College football is setting up for its big finale. Heading into the drama of rivalry week, how do the top teams compare in Power Rankings?

By Martin Rickman
November 25, 2014

Finales are tricky. How do you sum up something that meant so much and had so much work put into it with one episode or a single event? By their very nature, finales only invite failure and disappointment.

If you leave it up to interpretation (think The Sopranos) you run the risk of not saying enough for your viewer. If you check off all the boxes and make it neat and tidy (Breaking Bad, for instance), you’re not giving your audience enough credit. The shows that get canceled and really shouldn’t have been -- Freaks and Geeks comes to mind, and more recently, the short-lived Fox show Enlisted -- sometimes get it right on accident. There’s something more natural about an unexpected finish.

Finales are, well, final, but when they’re scripted, they don’t feel that way. Thankfully we don’t have to worry about that with college football. The end of the regular season has plenty of storylines that need closure, but even when we think we have it all figured out, something like the 2013 Iron Bowl happens. As finales go for the general college football viewing public, that was perfect. Unless of course you’re an Alabama fan.

It’s time to see what happens when we close the book on the 2014 regular season before conference championships effectively put a coda on the year and set the stage for the first College Football Playoff.

• ELLIS: Bowl Projections: Can Baylor make late playoff surge?

1
Alabama Crimson Tide
1
10-1
2
Florida State Seminoles
2
11-0
3
Oregon Ducks
3
10-1
Next game: Saturday at Oregon State
4
Baylor Bears
4
9-1
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech
5
Mississippi State Bulldogs
5
10-1
6
TCU Horned Frogs
6
9-1
Next game: Thursday at Texas
7
Ohio State Buckeyes
7
10-1
Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan
8
Michigan State Spartans
8
9-2
Next game: Saturday at Penn State
9
Georgia Bulldogs
10
9-2
Next game: Saturday vs. Georgia Tech
10
Kansas State Wildcats
11
8-2
Next game: Saturday vs. Kansas
11
UCLA Bruins
12
9-2
Next game: Friday vs. Stanford
12
Arizona State Sun Devils
13
9-2
Next game: Friday at Arizona
13
Arizona Wildcats
14
9-2
Next game: Friday vs. Arizona State
14
Wisconsin Badgers
15
9-2
Next game: Saturday vs. Minnesota
15
Auburn Tigers
16
8-3
Next game: Saturday at Alabama
16
Colorado State Rams
18
10-1
Next game: Friday at Air Force
17
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
19
9-2
Next game: Saturday at Georgia
18
Marshall Thundering Herd
17
11-0
Next game: Saturday vs. Western Kentucky
19
Missouri Tigers
21
9-2
Next game: Friday vs. Arkansas
20
Oklahoma Sooners
23
8-3
Next game: Dec. 6 vs. Oklahoma State
21
Ole Miss Rebels
9
8-3
Next game: Saturday vs. Mississippi State
22
Clemson Tigers
8-3
Next game: Saturday vs. South Carolina
23
Louisville Cardinals
8-3
Next game: Saturday vs. Kentucky
24
Boise State Broncos
9-2
Next game: Saturday vs. Utah State
25
Minnesota Golden Gophers
8-3
Last game: Beat Nebraska, 28-24 Next game: Saturday at Wisconsin

Next five: Nebraska, Arkansas, LSU, USC, Memphis

• STAPLES: Rivalry week set to bring playoff picture into focus

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
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