Tennessee Volunteers

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Chris Petersen of the Washington Huskies looks on prior to the game against the Oregon Ducks on October 17, 2015 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Washington moves to No. 4, Michigan falls to No. 5 in latest CFP rankings


The penultimate edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday and Washington moved into the No. 4 spot after Michigan’s double-overtime loss to Ohio State last week. Michigan dropped to No. 5, remaining ahead of No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Colorado — all teams Michigan beat this season.

This leads into five days of debate of how the committee will handle Michigan over the eventual Big Ten champion and a possible Pac-12 champion Colorado.

Oklahoma checked in at No. 9 followed by Oklahoma State at No. 10, all but securing the Big 12’s second missed Playoff in three years. Colorado passed the Sooners at No. 8 ahead of Friday’s Pac-12 Championship against Washington.

Auburn dropped just one spot after last week’s loss to Alabama and remained one spot ahead of Florida, keeping the Tigers ahead of the Gators for the Sugar Bowl spot should Florida lose to the Tide in Saturday’s SEC Championship.

LSU rejoined the rankings for the umpteenth time at No. 21, as did ACC Championship participant Virginia Tech at No. 23 and Pittsburgh at No. 25.

The full rankings:

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Washington
  5. Michigan
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Penn State
  8. Colorado
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. USC
  12. Florida State
  13. Louisville
  14. Auburn
  15. Florida
  16. West Virginia
  17. Western Michigan
  18. Stanford
  19. Navy
  20. Utah
  21. LSU
  22. Tennessee
  23. Virginia Tech
  24. Houston
  25. Pittsburgh

2016 College Football Bowl Projections after Week 13

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 26:  Darrius Sims #6 celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the University of Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 45-34.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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As we exit a wild Thanksgiving week filled with rivalry game upsets and head toward the final week of the regular season, it’s crazy to think that college football is over for a lot of teams. At the same time, there are dozens of others wondering what’s next on the docket with the postseason picture still slowly coming into focus. Most teams are left wondering just how the bowl picture will shake out and it could come right down to the end for several teams looking to find a spot from the College Football Playoff on down.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and see how every game the rest of the year plays out and which teams wind up in certain bowl games. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 17:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl No. 1 Alabama No. 4 Washington
Fiesta Bowl No. 2 Clemson No. 3 Ohio State

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl Wisconsin USC
Sugar Bowl Oklahoma Florida
Orange Bowl Florida State Michigan
Cotton Bowl Penn State Western Michigan

2016 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Mexico Bowl UTSA New Mexico
Las Vegas Bowl North Texas+ San Diego State
Cure Bowl UL-Lafayette UCF
Camellia Bowl Arkansas State Central Michigan
New Orleans Bowl Southern Miss Appalachian State
Miami Beach Bowl Tulsa Toledo
Boca Raton Bowl Western Kentucky Houston
Poinsettia Bowl BYU* Wyoming
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Colorado State Miami (OH)
Bahamas Bowl Old Dominion* Eastern Michigan*
Armed Forces Bowl Navy* Mississippi State+
Dollar General Bowl Troy Ohio
Hawaii Bowl Middle Tenn. State Hawaii
St. Petersburg Bowl South Florida Army
Quick Lane Bowl Maryland Boston College
Independence Bowl South Carolina N.C. State
Heart of Dallas Bowl Louisiana Tech South Alabama
Military Bowl Wake Forest Temple
Holiday Bowl Iowa Stanford
Cactus Bowl Baylor Air Force
Pinstripe Bowl Northwestern Pitt
Russell Athletic Bowl Virginia Tech West Virginia
Foster Farms Bowl Indiana Washington State
Texas Bowl Texas A&M Kansas State
Birmingham Bowl Vanderbilt Memphis
Belk Bowl Georgia Tech Kentucky
Alamo Bowl Oklahoma State Colorado
Liberty Bowl Tennessee TCU
Sun Bowl North Carolina Utah
Music City Bowl Minnesota Georgia
TaxSlayer Bowl Miami (FL) Arkansas
Outback Bowl Nebraska LSU
Citrus Bowl Louisville Auburn
Arizona Bowl Idaho Boise State

*Accepted bowl invite
+ 5-7 team selected based on APR

WATCH: Deployed military brother surprises Vandy long-snapper

NORFOLK, VA - JULY 21:  In this U.S. Navy handout, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Jajuan Mangual adjusts the American flag on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) to half-mast July 21, 2012 off the coast of Norfolk, Virgina. President Obama ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff Friday to honor victims of the July 20 shooting at the Century 16 theatre in Aurora, Colo. According to police in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Holmes, 24, is in custody and is suspected of killing 12 people and injuring 59 during a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.'.  (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph R. Vincent/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
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These types of videos will never, ever get old.

Saturday night’s in-state rivalry game was Tennessee was Senior Night for Vanderbilt, with Vandy looking to secure a sixth win to become bowl-eligible.  More than two dozen players were honored on the night, including Commodores long-snapper Jacob Schultz.

Shortly after Schultz was introduced, the senior was surprised by his brother Josh, a Navy ensign who is deployed overseas and had rarely been able to see his sibling play because of his service.

The resulting scene, not surprisingly, kicked up some dust.  From The Tennessean:

Just, awesome.

Top four remains the same in latest CFP rankings

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 28:  Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a play during their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were unveiled on Tuesday night, and the top four teams remained the same heading into Rivalry Week and No. 3 Michigan’s visit to No. 2 Ohio State. Washington and Wisconsin each moved forward one spot to Nos. 5 and 6, respectively.

Oklahoma State moved into the top 10 ahead of next week’s Bedlam showdown, but still sits behind Colorado, Wisconsin, Penn State and, of course, Oklahoma among 2-loss teams. Each of those teams moved up one spot while Louisville dropped from No. 5 to No. 11 following last Thursday’s beatdown at Houston. In a mild surprise, USC inched only one spot forward to No. 12.

Navy jumped into the rankings for the first time at No. 25, sitting four spots behind unbeaten Western Michigan ahead of the Broncos’ date with Toledo on Friday. Boise State and Houston remain ahead of WMU, but Boise State needs help to reach the Mountain West title game while Houston has been eliminated in the AAC race.

LSU and Texas A&M dropped out of this week’s rankings.

Only one of the, shall we say, exhibition rankings remains before Selection Sunday. Until then, the full top 25:

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan
  4. Clemson
  5. Washington
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Penn State
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Colorado
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. Louisville
  12. USC
  13. Auburn
  14. Florida State
  15. Florida
  16. Nebraska
  17. Tennessee
  18. West Virginia
  19. Boise State
  20. Houston
  21. Western Michigan
  22. Utah
  23. Washington State
  24. Stanford
  25. Navy

Tennessee and Butch Jones celebrate life championships while Alabama and Florida compete for SEC

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 1: Joshua Dobbs #11 and Coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrate after the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

In truth, there are things far more important than college football. That appears to be the message of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, who says his players have already become champions of life after being locked out of a shot to play for the SEC championship in Atlanta next week. Alabama will face Florida in the SEC Championship Game for the second striaght season. The Gators clinched the SEC East with a win at LSU, thus locking out Tennessee form a shot at the division crown.

You can understand the point jones is trying to make by saying that no matter has or has not happened on the gridiron this fall or the past four years, the senior class at Tennessee will leave the program as strong individuals ready for whatever comes at them next in the NFL or life after football. You want your head coach to be able to prepare players for life after college, but in a season in which Tennessee was the preseason favorite in the SEC East and this was supposed to be the year the Vols take advantage of a down division, the comments by Jones do little to satisfy those rooting for the Vols, who have been starving for an SEC championship and more.

But this is what Jones does to reach out to his players and connect with recruits. Selling a message like this is essential for some in college football, but ultimately the message comes across better if, you know, the team wins an actual championship on the field.

Tennessee let an SEC East Division slip right through their hands this season and will go back to the drawing board in 2017 looking to find a way to take the next step that appears to be a steep one for the program under Jones. But at least they’ll all be life champions.