College Football Playoff rankings: Nos. 11-15
15. Louisville Cardinals (10-2, -5): After blowing a 24-14 lead to lose 38-31 against state rival Kentucky, the Cardinals drop five spots and are out of the CFP conversation. It was a devastating loss as the offense outgained Kentucky by over 100 yards. Senior quarterback Jack Plummer threw for 242 yards, with two touchdowns, an interception, and a fumble in what could very well be his last regular season college football game. Jawhar Jordan was responsible for 92 scrimmage yards, two touchdowns, and also a lost fumble. Luckily for Louisville, they run into a Florida State team without star quarterback Jordan Travis in the ACC title game on Saturday.
14. Arizona Wildcats (9-3, +1): This team defied all expectations, going 9-3, only losing one game in regulation (31-24 vs. No. 7 Washington) with a freshman quarterback, Noah Fifita, who took over in Week 5 and led his team to six straight wins, four of which over ranked opponents. They capped their regular season with a Territorial Cup blowout 59-23 in Tempe. Fifita had another amazing outing, putting up 527 passing yards, five touchdowns, and an interception. Michael Wiley was impactful with two touchdowns despite only gaining 66 yards. Tetairoa McMillan put up career numbers: 11 receptions for 266 receiving yards, and a touchdown. Senior wideout Jacob Cowing also pulled in a remarkable 157 yards and a score on nine receptions. Due to Oregon’s win on Friday, Arizona was eliminated from Pac-12 title contention before taking the field on Saturday but that should not stop them from earning a prestigious bowl bid.
13. LSU Tigers (9-3, +1): Jayden Daniels stays red hot on the trail for the Heisman. The senior quarterback led the Tigers to a 42-30 comeback win over Texas A&M to close out the regular season. He was responsible for 235 yards and four touchdowns on only 16 completions, he also earned another 120 yards on the ground. Malik Nabers also had a great season finale, pulling in two touchdowns and 122 yards on only six receptions. LSU, opening the season at No. 5 in the AP Top 25, experienced a little bit of a down season compared to the hype and expectations. They await a bowl bid, with an NY6 invite being just out of reach.
12. Oklahoma Sooners (10-2, +1): Despite a fiery second half from TCU, the Sooners held strong in a 69-45 win to do their part in making it to their final Big 12 title game, although it was not in the cards due to a head-to-head loss against Oklahoma State earlier this month to eliminate them from contention. Senior quarterback Dillion Gabriel was unstoppable, throwing for 400 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception while also tallying a score on the ground. Other standouts were freshman running back Gavin Sawchuk who posted 146 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns and senior wideout Drake Stoops who reeled in 125 yards and a score on 12 receptions. The Sooners will be on the couch this weekend watching their rivals face off while they wait for a bid allocation.
11. Ole Miss Rebels (10-2, +1): While most households had their TVs set to the pros on Thanksgiving, a defensive battle in the Egg Bowl was taking place as the Rebels won 17-7 over Mississippi State. Jaxson Dart had some trouble getting going, having no drives longer than five plays or 20 yards in the first quarter. However, he found his groove and ultimately posted 96 yards and a touchdown. The star of the show was sophomore running back Quinshon Judkins, who put up 119 yards and a touchdown run. Ole Miss is on the fringe of NY6 participants, maybe we will see them in the Cotton or Peach?