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College Football Playoff rankings: LSU takes top spot; Minnesota makes big jump

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates after throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass during the second quarter against Alabama on Saturday. The Tigers won 46-41.
Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates after throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass during the second quarter against Alabama on Saturday. The Tigers won 46-41.
(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

The second College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and as expected, Louisiana State and Ohio State swapped places to take the top two spots.

The Tigers impressed the committee after defeating then No. 3 Alabama 46-41 on the road Saturday. Clemson and Georgia followed LSU and Ohio State to round out the top four.

Alabama this week is one of the teams outside looking in at No. 5. Oregon follows at No. 6.

Cincinnati once again was the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five, jumping three spots to No. 17. Four other teams from the Group of Five are ranked below the Bearcats.

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The committee rewarded Minnesota after its 31-26 win over previously No. 4-ranked Penn State by moving it up nine spots to No. 8. The Golden Gophers are one of five undefeated teams remaining. The Nittany Lions fell five spots to No. 9.

Kansas State took the biggest tumble, falling eight spots to No. 24 after its 27-24 loss to previously unranked Texas.

As USC’s quarterback sat in the medical tent and his center was sidelined because of a strained calf, backups took the reins and helped the Trojans earn a win.

Besides Oregon, the only other ranked team from the Pac-12 is Utah at No. 7. The Utes play UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

Despite the undefeated record, the committee thought Baylor’s strength of schedule and its close win over Texas Christian weren’t impressive enough to earn it a top-10 spot. The Bears are No. 13 but will have a chance to prove themselves when they host No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday.

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The Big Ten Conference has the most ranked teams with six followed by the Southeastern and Big 12 conferences with five.

1. LSU

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Georgia

5. Alabama

6. Oregon

7. Utah

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8. Minnesota

9. Penn State

10. Oklahoma

11. Florida

12. Auburn

13. Baylor

14. Wisconsin

15. Michigan

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16. Notre Dame

17. Cincinnati

18. Memphis

19. Texas

20. Iowa

21. Boise State

22. Oklahoma State

23. Navy

24. Kansas State

25. Appalachian State

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

Peach Bowl in Atlanta (Playoff semifinal, Dec. 28)

No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Georgia

Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. (Playoff semifinal, Dec. 28)

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas (Dec. 28)

No. 7 Utah vs. No. 17 Cincinnati

Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Dec. 30)

No. 9 Penn State vs. No. 11 Florida

Rose Bowl in Pasadena (Jan. 1, 2020)

No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Minnesota

Sugar Bowl in New Orleans (Jan. 1, 2020)

No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 10 Oklahoma

The third rankings will be released Nov. 19.


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