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College Football Playoff rankings: Ohio State still No. 4 in after cancellation; USC drops to No. 20

Ohio State offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere runs a drill during practice.
Ohio State offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere, right, runs a drill during practice in Columbus, Ohio.
(Jay LaPrete / Associated Press)

Ohio State held on to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night after having its previous game canceled, landing behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson for a second straight week.

The selection committee’s top seven teams were unchanged from last week’s rankings after the playoff contenders either won comfortably or didn’t play because of COVID-19 issues.

Texas A&M (6-1) was in fifth and Florida (7-1) sixth.

Ohio State (4-0) had to cancel its game at Illinois last week because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the program. It was the second game of the season the Buckeyes have missed out on. One more cancellation would leave them ineligible for the Big Ten championship game and unable to play more than six regular-season games.

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No. 7 Cincinnati (8-0) also had its last game canceled. The Bearcats are next scheduled to play Dec. 12 at Tulsa.

The College Football Playoff has set no minimum number of games played to be eligible for the playoff. It’s just going to be up to the selection committee to figure out how many is too few.

“There is a discrepancy sometimes between a team that plays eight or nine games and a team that’s played three or four games and frankly that’s a problem (in ranking teams),” said selection committee chairman Gary Barta, who is Iowa’s athletic director.

Barta said the committee discussed ranking Texas A&M ahead of Ohio State, but for now the Buckeyes and their potent offense led by quarterback Justin Fields are holding down the final playoff spot.

“When those two teams were put side-by-side this morning and last night, there just wasn’t enough there to put Texas A&M ahead of Ohio State,” Barta said.

Texas A&M is coming off a 20-7 victory against LSU that was played in a rainy and windy conditions.

Georgia was eighth and Iowa State and Miami rounded out the top 10. Oklahoma was 11th, followed by Indiana and BYU.

The Cougars, who are hoping for a New Year’s Six bowl, edged up one spot.

1. Alabama
2. Notre Dame
3. Clemson
4. Ohio State
5. Texas A&M
6. Florida
7. Cincinnati
8. Georgia
9. Iowa State
10. Miami (FL.)
11. Oklahoma
12. Indiana
13. Brigham Young
14. Northwestern
15. Oklahoma State
16. Wisconsin
17. North Carolina
18. Coastal Carolina
19. Iowa
20. USC
21. Marshall
22. Washington
23. Oregon
24. Tulsa
25. Louisiana-Lafayette


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