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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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