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College Football Playoff ranking: Georgia cracks the top four while Ohio State jumps within playoff contention

College Football Playoff ranking: Georgia cracks the top four while Ohio State jumps within playoff contention
Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta (18) breaks away for a long gain against Massachusetts during the first half on Nov. 17. (Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Michigan’s loss to rival Ohio State shook things up this week in the College Football Playoff ranking.

The Wolverines’ 62-39 blowout loss to the Buckeyes allowed Georgia to crack the top four, setting up a No. 1 vs. No. 4 showdown in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday in Atlanta.

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The top three remained the same — No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame. Georgia moved up a spot to No. 4, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio State.

Notre Dame (12-0) finished the regular season undefeated after beating USC 24-17 and should be a lock for the playoff unless chaos ensues this weekend during the conference championships. The Fighting Irish are not affiliated with a conference in football.

Washington made the biggest jump from No. 16 to No. 11 after defeating Washington State. The Cougars had the biggest drop, from No. 8 to No. 13.

With Missouri at No. 24, the SEC is the first conference with eight teams in a College Football Playoff ranking.

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Notre Dame

4. Georgia

5. Oklahoma

6. Ohio State

7. Michigan

8. Central Florida

9. Florida

10. Louisiana State

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11. Washington

12. Penn State

13. Washington State

14. Texas

15. Kentucky

16. West Virginia

17. Utah

18. Mississippi State

19. Texas A&M

20. Syracuse

21. Northwestern

22. Boise State

23. Iowa State

24. Missouri

25. Fresno State

If the season ended today, this would be the projected New Year’s Six Bowls:

Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas (College Football Playoff semifinal game)

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Georgia

Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla. (College Football Playoff semifinal game)

No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame

Rose Bowl in Pasadena

No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Washington

Sugar Bowl in New Orleans

No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Florida

Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Louisiana State

Peach Bowl in Atlanta

No. 8 Central Florida vs. No. 12 Penn State

The last College Football Playoff Rankings for the season will be released on Sunday.

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