College Football Playoff rankings: Georgia is new No. one; Michigan, TCU enter top 4


Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU are the top-four teams in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s second batch of rankings, with Tennessee and Oregon sitting as the first two teams on the outside looking in. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Georgia is back on top after winning the national title last season. The Bulldogs were No. 1 in the AP poll last week, but were just No. 3 in the CFP’s first week of rankings. That changed with a win Saturday over last week’s No. 1 CFP team, Tennessee.
  • Michigan jumped two spots to No. 3 after coming in at No. 5 last weeks. The Wolverines struggled for a half at Rutgers before beating the Scarlet Knights by 35 points. Two teams that were in front of Michigan lost this past Saturday.
  • LSU, which had the biggest disparity between its AP ranking (No. 15) and its CFP ranking (No. 10) last week, jumped up to No. 7 this week after beating then-No. 6 Alabama. The Tigers are in the driver’s seat in the SEC West, and they appear to be in control of their own CFP destiny despite having two losses this season.
  • Alabama fell three spots to No. 9 after its second loss of the season. The lowest that the Crimson Tide have ever been ranked in the CFP poll is No. 13, during the final rankings release in the 2019 season.

What does the committee think of the ACC after Saturday?

Clemson fell from No. 4 to No. 10 after losing by 21 points Saturday at Notre Dame, which entered the rankings this week at No. 20. The ACC had five ranked teams last week but just four this week, as both Syracuse and Wake Forest fell out of the rankings following their respective third losses of the season. Florida State entered at No. 23.

Who has the inside track for the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six bowl bid?

Tulane is once again the highest-ranked Group of 5 team, checking in at No. 17 after a 14-point win at Tulsa. The 8-1 Green Wave, who moved up from No. 19 last week, are once again joined this week in the rankings by fellow Group of 5 school UCF, which moved up from No. 25 to No. 22 this week.

Are the Pac-12’s Playoff hopes alive?

In short, yes. The Pac-12 has sent just two teams to the previous eight iterations of the four-team Playoff, but with two top-10 teams in this week’s rankings, and four in the top-13, there is plenty of meat left on the bone for containers to prove themselves. no. 6 Oregon plays consecutive ranked teams in No. 25 Washington and No. 13 Utah before traveling to rival Oregon State, which was No. 23 in last week’s rankings.

And a potential Pac-12 title game will almost certainly be a top-10 matchup. no. 8 USC and No. 12 UCLA play each other next week in what figures to be a CFP elimination game, and the Trojans then close with rival Notre Dame, which is now ranked at No. 20. If the Pac-12 champion emerges at 12-1 overall, it is hard to see the conference being left out of the final field of four.

Full CFP rankings

(Photo: Steve Limentani / ISI Photos / Getty Images)


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