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College Football Playoff rankings: Ohio State moves over LSU into No. 1

Justin Hilliard celebrates with his Ohio State teammates after intercepting a pass.
Justin Hilliard celebrates with his Ohio State teammates after intercepting a pass against Penn State in the Buckeyes’ win Saturday.
(Jamie Sabau / Getty Images)

Ohio State jumped LSU to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings with two weeks left to go before selection Sunday.

LSU slipped to second Tuesday night and Clemson remained third while Georgia held on at four. If playoff history holds form, three of those top four teams will reach the semifinals.

Alabama remained No. 5 in the selection committee’s third rankings, with Utah moving up a spot to No. 6. The Utes are the only Pac-12 team in the top 10 after Oregon dropped eight spots to 14th.

Oklahoma is seventh followed by Minnesota, Baylor and Penn State.

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In each of the first five years of the playoff, three of the top four teams in the rankings heading into rivalry weekend reached the semifinals, including the No. 1 team every time.

Now that spot belongs to the Buckeyes.

After two weeks of allowing opponents to score almost at will, the UCLA defense will meet its perfect match Saturday in Cal’s equally inept offense.

Ohio State beat Penn State last week 28-17, its third victory of the season against team currently ranked along with No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 18 Cincinnati. LSU has beaten No. 5 Alabama, No. 11 Florida and No. 15 Auburn.

Memphis is 17th, remaining the highest ranked team from the Group of Five conferences. The highest ranked conference champion from outside the Power Five is guaranteed a spot in the New Year’s Six bowls. This year that would be the Cotton Bowl. Memphis and Cincinnati play this week and could meet the next week in the conference championship game. Boise State from the Mountain West is 20th.


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