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Kansas State ranked ninth in penultimate College Football Playoff rankings

It's now all but official: a win Saturday sends K-State to Atlanta or Arlington or Tucson. A loss? San Antonio or Orlando.

Baylor's hopping mad now. So's Florida State.
Baylor's hopping mad now. So's Florida State.
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

In the final College Football Playoff rankings to be released before the season ends, Kansas State checks in at #9, as widely expected based on this week's AP and Coaches' polls. With a win over Baylor, K-State will be assured of playing in a New Year's Six bowl -- and if Florida State and Ohio State lose while Alabama and Oregon win, the Wildcats could find themselves stumbling into the playoff. This doesn't even require TCU to lose, because that situation would set up a top three of Alabama-Oregon-TCU, and number four would be a choice between two-loss Michigan State and two-loss K-State. One-loss Florida State would almost certainly fall behind both.

K-State got some big help with Wisconsin only pulling in at #13. There's no way that Wisconsin will pass K-State if the Wildcats win. Missouri sliding to #16 also helps, as a Missouri win on Saturday would boost K-State even further. In short, although playoff hopes are so slim as to be barely worth mentioning... they exist. If there were ever a time for things to break the Wildcats' way, it's now.

The most important other thing that happened, of course, was TCU jumping into the #3 spot over unbeaten Florida State -- which will infuriate both the Seminoles and Baylor. Basically, the argument between Baylor and TCU just ended with a resounding boom; it's now an argument between Baylor and Florida State.

Also of note, further down the rankings Boise State is sitting there in the catbird seat. A win on Saturday night in the next-to-last game of the regular season (the last being Army-Navy) would secure the Broncos' invitation to a New Years Six bowl, most likely the Fiesta.

Here, then, the rankings. Debate to your heart's content, BotCers.

Rank Team Last week Week 14 result Final opponent If the season ended today ...
1 Alabama (11-1) 1 Won 55-44 vs. No. 15 Auburn Missouri Sugar Bowl vs. Florida State
2 Oregon (11-1) 2 Won 47-19 at Oregon State Arizona Rose Bowl vs. TCU
3 TCU (10-1) 5 Won 48-10 at Texas Iowa State Rose Bowl vs. Oregon
4 Florida State (12-0) 3 Won 24-19 vs. Florida Georgia Tech Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama
5 Ohio State (11-1) 6 Won 42-28 vs. Michigan Wisconsin New Year's bowl
6 Baylor (10-1) 7 Won 48-46 vs. Texas Tech Kansas State New Year's bowl
7 Arizona (10-2) 11 Won 42-35 vs. No. 13 Arizona State Oregon New Year's bowl
8 Michigan State (10-2) 10 Won 34-10 at Penn State None Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech*
9 Kansas State (9-2) 12 Won 51-13 vs. Kansas Baylor New Year's bowl
10 Mississippi State (10-2) 4 Lost 31-17 at No. 19 Ole Miss None New Year's bowl
11 Georgia Tech (10-2) 16 Won 30-24 (OT) at No. 9 Georgia Florida State Orange Bowl vs. Michigan State
12 Ole Miss (9-3) 19 Won 31-17 vs. No. 4 Mississippi State None
13 Wisconsin (10-2) 14 Won 34-24 vs. No. 18 Minnesota Ohio State
14 Georgia (9-3) 9 Lost 30-24 (OT) vs. No. 16 Georgia Tech None
15 UCLA (9-3) 8 Lost 31-10 vs. Stanford None
16 Missouri (10-2) 17 Won 21-14 vs. Arkansas Alabama
17 Arizona State (10-2) 13 Lost 42-35 at No. 11 Arizona None
18 Clemson (9-3) 21 Won 35-17 vs. South Carolina None
19 Auburn (8-4) 15 Lost 55-44 at No. 1 Alabama None
20 Oklahoma (8-3) 20 Idle Oklahoma State
21 Louisville (9-3) 22 Won 44-40 vs. Kentucky None
22 Boise State (10-2) 23 Won 50-19 vs. Utah State Fresno State New Year's bowl
23 Utah (8-4) 25 Won 38-34 vs. Colorado None
24 LSU (8-4) NR Won 23-17 at Texas A&M None
25 USC (8-4) NR Won 49-14 vs. Notre Dame None