There was no change atop the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, with Alabama taking the top spot followed by Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State.
The ratings were dominated by the Southeastern Conference, which placed four teams in the top eight.
Alabama (8-0), Notre Dame (9-0) and Ohio State (4-0) are all undefeated. Clemson’s lone loss came in double overtime at Notre Dame in a game in which the Tigers (8-1) didn’t have Heisman hopeful quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was held out due to COVID-19. Lawrence returned this past Saturday and threw for 403 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-17 victory over Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame has clinched a spot in the ACC championship game. Clemson, with a win over Virginia Tech (4-5) on Saturday, will face the Irish in the Dec. 19 game and their postponed game against Florida State will not be made up.
Texas A&M (6-1) is fifth, a spot ahead of Florida (7-1), which lost to the Aggies. Georgia (6-2) remains as the highest two-loss team, coming in at No. 8 despite double-digit losses to Alabama and Florida.
Cincinnati (8-0) remained at No. 7. The Bearcats’ game against Temple was postponed last Saturday. The American Athletic Conference-leaders will conclude their regular season Dec. 12, when Cincinnati travels to play No. 24 Tulsa (5-1). Tulsa faces Navy on Saturday, while Cincinnati is on a bye week.
The biggest difference from the initial rankings was Iowa State (7-2) being ranked ninth — four spots higher than last week after a three-point win at then-No. 17 Texas, which fell out of the rankings. Northwestern (5-1), which was ranked No. 8 last week, fell six spots to No. 14 after losing to Michigan State, 29-20, Saturday.
The CFP selection committee is slated to release its rankings on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 before announcing the final selections Dec. 20. Conference championship games and other matchups are set for Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. The CFP semifinals will be held in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, with the winners advancing to play in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Jan. 11.
A week after debuting at No. 14, BYU, which is 9-0 as an independent, moved up a spot after destroying North Alabama, 66-14. The Cougars, who are ranked No. 8 in the AP poll and have outscored the opposition 494-139 this season, conclude the regular season against San Diego State on Dec. 12.
BYU was set to play six teams from Power 5 schools this season, but dates against Utah, Michigan State, Arizona State, Minnesota, Missouri and Stanford were cancelled because the Pac-12, Big Ten and SEC went to league-only schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two undefeated Group of 5 teams — No. 18 Coastal Carolina (9-0) and No. 21 Marshall (7-0)– are ranked behind BYU, which is also behind three two-loss teams: Georgia, No. 11 Oklahoma (6-2) and No. 9 Iowa State (7-2).
Ohio State is the Big Ten’s highest-ranked team, followed by No. 14 Northwestern (5-1), which is on course to oppose the Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship game. The Big Ten has five teams in the rankings, as No. 12 Indiana (5-1, lost to Ohio State), No. 16 Wisconsin (2-1) and No. 19 Iowa (4-2) also made it.
Miami (7-1), which was blown out by Clemson 42-17 earlier this season, remained at No. 10. North Carolina (6-3) rose two spots to No. 17 after losing at home to Notre Dame last week, giving the ACC three ranked teams.
The Big 12 has three teams in the CFP rankings — Oklahoma, Iowa State and No. 15 Oklahoma State (6-2).
The Pac-12, the last FBS conference to open the season, is represented by No. 20 USC (3-0), No. 22 Washington (3-0) and No. 23 Oregon (3-1).
Louisiana (8-1) entered at No. 25, while Auburn (5-3) dropped out from No. 22 after losing at No. 1 Alabama.
–Field Level Media