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?

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