Week 14 College Football Preview: Notre Dame Sealing CFP Spot

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

9-0 OVERALL | 8-0 ACC (1st)


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College Football Playoff rankings: Who are the top four teams in the second CFP poll of 2020?

The second set of College Football Playoff rankings were revealed Tuesday.

The top four teams in the first set of rankings were Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State. The Tigers are the only team with one loss among that group, but the entire top seven teams remained unchanged from the initial rankings on Nov. 25.

The College Football Playoff rankings will be released each Tuesday leading up to conference championship weekend, and the final rankings will be unveiled on Dec. 20.

This season’s College Football Playoff semifinals are Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl Game and Sugar Bowl. The Playoff championship game will be Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

With that, the second set of College Football Playoff rankings:

MORE: Sporting News’ Week 14 bowl projections

College Football Playoff rankings 2020

Who are the top four CFP teams after Week 13?

Ranking Team Record
1 Alabama 8-0
2 Notre Dame 9-0
3 Clemson 8-1
4 Ohio State 4-0

Who are the first two teams out of the CFP after Week 13?

Ranking Team Record
5 Texas A&M 6-1
6 Florida 7-1

CFP top 25 rankings after Week 13

Ranking Team Record
1 Alabama 8-0
2 Notre Dame 9-0
3 Clemson 8-1
4 Ohio State 4-0
5 Texas A&M 6-1
6 Florida 7-1
7 Cincinnati 8-0
8 Georgia 6-2
9 Iowa State 7-2
10 Miami 7-1
11 Oklahoma 6-2
12 Indiana 5-1
13 BYU 9-0
14 Northwestern 5-1
15 Oklahoma State 6-2
16 Wisconsin 2-1
17 North Carolina 6-3
18 Coastal Carolina 9-0
19 Iowa 4-2
20 USC 3-0
21 Marshall 7-0
22 Washington 3-0
23 Oregon 3-1
24 Tulsa 5-1
25 Louisiana 8-1

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CFP rankings: Ohio State is puzzle committee has to solve

In its first findings last week, the 13-member committee placed Ohio State at No. 4, within the realm of a prospective four-team playoff. At that point, Ohio State stood 4-0, with No. 5 Texas A&M (5-1), No. 6 Florida (6-1), No. 7 Cincinnati (8-0) and No. 8 Northwestern (5-0) just behind. After the cancellation of Ohio State’s visit to Illinois on Saturday because of the Buckeyes’ positive coronavirus tests in their program population, Ohio State still stands 4-0.

This happens, a lot, in 2020.

Texas A&M has played a seventh game, against LSU, and has gone to 6-1. Florida has played an eighth game, against Kentucky, and has gone to 7-1. Cincinnati and Northwestern have simplified the puzzle somewhat. The Bearcats remained at 8-0 after not playing Temple because of coronavirus considerations, and the Wildcats dropped to 5-1 after their surprising loss at Michigan State. What a hard day for felines.

All of that probably means Ohio State stays put. The committee might not rate a 20-7 home win over an uneven LSU, which Texas A&M just achieved, or a 34-10 home win over a struggling Kentucky, as Florida just achieved, as something worthy of pushing either past Ohio State. It’s worth a look, though, to see how unbalanced the records have to get before the number of wins on one side simply weighs too much.

Anybody can watch Ohio State and see its highbrow capabilities; it’s just that anybody hasn’t gotten to watch Ohio State all that much this season. Will its scheduled bout at Michigan State go off at noon as scheduled?

Last season, of course, Ohio State debuted at No. 1 in the initial rankings. LSU replaced it in Week No. 2 after winning at Alabama. LSU held on for Week No. 3 before the last three weeks went Ohio State, Ohio State and LSU, after LSU had ransacked Georgia. This kind of thing marks an improvement over the old system, where an unbeaten team at the top tended to remain at the top no matter the caliber of victim the No. 2 team just felled.

In that light, it’s also interesting to watch the very top come Tuesday evening. No. 1 Alabama just finished giving Auburn a 42-13 comeuppance for past sins such as its win over Alabama last year, all while coach Nick Saban sat at home after his own positive coronavirus test. (How should a committee weigh something such as that?)

No. 2 Notre Dame, meanwhile, just finished reaching 9-0 with a deeply impressive 31-17 win at a North Carolina the committee had ranked No. 19. The win featured the kind of big-boy muscle some of the past Notre Dame teams had been accused of lacking somewhat. A psychedelic North Carolina offense spent the second half scoreless, its gaskets blown and strewn about the field. Alabama won at home against a team ranked No. 22, Notre Dame on the road against a team ranked No. 19. Might the committee pull another transposal?


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College Football Playoff rankings release time, channel to watch second 2020 CFP selection show

Decisions aren’t getting easier anytime soon for the College Football Playoff selection committee.

As its second set of 2020 rankings are unveiled Tuesday night, the landscape of Playoff contenders remains complicated by COVID-19 cancelations and vastly different strengths of schedule. Ohio State, one of the teams named in the initial top four last week, couldn’t suit up against Illinois because of a coronavirus outbreak. USC, the last remaining Pac 12 squad with any hope of a Playoff appearance, might struggle to complete six games this year as the West Coast buckles down for a surge of hospitalizations and subsequent shutdowns.

Cincinnati and BYU, meanwhile, might not get a crack at the Playoff even if they go unbeaten through nine-plus contests.

MORE: SN’s Playoff predictions after Week 13

For now, the expected pecking order includes Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Clemson in some order. But if one of those teams loses before the end of the season, the field would plunge into complete chaos.

That’s why the weekly CFP rankings are interesting beyond the top four. With each update, the committee lays out a roadmap for what it intends to do if one of the best teams falters. It telegraphs which programs it will likely believe in come the Dec. 20 final selections and which ones it might snub.

With that in mind, here’s what to know about the second CFP rankings release of 2020:

What time are the College Football Playoff rankings released?

  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 1
  • Start time: 7 p.m. ET

The College Football Playoff will unveil its second set of rankings at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 1. According to the official Playoff site, that will be the case for each of the ensuing rankings until Dec. 20, when the rankings will be released at noon.

Video: What are the odds?: Alabama opens as huge favorite over LSU, per BetMGM (SMG)

What are the odds?: Alabama opens as huge favorite over LSU, per BetMGM



CFP rankings schedule 2020

The CFP rankings will be released on four consecutive Tuesdays from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15. The final rankings will be unveiled Dec. 20, the weekend all Power 5 conference championship games are played.

Here’s a look at the remaining schedule:

Date Time (ET)
Tuesday, Dec. 1 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 8 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 15 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 20 (Selection Sunday) Noon

MORE: AP Top 25, Coaches Poll rankings

How to watch CFP selection show

Each of the Playoff rankings will take place on ESPN and can be live streamed on WatchESPN. All rankings leading into the College Football Playoff selection show on Sunday, Dec. 20, will be broadcast at 7 p.m. ET. The final show will take place at noon.

Each set of rankings can also be streamed on ESPN via fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial.

Projected CFP rankings: Who are the top four teams in college football?

1. Alabama (8-0)

2. Notre Dame (9-0)

3. Ohio

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First CFP rankings will be even more unsolvable than usual

For its first rankings of 2020 appearing this evening, the committee has met in Texas in recent days staring at an inscrutable puzzle with 17 unbeaten teams ranging from BYU at 9-0 to Washington and Colorado at 2-0, with Alabama and Notre Dame tucked in there at 7-0 and Ohio State at 4-0. That’s even though it’s three weeks later in the year.

The year has, of course, gone bent out of recognizable shape. Some conferences began in early September. Some began in late October. Some teams barely have begun at all. The usual appetizer buffet of nonconference games used for keener measurements hasn’t happened as conferences have played almost entirely themselves. The second-tier, so-called “Group of Five” brims with eight unbeaten teams partly because the nonconference games weren’t around to leave some of them beaten.

In a pandemic year of varying medical opinions, the usual unsolvable rankings questions of an eccentric sport have multiplied into cascading unsolvable rankings questions.

How should one measure the Pac-12 with its unbeaten Oregon (3-0), Southern California (3-0), Colorado (2-0) and Washington (2-0)? With the Big Ten starting late and upheaved by cancellations, is Northwestern’s 5-0 record better than Ohio State’s 4-0 record in ways beyond the numbers? Shouldn’t No. 1 go to Notre Dame just ahead of Alabama? No? Where to place BYU (9-0), Cincinnati (8-0), Coastal Carolina (8-0), Marshall (7-0), Nevada (5-0), San Jose State (4-0), Buffalo (3-0), Kent State (3-0) and Western Michigan (3-0)?

Last year, Cincinnati had ventured bravely to Ohio State to take a 42-0 reminder of resource levels. The committee placed it No. 20 on that original list.

This year, Cincinnati’s planned visit to Nebraska didn’t happen, even if by now it does appear Cincinnati would have won that. Where might the committee place Cincinnati?

A few certainties do lurk. The Big 12, which has suffered its belittling in the playoff era, figures to undergo a dash of further belittling. Having garnered four playoff berths across the first six years of the playoff concept, but with all four of those from Oklahoma, it stands with zero unbeaten teams and a twice-beaten Oklahoma, assuring its position as slighted.

The SEC, whose schedule the coronavirus keeps rearranging in a calendar of mayhem, figures to benefit from the national ordinance indicating that one loss in the SEC equals zero elsewhere. That makes Texas A&M (5-1) and Florida (6-1) two of the more curious placements for the committee, with those two rating a further curiosity given that Texas A&M beat Florida on a football field.

A recent-years amendment to that ordinance involves Clemson, which is not in the SEC but has beaten some of its teams — and many other teams — across the last six seasons going 76-6. The Tigers stand 7-1 this time, but the right side of that ledger is incomprehensible. They lost 47-40 in double overtime at Notre Dame on Nov. 7, but lacked the pillars of both sides of the ball: quarterback Trevor Lawrence and linebacker James

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When are the College Football Playoff rankings released? Time, channel for first CFP selection show in 2020

The winding, halting 2020 college football season has brought us just hours away from the first set of College Football Playoff rankings.


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What will that top four look like? The top three teams will assuredly consist of some ordering of Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State, all of whom are undefeated and have beaten top-five opponents this season. It’s the fourth spot where the Playoff committee must make some tough decisions.

Will it go with 7-1 Clemson, which lost an overtime thriller without Trevor Lawrence to Notre Dame earlier this year? That would set the ACC championship game up as a potential Playoff play-in game, though it’s worth wondering whether the Irish could get in if they split with the Tigers. The other likely candidate at No. 4 is 6-1 Florida, whose only defeat this year is to one-loss Texas A&M and who seems destined for a collision with Alabama in the SEC championship game.

MORE: SN’s Playoff predictions after Week 12

Something else to note: the placement of teams such as Oregon, Texas A&M, BYU and Cincinnati. Those teams — the latter two, especially — appear to be on the outside looking in to the Playoff, barring any late-season chaos. Their initial placement in the rankings will go a long way in determining the likelihood of making the Playoff.

Think that doesn’t matter? Only two of the 24 teams to have made the Playoff were ranked outside the top 10 of the initial rankings: Ohio State (No. 16 in 2014) and Oklahoma (No. 15 in 2015). None of the last 20 teams has been ranked outside the top 10.

That’s doubly important for Cincinnati and BYU; only one non-Power 5 team (Notre Dame, in 2018) has ever made the Playoff. The highest rank a non-Power 5 team other had in the initial top 25 other than the Irish was UFC, ranked 12th in 2018. The Knights only moved up four spots over the course of the season, finishing No. 8 in the final CFP rankings. They were one of only four unbeaten FBS teams that year; the other three made the Playoff.

So yes, placement will be important come Tuesday’s unveiling. All the more reason to watch, right? With that, here’s everything you need to know to tune in:

What time are the College Football Playoff rankings released?

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 24
  • Start time: 7 p.m. ET

The College Football Playoff will unveil its first rankings at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 24. According to the official Playoff site, that will be the case for each of the ensuing rankings until Dec. 20, when the rankings will be released at noon.

CFP rankings schedule 2020

The CFP rankings will be released on four consecutive Tuesdays from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15. The final rankings will be unveiled Dec. 20, the weekend all Power 5 conference championship games are played.

That said, the second set of rankings, to be unveiled on Dec. 1, will coincide with college

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A CFP is an advisor armed with extensive education and ethical standards to help you manage your money

a person standing in front of a window: Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) must have considerable financial expertise, both academic and practical, and agree to always put clients' interests before their own. baona/Getty Images

© baona/Getty Images
Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) must have considerable financial expertise, both academic and practical, and agree to always put clients’ interests before their own. baona/Getty Images

  • A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a trade-industry designation for advisors and other professionals in the financial field. 
  • To gain the CFP credential, planners must have a certain amount of experience, pass a rigorous exam, and commit to ongoing financial education.
  • While not a legal license, the CFP indicates that a planner will bring a higher level of financial expertise and ethical behavior to their advice and management of a client’s finances and investments.
  • Visit Insider’s Investing reference library for more stories.

When you’re seeking advice on money matters, navigating the waters of wealth managers, financial planners, and other advisors can be downright confusing. Who should you trust in a field that’s largely unregulated, but chock full of professionals with an alphabet soup of initials after their names? 


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“CFP,” which stands for Certified Financial Planner, is one of the most common and respected types of financial advisor you’ll come across. Generally speaking, individuals designated as CFPs hold some of the strictest certifications for financial planning, as established by the CFP Board, the nonprofit trade organization that aims to set the bar for trust, ethics, and expertise within the financial planning industry. 

The CFP Board believes that “every single American deserves competent and ethical financial advice from qualified professionals who are required to act as fiduciaries,” says CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, adding that the organization’s role is “to set and uphold the Certified Financial Planner certification for more than 87,000 professionals in the United States. We exist, in part, to set standards that go further than the minimum requirements of the law, for the benefit of the public and the profession.”

Wondering if hiring a CFP is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about them.

What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

First, it’s important to understand what a CFP is not. Unlike the CPA (certified public accountant), the CFP is not a state-sanctioned license to practice. Nor does it indicate registration with a federal or federal-sanctioned agency, like the SEC or FINRA, which oversees stockbrokers. 

Instead, the CFP is a professional credential set and enforced by the CFP Board. It offers those in the financial industry the opportunity to develop their skills, specialize, and continue their education to earn and maintain a prestigious designation.

It’s also important to understand the difference between the general term “financial planner” and the Certified Financial Planner designation. Anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a financial planner, but it takes a lot of time and effort to become a CFP.

How to become a CFP

Earning a CFP begins with education. Candidates must have a bachelor’s or graduate degree from an accredited college or university. 

They’ll also complete additional CFP Board-approved coursework for certification at one of 200 educational institutions. These classes span 72 financial

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