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

Massachusetts at Georgia
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.

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


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.

Twitter: @edmgonzalez

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