Texas Christian moves to No. 3 in College Football Playoff ranking

Texas Christian moves to No. 3 in College Football Playoff rankings; Alabama still No. 1

There isn't a new No. 1 or No. 2 in the latest College Football Playoff ranking, but there is a new No. 3.

Texas Christian rose two spots in Tuesday's ranking,  supplanting Florida State for third with one week to go in the four-team playoff race.

Florida State keeps winning, but dropping, in the ranking, with the Seminoles now clinging to the fourth, and final, position.

The good news is that the Seminoles, the only unbeaten major college program, probably will be playoff bound with a win over Georgia Tech in this week's ACC title game. The 10-2 Yellow Jackets, who defeated Georgia last week in overtime, rose five spots to No. 11 this week.

Alabama and Oregon held the top two positions, followed by TCU, Florida State and Ohio State. Baylor is sixth, followed by Arizona, Michigan State, Kansas State and Mississippi State.

Mississippi State fell six spots to No. 10 after last week's Egg Bowl loss to Mississippi.

This week's short-term loser is Baylor, which trails TCU by three spots in the ranking but holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Horned Frogs.

TCU appears in good position to hold a playoff spot if it beats hapless Iowa State this weekend in Fort Worth, Texas.

Baylor, however, has a much better opponent in No. 9 Kansas State. 

The committee could be waiting for the outcome of that game before rendering a final decision in the Big 12 race.

TCU and Baylor would be co-champs at 11-1 if both schools win out, but Baylor defeated TCU, 61-58, earlier this season. 

The other big winner this week is Arizona, which rose four spots to No. 7. Arizona is in strong position to claim one of the final spots if it can defeat Oregon this Friday in the Pac-12 title game.

Arizona has already defeated Oregon this season, in Eugene, and a second win would give the Wildcats two wins over the Ducks when they were ranked in the top three.

UCLA, which was No. 8 last week and poised to make the playoffs with closing wins, dropped to No. 15 after Friday's 31-10 loss to Stanford.

USC, which dropped out of the top 25 after a loss to UCLA, returned to No. 25 this week after Saturday's 49-14 win over Notre Dame.

The final four teams in Sunday's final ranking advance to semifinal games at the Rose and Sugar Bowls. The winners will advance to the Jan. 12 national title game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
58°