Play­off pic­ture is a freeze frame

No move­ment among top four teams in rank­ings

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Matt Murschel

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

CFP rank­ings

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.

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