CFP: Ohio State joins top 4 as Alabama, Michigan, Clemson stay

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Saturday full of upsets led to a reshuffling of the College Football Playoff rankings, with Ohio Statebeing the biggest beneficiary.

The Buckeyes, runaway winners over Maryland, moved up from fifth to second in the latest CFP rankings, as they made the most out of losses by Clemson, Michiganand Washington.

Despite the defeats, the trio didn't wind up completely out in the cold.

Michigan, a loser on the road against Iowa, fared the best of the fallen, as the Wolverines remained at No. 3

Clemson, which lost at home to unranked Pitt, dropped from No. 2 to No. 4, while Washington's home loss to USC cost the Huskies two spots, dropping them from fourth to sixth.

Louisville, which could have made a case for a spot in the top four, instead had to settle for a one-spot move, going from No. 6 to No. 5 after pulling out a win over Wake Forest that was much tighter than the 44-12 final score would suggest.

Staying above the fray was Alabama, which is still locked into the top spot, thanks to being one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in FBS.

The Big Ten placed four teams in the top 10 this week, as Wisconsinand Penn Statechecked in at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, with the Badgers holding steady, while the Nittany Lions continued their climb, jumping up from No. 10.

With six of the top 10 teams coming from the Big Ten and ACC,CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN's Heather Dinich that being a division winner in a conference isn't a mandatory consideration.

"The committee's charge is to rank the top 25 teams in the nation; this is done based on the independent rankings of the 12 college football experts in the room," Hancock said. "The committee members are free to consider many different factors, and although being a division winner has not been discussed as a factor in any of our meetings, nothing prohibits it from being a factor, if that's what any individual committee member thinks. As you know, conference champion is indeed an explicit factor, but division champion is not."

Oklahomais the highest-ranked Big 12 team at No. 9, and Coloradorounds out the top 10. They are followed by Oklahoma State, Utah, USCand West Virginia, all of which moved up in the rankings this week.

Auburndropped from No. 9 to No. 15 after a 13-7 loss to unranked Georgia that handed the Crimson Tide the SEC West title.

Speaking of the SEC West, LSUmade a large leap forward by moving from No. 24 to No. 16 after a road win over previously ranked Arkansas.

Florida State(No. 17) and Nebraska(No. 18) each moved up one spot, taking advantage ofNorth Carolina's loss to rivalDuke. As a result, the Tar Heels fell out of the CFP rankings altogether.

A win overKentuckypropelled Tennesseeback into the rankings, as the Vols ended up at No. 19.

At Nos. 20 and 21 are Boise Stateand Western Michigan,in a battle for a New Year's Six bowl berth. Though behind Boise State, Western Michigan joins Alabama as the only undefeated FBS teams.

Washington State, Florida, Stanfordand Texas A&Mround out the top 25.

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