This week’s College Football Playoff rankings offered no surprises within the top four and set up intriguing matchups for this week’s conference championship games.
For another week, Ohio State and Louisiana State took the top two spots, while Clemson is No. 3 and Georgia is No. 4 as Selection Sunday approaches.
Alabama’s 48-45 loss to Auburn on Saturday allowed Utah and Oklahoma to move to Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Utah’s latest ranking could pave the way for a Pac-12 Conference team to make the playoff for the first time since 2016, should the Utes take care of business Friday against Oregon and the loser of Saturday’s LSU-Georgia duel in the Southeastern Conference championship game drop out of the top four.
Following Oklahoma are Baylor, Wisconsin, Florida and Penn State to round out the top 10. Wisconsin’s 38-17 win over Minnesota allowed the Badgers to move into the top 10, and could they make a case to be in the playoff should they defeat the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game Saturday. The Gophers took the biggest drop, falling 10 spots to No. 18.
Memphis remained the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences. Boise State (No. 19), Cincinnati (No. 20), Appalachian State (No. 21) and Navy (No. 24) are behind the Tigers. Memphis and Cincinnati will meet in the American Athletic Conference championship game Saturday.
USC remained at No. 22 and the other ranked Pac-12 team besides Utah is Oregon at No. 13.
The Big Ten has the most teams ranked with six, followed by the Southeastern Conference with five.
1. Ohio State
2. Louisiana State
10. Penn State
15. Notre Dame
19. Boise State
21. Appalachian State
25. Oklahoma State
If the season ended today, these would be the projected New Year’s six bowl games:
Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. (Playoff semifinal Dec. 28)
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Georgia
Peach Bowl in Atlanta (Playoff semifinal Dec. 28)
No. 2 Louisiana State vs. No. 3 Clemson
Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas (Dec. 28)
No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 17 Memphis
Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Dec. 30)
No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 23 Virginia
Rose Bowl in Pasadena (Jan. 1)
No. 5 Utah vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl in New Orleans (Jan. 1)
No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Florida
The final rankings will be released Sunday.