Ohio State, Cincinnati make moves in latest playoff rankings

  • Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud plays against Michigan State during Saturday’s game in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio State catapulted into the No. 2 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night.

It’s the highest-ranking for the Buckeyes, who were No. 2 in 2019, and it’s a direct result of their dominating 56-7 win over Michigan State Saturday.

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Georgia (11-0) took the top spot for the fourth straight week after dominating Charleston Southern, 56-7 Saturday. The Bulldogs have a spot in the SEC Championship Game and face Alabama in Atlanta on Dec. 4.

Alabama (10-1) dropped to No. 3 after struggling to put away Arkansas, 42-35. It was the fourth game decided by one score for the Crimson Tide.

This week, the other big winner came from the Buckeye State as Cincinnati (11-0) moved into the fourth spot. The Bearcats thrashed SMU, 48-14, to earn a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship. No Group of Five team has even qualified for the semifinals.

Michigan (10-1) was No. 5, setting up a critical top 5 matchup this week against Ohio State in Ann Arbor.

Notre Dame (10-1) was No. 6 while No. 7 Oklahoma State (10-1) punched its ticket to the Big 12 Championship with a win over Texas Tech. The Cowboys host No. 10 Oklahoma (10-1) Saturday.

Baylor (9-2), Ole Miss (9-2) and Oklahoma (10-1) round out the top 10.

Oregon’s (9-2) 38-7 loss to No. 19 Utah saw the Ducks plunge out of the top four to No. 11.

These are the fourth of six weekly rankings released by the 13-member selection committee, with the final standings revealed on Sunday, Dec. 5. Those rankings will determine the four semifinalists and the teams participating in the New Year’s Six bowl games.

The two semifinals, which rotate annually, will occur in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl and Miami at the Orange Bowl on Friday, Dec. 31.

The Peach (Dec. 30), Fiesta (Jan. 1), Rose (Jan. 1) and Sugar (Jan. 1) bowls host the rest of the New Year’s Six games.

If Cincinnati doesn’t qualify for the semifinals, the Bearcats will earn an automatic spot in one of the New Year’s Six Access bowl games as the top-ranked conference champion from the Group of Five.

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game will occur at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, Jan. 10.

Gary Barta, Mitch Barnhart, Paola Boivin, Tom Burman, Charlie Cobb, Boo Corrigan, Rick George, Will Shields, Gene Taylor, Joe Taylor, John Urschel, Rod West and Tyrone Willingham comprise the selection committee.

Playoff rankings

1. Georgia

2. Ohio State

3. Alabama

4. Cincinnati

5. Michigan

6. Notre Dame

7. Oklahoma State

8. Baylor

9. Ole Miss

10. Oklahoma

11. Oregon

12. Michigan State

13. BYU

14. Wisconsin

15. Texas A&M

16. Iowa

17. Pittsburgh

18. Wake Forest

19. Utah

20. N.C. State

21. San Diego State

22. UTSA

23. Clemson

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24. Houston

25. Arkansas