With the first official rankings being released on Tuesday, the race to the College Football Playoff heats up with some key Week 13 games.
In normal seasons, this would the weekend known as “rivalry week” in college football and while there are some of the games biggest rivalries being played in Week 13, you will be missing some games that will be coming later in the year and that will make this slate feel a little strange.
However, there are plenty of Week 13 games this weekend that will impact the playoff race.
The first playoff rankings were released on Tuesday and that is giving some clarity in terms of the picture and which teams are going to be watched week after week. Any team that has even a chance at the playoff will need to be playing at their best from this point on and if the rankings are any indication, there might be some teams that have higher playoff chances than originally thought and some that have a very uphill battle to even get in the conversation.
While the narrative has been that the Big 12 is dead in the water, the rankings committee showed that that might not be the case. Oklahoma and Iowa State surprised some people by being ranked 11th and 13th, respectfully, and because they are ranked so high, it is not tough to envision either team making a run because they are both playing their best football so at the moment.
Texas A&M will be back in action this weekend after missing the last couple of weeks and if Tuesday is any indication, the Aggies could make the playoff as a one loss team if they keep playing well. With the committee ranking Oklahoma over Iowa State, despite the Cyclones beating the Sooners, A&M needs to keep playing well or they could risk getting jumped by Florida, even though they beat the Gators.
This weekend has the potential to have some surprise results as the season winds down and we are getting closer to Selection Sunday.
Here are the five games this weekend with the highest impact on the playoff race.