The Iowa Hawkeyes closed out the regular season last week with a come-from-behind win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Black Friday to finish the year at 10-2. That in and of itself makes this a very successful season, but the Hawkeyes aren’t done yet.
After the win in the season finale, Iowa got some much-needed help on Saturday from an unlikely friend as the Minnesota Gophers defeated the Wisconsin Badgers. The loss by Wisconsin put Iowa in sole ownership of first place in the Big Ten West and has the Hawkeyes on a collision course with the Michigan Wolverines this Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Both Iowa and Michigan will enter that matchup with new rankings as their respective victories have each team climbing in the College Football Playoff rankings. Each team will now enter the showdown ranked inside the top-15 nationally as Iowa climbs to #13 this week.
Iowa debuted in the initial rankings four weeks ago at #22. This marks the 16th consecutive week the Hawkeyes have been ranked in the CFP rankings. That’s good for the 7th longest active streak in the nation.
The Wisconsin loss dropped them entirely out of this week’s ranking, which means Iowa remains the lowest ranked Big Ten team. Michigan State moves up to #11 after their win over Penn State as the only other Big Ten team outside the top-10.
For the demolition of Ohio State, Michigan jumps to the #2 spot this week. The Buckeyes, on the hand, fall from 2nd to 7th to give the Big Ten four ranked teams this week - their lowest of the year.
Outside the Big Ten, the SEC leads all conferences with six teams ranked in the top-25. That’s up from five a week ago, extending their lead in this regard to two teams. Georgia remains #1 while Alabama stays at #3 after escaping the jaws of defeat at the hands of Auburn. Those two will face off in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday with a loss by Georgia likely locking both into the playoff and a loss by Alabama dropping them out.
The ACC keeps four teams ranked this week, but again tops out on the fringe of the top-15. Pitt leads the pack at #15 with Wake Forest and NC State not far behind at #16 and #18 respectively. Clemson rounds out the group at #20.
The Big 12 isn’t far behind the Big Ten as they’ve got three teams in the rankings again this week. Oklahoma falls to 14th after their loss to Oklahoma State, which is sitting at #5 hoping for a loss from Alabama. The Cowboys will face off with #9 Baylor on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game with OK State a likely playoff team if they can get a win and that Alabama loss.
Oregon climbed back into the top-10 this week, but the PAC-12 remains on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Utah continues to climb to 17th this week and will get a rematch with the Ducks this weekend.
The AAC keeps two teams ranked this week as Cincinnati holds at #4 while Houston keeps climbing to #21. Those two teams will face off in the AAC Championship Game on Saturday as well.
Here’s a look at this week’s full CFP rankings.
The #13 Hawkeyes are set to square off with the #2 Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7pm CT. The game will be broadcast on FOX.