Alabama returns to No. 1 ranking
Georgia’s loss made it easy for panel; Clemson now No. 2
Alabama returned to a familiar position, earning the No. 1 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday evening.
It’s the 11th time the Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 during the 21 editions of the playoff poll first launched in 2014.
Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) moved to the front of the pack this week thanks to a combination of its 31-24 come-from-behind win over Mississippi State and a loss by former No. 1 Georgia, which fell to Auburn on Saturday.
Clemson moved up to No. 2 with a 31-14 win over Florida State. The Tigers (9-1, 7-1 ACC) have been ranked in the top four in 15 consecutive polls dating to the start of the 2015 season.
Miami burst into the third spot of the rankings after the Hurricanes (9-0, 6-0 ACC) thrashed Notre Dame 41-8 to remain undefeated. It’s the first time the ACC has featured two teams in the top four of the playoff rankings.
Oklahoma capitalized on another impressive win against a ranked opponent to move into the top four for the first time since the final rankings of 2015. The Sooners (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) defeated then-No. 6 TCU 38-20 on Saturday to claim the top spot in the Big 12 race.
Wisconsin (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) remains on the outside looking in as it pertains to the top four spots despite being one of four undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The CFP RANKINGS 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Miami 4. Oklahoma 5. Wisconsin 6 Auburn 7. Georgia 8. Notre Dame 9. Ohio State 10. Penn State 11. USC 12. TCU 13. Oklahoma State 14. Washington State 15. UCF 16. Mississippi State 17. Michigan State 18. Washington 19. N.C. State 20. LSU 21. Memphis 22. Stanford 23. Northwestern 24. Michigan 25. Boise State 10-0 9-1 9-0 9-1 10-0 8-2 9-1 8-2 8-2 8-2 9-2 8-2 8-2 9-2 9-0 7-3 7-3 8-2 7-3 7-3 8-1 7-3 7-3 8-2 8-2 Badgers, who moved up to No. 5, continue to be hampered by what the selection committee perceives as a weak strength of schedule.
Auburn (8-2, 7-1 SEC) moved up to No. 6 with its impressive rout of Georgia. The Tigers, the highest ranked two-loss team in the poll, control their fate with a matchup against Alabama looming in two weeks. A win over the Tide would put Auburn in the SEC championship game and set up a rematch with the Bulldogs.
Georgia (9-1, 6-1 SEC) dropped to seventh with the loss to Auburn but still could find its way back into one of the semifinals with a win in the SEC title game.
UCF (9-0) continues to be the highest-ranked among the non-autonomous conferences at No. 15. That ties Western Michigan last season as the highest spot a Group of Five team has ever been ranked.