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College Football Playoff Rankings: Ohio State jumps Alabama, Cincinnati at No. 4 in new top 25

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Graphic by Mike Meredith

The fourth edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night with Georgia remaining the No. 1 team in the nation. The rest of the top four saw a shakeup, however, with Ohio State jumping two spots to No. 2 and Alabama sliding down one to No. 3. With Oregon being blasted at Utah on Saturday, the Ducks fell out of the top four entirely with Cincinnati finally breaking through in the last slot.

The Bearcats, at 11-0 with two Power Five wins, became the first Group of Five program to be placed among the top four in the CFP Rankings. Cincinnati has made history all season as the highest-ranked Group of Five program in the process but now appear to have a legitimate opportunity to make the playoff. Whether that will come to fruition is something CBS Sports bowls expert Jerry Palm will discuss in his analysis below.

Oregon’s road loss not only knocked the Ducks out of the playoff picture but dealt a final blow to the Pac-12 as a whole. It is almost certain the conference will be left out of the CFP for the fifth straight year. The Big 12’s two remaining one-loss teams will battle Saturday in Bedlam as Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma. There’s a chance the Cowboys and Sooners could play twice in as many weeks, also putting the Big 12’s playoff candidacy at risk. Baylor is presently ranked ahead of Oklahoma, but a two-loss team has never made the playoff.

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In the history of the CFP, no team ranked outside the top seven at this late point in the season has moved into the four-team field after the conference championship games. The No. 7 team has advanced to the top four twice: Oklahoma in 2017, Georgia in 2019. Also, the top four teams with two sets of rankings to go have never all remained the top four through the final top 25.

Let’s take a look at the entire CFP Rankings top 25. Palm’s expert analysis will be added shortly.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 23

  1. Georgia (11-0)
  2. Ohio State (10-1)
  3. Alabama (10-1)
  4. Cincinnati (11-0)
  5. Michigan (10-1)
  6. Notre Dame (10-1)
  7. Oklahoma State (10-1)
  8. Baylor (9-2)
  9. Ole Miss (9-2)
  10. Oklahoma (10-1)
  11. Oregon (9-2)
  12. Michigan State (9-2)
  13. BYU (9-2)
  14. Wisconsin (8-3)
  15. Texas A&M (8-3)
  16. Iowa (9-2)
  17. Pittsburgh (9-2)
  18. Wake Forest (9-2)
  19. Utah (8-3)
  20. NC State (8-3)
  21. San Diego State (10-1)
  22. UTSA (11-0)
  23. Clemson (8-3)
  24. Houston (10-1)
  25. Arkansas (7-4)

Not previously ranked: Clemson

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