Projecting The Nov. 24 College Football Playoff Ranking

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3. IOWA HAWKEYES

Record: 11-0 (7-0 Big Ten)

Last Week: Won vs. Purdue (2-9, 1-6 Big Ten)

This Week: at Nebraska (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten)

I may have been premature in my projection of Iowa in the Playoff picture, but it’s happening this week. Furthermore, the ugly Notre Dame result at Fenway Park opens the door for Iowa to charge into the Top 3. Heck, considering the Hawkeyes’ marquee win, Northwestern, downgraded one of the Alabama’s quality victories, Wisconsin, the undefeated Fighting Ferentzes might have a claim to No. 2.

OK — maybe scratch that No. 2 suggestion. It certainly wouldn’t happen this week, but if Iowa does navigate its way to 13-0 with a Big Ten Championship Game win, top-two seeding isn’t that outlandish. Northwestern can finish 10-2, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin can both finish 9-3, and a defeat of a hypothetical 11-win Michigan State or Ohio State would give the Hawkeyes a pretty stout resume.

That said, Iowa is likely toast with a loss this week at Nebraska — and it’s certainly a possibility. Iowa’s lingering outside the Top 4 for the past few weeks suggests the committee is less than impressed with its undefeated play, thus a Hawkeyes loss becomes an easy excuse to downgrade them out of Playoff contention.