For the third time this season, we have a new No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
On Tuesday, the committee’s latest rankings were unveiled and they placed the Ohio State Buckeyes at the No. 1 spot after their win over then-ranked No. 8 Penn State. While the Buckeyes rose a place, Penn State fell two places to 10th.
In order, LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and Utah rounded out the top six.
The lone newcomer to the rankings this week is Virginia Tech, which appeared at No. 24 after a 28-0 home victory over Pitt.
Let’s take a closer look at the rankings.
Ohio State is the new No. 1
The Buckeyes remained undefeated this week by beating Big Teen foe Penn State 28-17. Justin Fields threw for two touchdowns and 188 yards, then rushed for 68 more yards in the victory.
The committee, apparently, thought the Buckeyes’ victory was enough to become No. 1 the same week LSU thrashed Arkansas, 56-20. Tigers’ coach Ed Oregon might have summed up the significance of that victory best, saying there wasn’t ”to be too much of a celebration" for the Tigers because the 2-9 Razorbacks “haven't beaten anybody in a long time."
Joey Galloway: "If you look at the analytics, LSU should be No. 1."@ESPN_BillC's SP+ rankings, which appear on ESPN's own Web site, have Ohio State No. 1.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 27, 2019
This week, LSU takes on a 7-4 Texas A&M team that lost to No. 4 Georgia by just six points. Meanwhile, Ohio State takes on heated rival No. 13 Michigan.
No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Georgia each have games against non-conference in-state rivals, facing South Carolina and Georgia Tech this weekend. No. 5 Alabama takes on No. 15 Auburn and No. 6 Utah faces Colorado.
Playoff chairman Rob Mullens: "Ohio State is a complete team."— Matt Murschel (@osmattmurschel) November 27, 2019
Adds that the Buckeyes have been a little bit better on the defensive side of the ball than LSU this week.
Big 12 shuffle
The committee changed its opinion on how it values teams from the Big 12, it seems.
A week ago, Oklahoma jumped up just one spot after beating Baylor. But this week, Baylor leapt forward five spots after beating Texas at home, and Oklahoma moved up two spots after beating an unranked TCU side.
Baylor moving up in the poll gives us two Big 12 teams in the top 10. Oklahoma has the chance to pick up two more wins against ranked opponents before the final ranking is set, as the Sooners will face No. 21 Oklahoma State this weekend and then get a rematch with No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12 title game.
TV SCHEDULE: Complete game times and TV listings for Week 14
Group of Five race remains the same
Appalachian State fell a place to No. 25, but the other Group of Five teams in the playoff rankings remained the same, with Memphis, Cincinnati and Boise State filing in at Nos. 18, 19 and 20 for the second straight week.
A notable absence from that race this week is Navy. The Midshipmen are 8-2, with losses only to Notre Dame and Memphis, and wins over Air Force and SMU. Navy is ranked in the AP and Coaches Poll, and still has the chance to win the American Athletic Conference Championship, should it beat Houston this weekend and should Cincinnati beat Memphis.
But Cincinnati and Memphis could run the game back on Dec. 7 to determine the conference’s champion. The winner will have a good chance to claim the bid to New Year's Six.
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