The final CBS Sports 127 of the regular season has been finalized, and our FBS-wide rankings of every team — compiled by ballots from CBS Sports and 247Sports voters — match the final decisions of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee when it comes to the top four.
While others may have spent their Sunday arguing about Notre Dame against Texas A&M, our voters only dropped the Fighting Irish from No. 2 to No. 4 following their ACC Championship Game loss to Clemson. The Tigers moving up into that No. 2 spot after winning a sixth-straight conference crown with Ohio State moving up to No. 3 after pulling away from Northwestern in the second half of the Big Ten Championship Game. The Aggies come in at No. 5 — just like the committee has placed Jimbo Fisher’s team anchored to that spot for a few weeks now.
After that, the CBS Sports 127 does differ from the committee’s final rankings, starting with No. 6. Oklahoma was a three-spot mover this week after winning the Big 12, but our group has undefeated Cincinnati at No. 6 and the Sooners one spot behind the Bearcats. Other differences compared to the committee: Indiana is also three spots higher at No. 8 in our rankings, BYU four spots higher at No. 12, Iowa State three spots lower at No. 13 and North Carolina four spots lower at No. 17.
Even though it was a lighter week with mostly championship games and a few make-up dates sprinkled in with those “championship week” exercises in the Big Ten and Pac-12, there was still some major movers in the rankings so be sure to check those out below the top 25.
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-127 on our rankings page.
- No. 39 UAB (+19): Congrats to the Blazers for winning the Conference USA title at the end of a challenging season that saw multiple games canceled and left Bill Clark’s team sidelined seemingly as frequently as they were playing on Saturdays. UAB challenged itself in nonconference games against Miami and Louisiana and that experience might have been the difference as it defeated Marshall to claim its second C-USA title in three years.
- No. 22 Oregon (+15): Like UAB, Oregon sees a huge boost in the rankings after winning as an underdog on conference championship weekend. The Ducks were called into action when Washington could not meet the threshold to play and Mario Cristobal took advantage of the opportunity with the kind of wide-open approach you’d expect from a team with nothing to lose. Oregon played two quarterbacks, brought pressure defensively with Kayvon Thibodeaux and won its second-straight Pac-12 title.
- No. 29 Utah (+5): This is a team that got better through the season. The problem for Utah is “the season” only lasted about a month in the Pac-12 and this young team didn’t really get to find itself until it had a couple of games under its belt. The Utes make a move up after beating Washington State to finish the regular season at 3-2.
- No. 34 Buffalo (-5): A slight knock for Buffalo after losing its first game of the year, perhaps even more of a downgrade because it came against a Ball State team it was favored to beat by double digits. The Bulls enter the postseason at 5-1 after a terrific year but that MAC title game performance will be a “what if” with how close they came to an undefeated season.
- No. 32 Boise State (-6): San Jose State’s rise in the rankings (up four spots to No. 19) pairs with Boise State’s fall, and the Broncos land just outside the top 30 after a strong 5-2 season. The Broncos dealt with injuries at the quarterback position and many of the same struggles all teams faced who started late, but it was still a season of championship contention in the Mountain West for Bryan Harsin.
- No. 21 USC (-8): No longer undefeated, the Trojans fall from their top-15 status in our rankings. USC had come from behind successfully all season and nearly did it again against Oregon. This was Clay Helton’s first division title since 2017, and it would have been nice to also make it the program’s first Pac-12 title since 2017, but now it’s on to a bowl-less postseason instead of a spot in the New Year’s Six after the Trojans decided to opt out and turn their attention to 2021.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 127: Teams ranked 26-127
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