College Football Playoff rankings: Washington joins Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson

The outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan showdown had a significant impact on the College Football Playoff picture.

The overtime loss by the Wolverines became Washington's gain as the Huskies moved into the No. 4 spot in the playoff committee's rankings Tuesday.

Alabama continues its stranglehold on the top has it has for each of the last five weeks. Following the Tide are Ohio State and Clemson. The Wolverines, previously in the third spot, dropped to fifth

Rounding out the top 10 are Wisconsin, Penn State, Colorado, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

The last weekend of the season should clarify things. Washington and Colorado will meet in the Pac-12 title game, Wisconsin and Penn State square off for the Big Ten championship, Clemson faces Virginia Tech with the ACC crown on the line and the winner between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will capture the Big 12.

Ohio State might have the strongest resume of all the contenders with wins against Oklahoma and Wisconsin on the road, plus the win against Michigan. But the Buckeyes won't be able to enhance its position with the committee after missing the Big Ten title game.

College Football Playoff committee chairman Kirby Hocutt seemed to downplay the possibility of the Buckeyes getting passed by either Penn State or Wisconsin. In the case of the Nittany Lions, which beat Ohio State, Hocutt said there is significant separation between the teams. He added the committee doesn't "look ahead" to the possibility of Penn State winning the conference champion in its ranking.

Clemson looks to be in good shape to make the field should it win. The same with Washington. But if either or both should lose that would likely open the door for Big Ten champion or possibly Colorado.

The current rating seem to indicate the Big 12 will miss the playoff for the second time in the three years of the system. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are behind four Big Ten teams and the two Pac-12 teams playing this weekend.

Also noteworthy in the rankings is Florida State being one spot ahead of Louisville at No. 12. That likely indicates the Seminoles will head to the Orange Bowl if Clemson wins the ACC. Virginia Tech would take the spot if it wins.

No. 18 Western Michigan is two spots ahead of Navy for the Group of Five berth. The Chippewas and Midshipmen play in their respective conference championship games this weekend. If they both win, it's possible the committee will wait until Dec. 10 - when Navy faces Army - to determine who gets the nod.

The top four teams in final ranking of the committee on Dec. 4 will play in the College Football Playoff. The semifinals will take place on Dec. 31 at the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. The championship game will be held on Jan. 9 in Tampa, Fla.

The committee rankings:

1. Alabama (12-0)

2. Ohio State (11-1)

3. Clemson (11-1)

4. Washington (11-1)

5. Michigan (10-2)

6. Wisconsin (10-2)

7. Penn State (10-2)

8. Colorado (10-2)

9. Oklahoma (9-2)

10. Oklahoma State (9-2)

11. Southern California (9-3)

12. Florida State (9-3)

13. Louisville (9-3)

14. Auburn (9-3)

15. Florida (8-3)

16. West Virginia (9-2)

17. Western Michigan (12-0)

18. Stanford (9-3)

19. Navy (9-2)

20. Utah (8-4)

21. LSU (7-4)

22. Tennessee (8-4)

23. Virginia Tech (9-3)

24 Houston (9-3)

25 Pittsburgh (8-4)


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