11. TCU 12. Baylor 13. Mississippi 14. Northwestern 15. Michigan
— CFBPlayoff (@CFBPlayoff) December 2, 2015
The College Football Playoff Committee released the penultimate rankings of the 2015 season Tuesday evening, and Northwestern rose to No. 14 following its win over Illinois in the regular season finale. The Wildcats sat at No. 16 in the College Football Playoff Poll last week, and are ranked at No. 13 in both the Amway Coaches Poll and AP Poll this week.
Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa are ranked as the Top Four for the second consecutive week, with only conference championship games and minimal other action yet to take place this upcoming Saturday. The winner of the Big Ten Championship Game between Michigan State and Iowa would almost certainly secure one of the Top Four spots and a playoff bid, essentially making the contest a play-in game.
Northwestern ranked behind teams with similar resumes, such as Florida State (No. 9) and Notre Dame (No. 8), putting them in a difficult position with no games remaining and chasing a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl. That being said, odds for a bowl on New Year’s Day against an SEC team remain high for Northwestern.
Here are the full rankings from the committee: