On the heels of an exciting road win over Iowa, the Wisconsin Badgers jumped two spots to No. 14 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night.
The Badgers lead the Big Ten West by a game entering Saturday's Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe vs. No. 18 Minnesota. The rivalry has been boosted this week thanks to the wackiness surrounding the plans for the Axe trophy, but something more important is at stake for both teams: the winner secures the division and the resulting berth in the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 6.
No. 6 Ohio State has already clinched the East division title. The Buckeyes play Michigan in their annual rivalry game Saturday afternoon.
Michigan State is also ranked at No. 10. The Spartans face Penn State on Saturday to close out their regular season.
Should Wisconsin run the table and claim the Big Ten championship, it might have an outside shot at securing the last spot in the four-team playoff. More likely, though, is a scenario where the Badgers earn one of the remaining New Year's Day bowls, and a matchup with a big-name opponent.
|Rank||Team||Last week||Week 13 result||Toughest opponent left (per F/+)||If the season ended today ...|
|1||Alabama (10-1)||1||Won 48-14 vs. Western Carolina||Auburn||Sugar Bowl vs. Mississippi State|
|2||Oregon (10-1)||2||Won 44-10 vs. Colorado||Oregon State||Rose Bowl vs. Florida State|
|3||Florida State (11-0)||3||Won 20-17 vs. Boston College||Florida||Rose Bowl vs. Oregon|
|4||Mississippi State (10-1)||4||Won 51-0 vs. Vanderbilt||Ole Miss||Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama|
|5||TCU (9-1)||5||Idle||Texas||New Year's bowl|
|6||Ohio State (10-1)||6||Won 42-27 vs. Indiana||Michigan||New Year's bowl|
|7||Baylor (9-1)||7||Won 49-28 vs. Oklahoma State||Kansas State||New Year's bowl|
|8||UCLA (8-3)||9||Won 38-20 vs. No. 19 USC||Stanford||New Year's bowl|
|9||Georgia (9-2)||10||Won 55-9 vs. Charleston Southern||Georgia Tech||Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech|
|10||Michigan State (9-2)||11||Won 45-3 vs. Rutgers||Penn State||New Year's bowl|
|11||Arizona (9-2)||15||Won 42-10 at No. 17 Utah||Arizona State|
|12||Kansas State (9-2)||12||Won 26-20 at West Virginia||Baylor|
|13||Arizona State (9-2)||13||Won 52-31 vs. Washington State||Arizona|
|14||Wisconsin (8-2)||16||Won 59-24 vs. No. 16 Nebraska||Minnesota|
|15||Auburn (8-3)||14||Won 31-7 vs. Samford||Alabama|
|16||Georgia Tech (9-2)||18||Idle||Georgia||Orange Bowl vs. Georgia|
|17||Missouri (9-2)||20||Won 29-21 at Tennessee||Arkansas|
|18||Minnesota (8-3)||25||Won 28-24 at No. 23 Nebraska||Wisconsin|
|19||Ole Miss (8-3)||8||Lost 30-0 at Arkansas||Mississippi State|
|20||Oklahoma (8-3)||21||Won 44-7 vs. Kansas||Oklahoma State|
|21||Clemson (8-3)||22||Won 28-0 vs. Georgia State||South Carolina|
|22||Louisville (8-3)||24||Won 31-28 at Notre Dame||Kentucky|
|23||Boise State (9-2)||NR||Won 63-14 at Wyoming||Utah State||New Year's bowl|
|24||Marshall (11-0)||NR||Won 23-18 at UAB||Western Kentucky|
|25||Utah (7-3)||17||Lost 42-10 vs. No. 15 Arizona||Colorado|