Newsweek College Football Rankings, Heisman and CFP Predictions—Week 16

Only three teams from last week's top 10 played over the weekend, and two of them lost, which caused a small shake up in this week's Newsweek Top 20. Only one team from the top five was in action on Saturday.

No. 1 Alabama got past a slow start but steamrolled Arkansas on the road, and the Crimson Tide held onto the top spot. Florida, which was No. 6, lost at home to LSU after missing a last-second field goal that would have sent the game to overtime. A bizarre shoe-throwing penalty kept a late LSU drive alive that allowed the Tigers to take their 37-34 game-winning lead. Miami got throttled at home, 62-26, by North Carolina, which moved the Hurricanes out ot the top 10 as well.

Georgia, which was No. 9 in the College Football Playoff ranking, overcame a slow start to beat Missouri on the road,

Coastal Carolina stayed perfect with a touchdown in the last minute to get past Troy, and USC overcame an 18-point deficit on the road to beat cross-town rival UCLA on Saturday night in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans remain perfect on the season, and they're now in the Newsweek Top 10.

The new rankings will get a jolt next weekend as there will be eight conference championship games. The biggest ones on tap will be Friday night's Pac-12 title game, followed by the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, ACC, AAC and SEC championships on Saturday.

USC vs UCLA
Greg Dulcich #85 and Chase Cota #23 of the UCLA Bruins are unable to catch a last second pass as Chris Steele #8, Olaijah Griffin #2, Chase Williams #7 and Isaiah Pola-Mao #21 of the USC Trojans defend during the second half of a game at the Rose Bowl on December 12, 2020 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

That said, here is the Newsweek Top 20 for Week 16

1Alabama10-0Sat. vs #13 Florida — SEC Championship
2Notre Dame10-0Sat. vs #4 Clemson — ACC Championship
3Ohio State5-0Sat. vs #16 Northwestern — Big Ten Championship
4Clemson9-1Sat. vs #2 Notre Dame — ACC Championship
5Texas A&M7-1Sat. at Tennessee
6Cincinnati8-0Sat. vs #19 Tulsa — AAC Championship
7Iowa State8-2Sat. vs #10 Oklahoma — Big 12 Championship
8USC5-0Sat. vs Washington — Pac 12 Championship
9Indiana6-1Big Ten Champions Week
10Oklahoma7-2Sat. vs #7 Iowa State — Big 12 Championship
11Coastal Carolina11-0Sat. vs #18 Louisiana — Sun Belt Championship
12North Carolina8-3Regular season complete
13Florida8-2Sat. vs #1 Alabama — SEC Championship
14Georgia7-2Sat. vs Vanderbilt
15BYU9-1Regular season complete
16Northwestern6-1Sat. vs #3 Ohio State — Big Ten hampionship
17Miami (Fla.)8-2Regular season complete
18Louisiana9-1Sat. at #11 Coastal Carolina — Sun Belt Championship
19Tulsa6-1Sat. at #6 Cincinnati — AAC Championship
20Texas6-3Regular season complete

Heisman Trophy Frontrunners

Mac Jones had no touchdown passes and Trask lost a home game to an LSU team with a losing record and a depleted secondary. Trask did pass for 474 yards and a pair of touchdowns, though, but had costly interceptions against the Tigers.

Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith did not have a receiving touchdown, but he returned a punt for a score to break open a 3-3 tie and energize his Crimson Tide team that looked otherwise lethargic until then.

Florida's Kyle Pitts did not play, for undisclosed reasons. Alabama's Najee Harris scored a couple of short touchdowns before getting pulled.

Smith leaped into the second spot this week, and next week's Alabama-Florida game in the SEC Championship could actually determine this year's Heisman winner, especially if voters are waiting until this one game to determine their top three.

Here are the Newsweek Heisman rankings after Week 15 of the season.

  1. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
  2. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  3. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  4. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  5. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
  6. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  7. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  8. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

College Football Playoff Prediction

  1. Alabama
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Ohio State
  4. Clemson

Championship Games to Watch This Week (Times ET)
All games subject to cancel or postpone, and games could change during the week


Friday, December 18

Pac-12 Championship
USC vs Washington
Los Angeles, California
8:00 p.m., FOX

MAC Championship
Ball State vs Buffalo
Detroit, Michigan
7:30 p.m., ESPN


Saturday, December 19

American Athletic Championship
Tulsa at Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
8:00 p.m., ABC

ACC Championship
Clemson vs Notre Dame
Charlotte, North Carolina
4:00 p.m., ABC

Big 12 Championship
Iowa State vs Oklahoma
Arlington, Texas
12:00 p.m., ABC

Big Ten Championship
Ohio State vs Northwestern
Indianapolis, Indiana
12:00 p.m., FOX

SEC Championship
Alabama vs Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
8:00 p.m., CBS

Sun Belt Championship
Louisiana at Coastal Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
12:00 p.m., ESPN