College Football Playoff rankings: LSU and Ohio State remain on top; USC at No. 23

LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price reacts after a touchdown during the first half against Mississippi on Saturday.
LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price scores against Mississippi on Saturday.
(Thomas Graning / Associated Press)

The third College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday and there was hardly any movement.

The top four remained the same with Louisiana State at No. 1 followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia. The two teams outside looking in remained the same with Alabama at No. 5 and Oregon at No. 6.

Memphis is the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five at No. 18, jumping over Cincinnati. Three other teams from the Group of Five are ranked below the Tigers and Bearcats.

USC is the newcomer to the College Football Playoff rankings, coming in at No. 23. The Trojans are ranked for the first time since 2017. The Trojans won their last two games, on the road against Arizona State and California.


Auburn took the biggest tumble, falling three spots to No. 15, while Iowa took the biggest leap, up three spots to No. 17. The Hawkeyes took out previous No. 8-ranked Minnesota 23-19 while the Tigers fell to No. 4 Georgia 21-14.

Besides USC, Oregon and Utah are the other ranked Pac-12 teams. The Utes remain at No. 7.

This week’s rankings sets up a big showdown between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 8 Penn State. The winner will be the front-runner to claim the Big Ten East title and a berth in the Big Ten championship game.

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


1. Louisiana State

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Georgia


5. Alabama

6. Oregon

7. Utah

8. Penn State


9. Oklahoma

10. Minnesota

11. Florida

12. Wisconsin


13. Michigan

14. Baylor

15. Auburn

16. Notre Dame


17. Iowa

18. Memphis

19. Cincinnati

20. Boise State

21. Oklahoma State


22. Iowa State

23. USC

24. Appalachian State

25. Southern Methodist


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. 18 Memphis

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


No. 10 Minnesota vs. Virginia Tech

Rose Bowl in Pasadena (Jan. 1, 2020)

No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Penn State

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


No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 9 Oklahoma

The fourth rankings will be released Nov. 26.