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College Football Playoff Rankings: Top seven hold as Notre Dame inches up, Oklahoma falls in new top 25

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Graphic by Mike Meredith

The third edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night with Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State remaining as the top four teams for the second straight week. Not only that, the first seven teams in the top 25 were unchanged as all won games in a week that only saw one significant upset.

That came as Baylor knocked off previously unbeaten and eighth-ranked Oklahoma, a result that saw the Sooners fall five spots to No. 13, while the Bears moved up to two spots to No. 11. The CFP Selection Committee clearly focused on the head-to-head result above overall record given Baylor has one more loss than Oklahoma. Neither is the top-ranked Big 12 team, though, as Oklahoma State holds that distinction at No. 9 ahead of a Bedlam meeting with OU in two weeks.

Cincinnati, at 10-0 with two Power Five wins, held at No. 5 after a clean win over South Florida. The Bearcats remain the highest-ranked Group of Five program in this history of the CFP Rankings, but as of right now, that’s only good enough for a New Year’s Six bid given they are outside the top four. However, Cincinnati did receive some strength of schedule help with Houston checking in at No. 24. Should the Bearcats meet and beat Cougars meet in the AAC Championship Game, Cincinnati’s relatively weak schedule strength would receive a boost in its final game preceding Selection Sunday.

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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.

Let’s take a look at the entire CFP Rankings top 25. Analysis from CBS Sports bowls expert Jerry Palm will be added momentarily.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 16

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

Not previously ranked: Houston, Mississippi State

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Steve McNair comes to Eddie George in his dreams: "See you're not dead, and I wake up"

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Eddie George reveals to Shannon Sharpe that his former MVP teammate Steve McNair visits him in his dreams. Eddie said: “There’s not a day I don’t think about it. I dream about him a lot.” Eddie goes onto to share a great Steve McNair story, highlighting his maturation as a player.



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The Chargers Have Difficult Offseason Decisions To Make

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

 

The Los Angeles Chargers could be losing a few key contributors in the offseason.

Not only are these players a big part of their offense, but they are fan favorites as well.

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Keenan Allen and Gerald Everett are the most likely cap casualties for the Chargers, considering that they contribute to almost $20 million in cap space.

Allen was the third leading receiver for the Chargers in 2022, and Everett was the fifth.

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If they are to get cut or traded, the team will need to replace two high-impact players, not only for the team as a whole but for Justin Herbert as well.

Herbert has continued to grow as a passer, and Allen and Everett’s reliability are some of the reasons for his continued success.

The team may have to go back to the drawing board, either looking to the draft for a receiver or targeting free agency for a few budget weapons.

2022 marked the first time that the Chargers have made the playoffs since 2018.

Even though they ended up losing that game, it was a step in the right direction.

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The worst thing for the Chargers would be to take another step back, which is likely what would happen if both Allen and Everett leave.

From a historical lens, teams have been creative when navigating their cap situation, which is something that the Chargers could explore if they want to retain at least one of these players.

What will the Chargers look like in 2023?

Will Herbert be able to win his first playoff game?

The post The Chargers Have Difficult Offseason Decisions To Make appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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The Thunder Continue To Improve Their Postseason Chances

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(Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

 

Most people thought that the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t have much of a chance at greatness in the 2022-23 season.

That was even more true when they lost their rookie player, Chet Holmgren, to injury in the summer.

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And while the Thunder are still far from the top of the Western Conference standings, they are repeatedly impressing fans across the league.

The team has been surging since 2023 started.

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So far in the new year, the Thunder are first in offensive rating, first in net rating, first in points per game, first in three-point percentage, and have the sixth-best record since New Year’s Day.

Yes, they are currently the 12th team in their conference but they are just one game back from being qualified for the play-in tournament.

This last month has been spectacular for OKC.

They have beaten the likes of the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and others.

Their latest victory came on Saturday night when they decimated the Houston Rockets, 153-121.

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The importance and power of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cannot be stressed enough, he has been leading the team in multiple ways.

So far this season, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 31 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.

On Saturday night, he had yet another stunning game with his 42 points.

Of course, he has been getting a lot of serious help from Josh Giddey (16.2 points, 8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists), Lugentz Dort (14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists), Jalen Williams, and others.

The Thunder have a packed week ahead, facing off against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and New Orleans Pelicans.

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Can their impressive January lead to an impressive February too?

The post The Thunder Continue To Improve Their Postseason Chances appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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