Playoff picture is a freeze frame
No movement among top four teams in rankings
There were no changes at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, but there is plenty of intrigue remaining as we move closer to the final postseason lineup.
No. 1 Alabama (11-0), No. 2 Ohio State (9-1), No. 3 Michigan (10-1) and No. 4 Clemson (10-1) held the top four spots, with the biggest development coming at the No. 5 position.
Louisville’s loss to Houston last week dropped the Cardinals from fifth to 11th and out of the playoff discussion. Washington (10-1) moved up to fifth.
Ohio State and Michigan play Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, and the loser is likely to be out of the playoff race. The Wolverines would move on the Big Ten championship game by beating the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes, though, need help to reach the conference title game.
Other teams moved up a spot from last week, with No. 6 Wisconsin (9-2), No. 7 Penn State (9-2), No. 8 Oklahoma (9-2), No. 9 Colorado (9-2) and No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-2) rounding out the top 10.
Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said there was small separation between the top 10 teams.
“The committee looked at teams two through five with very small separation between those teams,” he said. “We spent a lot of times this week making sure we had those ranked where we thought they deserved to be ranked.
“Again this week there
1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. Clemson 5. Washington 6. Wisconsin 7. Penn State 8. Oklahoma 9. Colorado 10. Oklahoma State 11. Louisville 12. USC 13. Auburn 14. Florida State 15. Florida 16. Nebraska 17. Tennessee 18. West Virginia 19. Boise State 20. Houston 21. Western Michigan 22. Utah 23. Washington State 24. Stanford 25. Navy 11-0 10-1 10-1 10-1 10-1 9-2 9-2 9-2 9-2 9-2 9-2 8-3 8-3 8-3 8-2 9-2 8-3 8-2 10-1 9-2 11-0 8-3 8-3 8-3 8-2 was little separation between seven and 10 and we were back and forth as to the positioning for some of those teams.”
Among Group of Five programs, Boise State moved up to No. 19, just ahead of Houston at No. 20, undefeated Western Michigan at No. 21 and Navy at No. 25.
The final poll will be revealed live on ESPN at noon Dec. 4. The top four teams qualify for the two semifinal games, which will be held at the Fiesta and Peach bowls Dec. 31. The winners will meet in the national title game Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The remaining games that compose the New Year’s Six access bowl games — Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton — will select the highest-ranked remaining teams that fill their criteria.