Bowl Season and the College Football Playoffs. There’s a bit of a lull until we get there, but that makes for a perfect time to reflect on the 2019 College Football regular season that was. Here’s how the Top 25 teams in the land stack up in advance of the postseason.
25) Florida Atlantic Owls, 10-3
The Owls didn’t receive any love in the final CFP and AP polls, but a 49-6 thrashing of UAB in the Conference USA title game makes them more than deserving of recognition for a solid 2019.
24) Virginia Cavaliers, 9-4
The Cavaliers were no match for Clemson in ACC title clash, falling by a score of 62-17. They have a date with Florida in the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30.
23) Cincinnati Bearcats, 10-3
For the second week in a row, the Bearcats fell at the hands of Memphis, this time in the AAC championship game. The team will move on to face Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl.
22) Air Force Falcons, 10-2
The Falcons were left out of the final CFP rankings, but they check-in at 24th in the final AP poll. The 10-win squad will take on Washington State in the Cheez-It Bowl.
21) Navy Midshipmen, 9-2
The Midshipmen have their bowl assignment lined up as they square off with Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl. Before getting there, it’s the traditional date with Army this Saturday.
20) Appalachian State Mountaineers, 12-1
The Mountaineers took down the Sun Belt Conference with a 45-38 victory over Louisiana. The reward is a date with UAB in the New Orleans Bowl on December 21.
19) Minnesota Golden Gophers, 10-2
A 10-2 regular season is nothing to sneeze at, but the Golden Gophers are undoubtedly still smarting from falling short in the quest for the Big Ten West. They’ll face Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
18) Iowa Hawkeyes, 9-3
The regular season didn’t turn out as well as the Hawkeyes were hoping, but they closed out strong with three straight victories. The team has been invited to the Holiday Bowl to face USC.
17) Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 10-2
There will be no return to the CFP for the Fighting Irish, but the program still delivered a 10-win campaign versus a tough schedule. Next up is a game with Iowa State at the Camping World Bowl.
16) Michigan Wolverines, 9-3
The last time we saw the Wolverines, they were being clobbered by Ohio State. They have a date with Alabama on New Year’s Day at the Citrus Bowl, so we’ll see how they respond.
15) Boise State Broncos, 12-1
The Broncos are champions of the Mountain West after handling Hawaii by a score of 31-10. The team will head to Sin City on December 21 to face Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl.
14) Memphis Tigers, 12-1
The Tigers capped off a stellar season with a 29-24 win over Cincinnati in the AAC title tilt. A primo bowl spot as the top Group of Five team in the land awaits as they face Penn State at the Cotton Bowl.
13) Utah Utes, 11-2
It was there for the taking, but the Utes couldn’t close the deal. They fell to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game, missing out on the CFP as a result. The club will face Texas in the Alamo Bowl instead.
12) Alabama Crimson Tide, 10-2
There are no playoffs for a 2-loss Crimson Tide team this season, so we would imagine the mood is sour in Tuscaloosa right about now. They can look forward to taking it out on Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
11) Auburn Tigers, 9-3
A 9-3 mark versus an incredibly tough schedule makes for a fine campaign for the Tigers. The team’s losses all came to Top 10 clubs. They’ll square off with Minnesota in the Outback Bowl.
10) Penn State Nittany Lions, 10-2
Outside of two road losses to Minnesota and Ohio State, the Nittany Lions handled business in impressive fashion in 2019. A Cotton Bowl date with Memphis awaits on December 28.
9) Florida Gators, 10-2
Being arguably the third-best team in the loaded SEC is an impressive feat, but it’s not quite what the Gators had in mind this season. They head to the Orange Bowl to take on Virginia.
8) Wisconsin Badgers, 10-3
The Badgers stunned Ohio State and got out to a 14-0 lead in the Big Ten title game, but they couldn’t seal the deal in a 34-21 defeat. They’re off to the Rose Bowl to take on Oregon.
7) Baylor Bears, 11-2
An overtime loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game ended the Bears’ dreams of a playoff berth. They’re off to the Sugar Bowl instead to take on Georgia.
6) Georgia Bulldogs, 11-2
The Bulldogs were smoked by LSU in the SEC title game by a score of 37-10. The team’s vaunted defense had held all opponents to 20 points or less heading in. It’s on to the Sugar Bowl to face Baylor.
5) Oregon Ducks, 11-2
The Ducks pounded Utah in the Pac-12 title game by a score of 37-15. It was quite impressive, but it also made the team’s two losses that much more painful. They take on Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
4) Oklahoma Sooners, 12-1
The Sooners return to the CFP as the 4th seed after handling Baylor in the Big 12 title game. They’re paired up with LSU in semifinal action at the Peach Bowl on December 28.
3) Clemson Tigers, 13-0
The defending national champions dominated Virginia to win the ACC once again. The team isn’t taking kindly to being ranked 3rd by the CFP, so we’ll see what that means in semifinal action versus Ohio State.
2) Ohio State Buckeyes, 13-0
The Buckeyes had to come from behind to take down Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. That proved costly, as they are now the 2nd seed and matched up with Clemson in the semifinals.
1) LSU Tigers, 13-0
A dominating win over Georgia in the SEC title game made LSU the top seed in the CFP. They take on Oklahoma in the semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl with early lines having them as 13-point favorites.
The Next 5
USC Trojans, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Miami-Ohio RedHawks, SMU Mustangs, Kansas State Wildcats
USC and Oklahoma State made it into the final CFP rankings at 22nd and 25th respectively. Miami-Ohio picked up an upset win over Central Michigan to take down the MAC. SMU and Kansas State were two of the better stories of 2019 as both programs surprised and turned things around.