Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) scores a touchdown during the first half of a NCAA college football game between Tennessee and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

News Joshua L Jones

Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, TCU top 4 in latest CFP rankings

Georgia soared to the No. 1 spot in the second edition of this season’s College Football Playoff rankings after defeating last week’s No. 1, Tennessee.

The Bulldogs were followed by Ohio State, Michigan and TCU in the top four of the new rankings, released Tuesday night. Those are the only four remaining unbeaten teams in FBS college football.

Georgia soundly beat visiting Tennessee 27-13 last Saturday. The Bulldogs, the defending national champions, were No. 3 in the initial CFP rankings. They are 9-0 (6-0 Southeastern Conference) and 27-1 in their past 28 games dating to 2020.

Ohio State (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) claimed the second spot in the rankings for the second straight week, while Michigan (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) moved up two spots as the teams remain on a collision course for their annual Big Game on Nov. 26 in Columbus, Ohio.

TCU, also 9-0, benefited from losses by Clemson and Alabama, which were both ranked ahead of the Horned Frogs last week, to move up three spots.

“They’ve got six wins over teams that are .500 or better,” NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan, the new CFP chairman, said in an ESPN interview. “They’re averaging 43 points a game. As you know, we value wins. And they continue to find a way to win and not give up those points in the second half, and it really was impactful to the committee.”

Tennessee fell to No. 5. Oregon is No. 6 after its eighth straight win following a Week 1 blowout loss to Georgia. And LSU moved up three spots to No. 7 after the Tigers beat Alabama 32-31 in an overtime classic.

“We’re looking at the overall body of work, where it’s not about one game, it’s about what have they done throughout the entire season,” Corrigan said.

Southern California, Alabama and Clemson completed the top 10. Clemson was shut out for three quarters en route to a 35-14 road loss to Notre Dame. Unranked in the initial poll, the Fighting Irish appeared at No. 20 Tuesday.

The full rankings are below:

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. TCU
5. Tennessee
6. Oregon
7. LSU
8. Southern California
9. Alabama
10. Clemson
11. Ole Miss
12. UCLA
13. Utah
14. Penn State
15. North Carolina
16. NC State
17. Tulane
18. Texas
19. Kansas State
20. Notre Dame
21. Illinois
22. UCF
23. Florida State
24. Kentucky
25. Washington

–Field Level Media

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) scrambles out of pocket during the NCAA college football game against UT Martin on Saturday, October 22, 2022 in Knoxville, Tenn.


Tennessee, Ohio St., Georgia, Clemson top 4 in first CFP rankings

Tennessee earned the No. 1 spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season Tuesday night, followed by Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Michigan.

The Volunteers had not been ranked inside the top 15 in the nine-year history of the CFP, but thanks to an 8-0 record with a 52-49 win over Alabama as their signature victory, they topped the initial field with four weeks left in the regular season.

New CFP chairman Boo Corrigan — the athletic director at North Carolina State — cited the Vols’ strong wins as the factor that separated them from Ohio State and Georgia.

“I think the two wins that you’re looking at, with Alabama and at LSU, really sealed the deal for Tennessee,” Corrigan said in an interview on ESPN.

Tennessee plays at No. 3 Georgia in an SEC East battle on Saturday. Georgia, the defending national champion, was the No. 1 team in the latest AP Poll, with Tennessee tied for second.

The Buckeyes open the rankings at No. 2 following a 44-31 road victory over No. 15 Penn State. Ohio State has won all eight of its games by at least 11 points.

All top-five teams are 8-0. Prognosticators figured Michigan would be No. 4, but playoff regular Clemson was rewarded with that spot. The Tigers have beaten three other teams in the initial rankings — Wake Forest, NC State and Syracuse.

Alabama — 7-1 after a loss to Tennessee — came in at No. 6, ahead of unbeaten TCU at No. 7.

“We’re looking for a balanced team, offense and defense,” Corrigan said of TCU. “They’ve gotten behind in games.”

Oregon and Southern California gave the Pac-12 some representation at Nos. 8 and 9.

LSU was No. 10, five spots higher than its ranking in this week’s AP Poll. The Tigers are 6-2, with losses to Florida State and Tennessee but recent wins over Florida and Ole Miss, the latter of whom came in at No. 11.

See the full rankings below:

1. Tennessee
2. Ohio State
3. Georgia
4. Clemson
5. Michigan
6. Alabama
7. TCU
8. Oregon
9. Southern California
10. LSU
11. Ole Miss
12. UCLA
13. Kansas State
14. Utah
15. Penn State
16. Illinois
17. North Carolina
18. Oklahoma State
19. Tulane
20. Syracuse
21. Wake Forest
22. NC State
23. Oregon State
24. Texas
25. UCF

–Field Level Media

Quarterback Arch Manning will be headed to Austin.

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Arch Manning falls from No. 1 in ESPN rankings

Arch Manning fell from No. 1 in ESPN’s updated Class of 2023 rankings on Monday, meaning he no longer is the consensus top player in the class.

Instead, ESPN pushed Southern California QB commit Malachi Nelson into the top spot.

ESPN explained the decision this way:

“With Nelson, we have seen a larger sample size, and the 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback has faced a higher level of competition for Los Alamitos High School (California),” ESPN’s analysts wrote. “He has also developed physically, which has led to more arm velocity. In our multiple in-person evaluations this spring and summer, our biggest observation from Nelson has been the growth beyond physical maturity as we see a more seasoned leader. His abilities in game, as well as his performances at camps and combines, make us confident he is now the No. 1 quarterback in the class.”

Manning remains No. 1 in the rankings of 247Sports, Rivals and On3. He fell to No. 2 on ESPN’s list.

Nelson committed to Oklahoma last July but backed out of the pledge when head coach Lincoln Riley departed for USC in November. Two days later, Nelson committed to USC, which is about 25 miles from Los Alamitos.

Manning, the nephew of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, committed to Texas and coach Steve Sarkisian in June after being courted by the nation’s top programs. He is entering his senior season at Isidore Newman in New Orleans, where his uncles played.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) puts his helmet on between drills during organized team activities practice, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals Football Practice June 14 0053

Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase: ‘Extra motivation’ after Madden rating

Cincinnati Bengals wideout Ja’Marr Chase elected to take the high road after receiving what could be construed as a relatively low rating in Madden NFL 23.

Chase was listed with an 87 rating, tying him for 18th overall alongside new Philadelphia Eagles wideout A.J. Brown and Houston Texans slot receiver Brandin Cooks.

“i’m going keep working. Extra motivation,” Chase posted on Twitter.

Chase, 22, received Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and a Pro Bowl selection after recording 81 receptions for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns in 17 games last season. He was taken by the Bengals with the fifth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders was listed first with a 99 rating. Los Angeles Rams star Cooper Kupp (98), Miami Dolphins offseason acquisition Tyreek Hill (97), Arizona Cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins (96) and Buffalo Bills star Stefon Diggs (95) rounded out the top five in the video game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) celebrates his sad of Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (not pictured) with defensive end Mike Morris (90) in the second half in the second half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

CFP rankings: Michigan takes over No. 2 after beating Ohio State

Michigan rose three spots to No. 2 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, moving into position for its first appearance in the four-team playoff.

The Wolverines (11-1) rose after beating Ohio State 42-27 Saturday, which prompted the Buckeyes to fall five spots to No. 7 this week. It was Michigan’s first win over its archrival since 2011, and moves the Wolverines into the Big Ten Championship game for the first time, facing West Division champion Iowa on Saturday night in Indianapolis.

Michigan is a 10.5-point favorite to win the Big Ten title fight, which would surely boost the Big Blue into its first College Football Playoff field since the playoffs were instituted in the 2014 season. Michigan last won the national championship in 1997, sharing the title with Nebraska.

Georgia remained No. 1 and Alabama stayed at No. 3 despite struggling to put away Auburn in a four-overtime Iron Bowl.

Cincinnati — with Georgia, one of the only two undefeated teams remaining in the country — held at No. 4 in its bid to become the first team from outside the Power Five conferences to reach the playoff.

Oklahoma State rose two spots to No. 5 by beating rival Oklahoma 37-33. The Cowboys will face Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game with a shot at finishing as a 12-1 conference champion, providing a good argument for its playoff hopes.

Oklahoma State leapfrogged No. 6 Notre Dame, which stayed pat as it deals with the aftermath of coach Brian Kelly leaving the Fighting Irish program this week to accept the same job at LSU.

Behind Ohio State, Ole Miss passed Baylor to become No. 8, relegating the Bears to No. 9. Oregon rounds out the top 10.

No. 23 Kentucky (8-4) and No. 24 Louisiana (11-1) entered the rankings. Wisconsin fell all the way from No. 14 to out of the Top 25 following its loss to Minnesota. UTSA also dropped out of the Top 25, as well, after its first loss of the season to North Texas.

Below is the complete Top 25:

1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. Alabama
4. Cincinnati
5. Oklahoma State
6. Notre Dame
7. Ohio State
8. Ole Miss
9. Baylor
10. Oregon
11. Michigan State
12. BYU
13. Iowa
14. Oklahoma
15. Pitt
16. Wake Forest
17. Utah
18. North Carolina State
19. San Diego State
20. Clemson
21. Houston
22. Arkansas
23. Kentucky
24. Louisiana
25. Texas A&M

–Field Level Media

University of Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell and his team take the field to face Tulane University at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans Saturday, October 30, 2021.

Uc Tulane20

Cincinnati placed just sixth in first CFP rankings

The members of the College Football Playoff committee aren’t as smitten with Cincinnati as the writers and coaches who vote in the polls.

The Bearcats were ranked No. 6 in the first CFP rankings of the 2021 season released Tuesday night, leaving the 8-0 team with much more work to do to crack the four-team playoff.

To nobody’s surprise, Georgia (8-0) of the SEC is in the top spot. The dominant Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by a whopping 303-53.

Another SEC school, Alabama (7-1), is ranked second, while Michigan State (8-0) of the Big Ten is third.

Oregon (7-1) of the Pac-12 is fourth, just ahead of Big Ten power Ohio State (7-1). The Ducks beat the Buckeyes 35-28 in Columbus on Sept. 11.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati is ranked second by both the writers and coaches in their respective polls. But committee chairman Gary Barta asserted that the Bearcats are ranked where they should be and that there is no disrespect for the American Athletic Conference program.

“The committee has great respect for Cincinnati,” Barta said during ESPN’s broadcast. “The win at Notre Dame was a really impressive win. When you look at their schedule after that, who else did they beat? That was the other question.

“The committee has been watching games all year. Most recently, in the last two weeks, a 2-6 Navy team and then a 1-7 Tulane team with a freshman quarterback starting. So very impressive win against Notre Dame, a lot of respect, but looking at the whole picture, we feel 6 is the right place for Cincinnati.”

Though the ranking is the highest ever for a team from a Group of Five conference, it leaves the Bearcats no margin for error as they play Tulsa, South Florida, SMU and East Carolina to complete the regular season.

Cincinnati’s top result of the season was the 24-13 win at Notre Dame, which was ranked 10th in the initial rankings.

A mild surprise was Alabama landing in the No. 2 spot. The Crimson Tide lost to Texas A&M 41-38 on Oct. 9 before winning their past two games.

“There was a lot of consensus for Alabama to be No. 2,” said Barta, also indicating it took a few hours to hash out spots three through nine.

Michigan (7-1), which was knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten last weekend by Michigan State, is ranked seventh. That put the Wolverines one spot ahead of undefeated Oklahoma (9-0) of the Big 12.

Wake Forest (8-0) is No. 9 during a season in which Atlantic Coast Conference stalwart Clemson (5-3) has taken a deep nosedive. Notre Dame (7-1), an independent, completes the Top 10.

Oklahoma State (7-1) and Baylor (7-1) of the Big 12 checked in at No. 11 and 12 respectively. Two SEC schools follow in Auburn (6-2) and Texas A&M (6-2) with independent BYU (7-2) being No. 15.

Ole Miss (6-2) sits at 16th, followed by SEC rivals Mississippi State (5-3) and Kentucky (6-2). North Carolina State (6-2) of the ACC is 19th.

Minnesota (6-2) is 20th, followed by two other Big Ten programs in No. 21 Wisconsin (5-3) and No. 22 Iowa (6-2).

Mountain West schools Fresno State (7-2) and San Diego State (7-1) checked in at No. 23 and No. 24, respectively. No. 25 Pittsburgh (6-2) rounded out the rankings.

UTSA (8-0) of Conference USA is one of the nation’s six undefeated teams but didn’t crack the rankings.

–Field Level Media

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Detailed view of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship logo at midfield at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

First College Football Playoff rankings pushed to Nov. 24

The release of the first College Football Playoff rankings was pushed back one week to Nov. 24, executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Thursday.

With all 10 FBS conferences now committed to playing a fall season, the delay gives the 13-member selection committee more time to gather information.

“Now that we know all conferences’ starting dates, this change will allow the committee to analyze another week of games,” Hancock said. “There will be four rankings before Selection Day. The committee members have been studying teams and watching video, and I know they’re looking forward to rolling up their sleeves and getting together.”

Selection Day will be Dec. 20, with the top four teams advancing to the playoff semifinals on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The national championship game is scheduled for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

–Field Level Media

Jan 18, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron holds up the AFCA Coaches  Trophy presented by Amway during the LSU championship trophy presentation at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

CFP final rankings release pushed back to Dec. 20

The College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal its final rankings of the season on Dec. 20, the entity announced Wednesday.

The CFP was initially set to release the rankings on Dec. 6.

But recent scheduling changes due to the coronavirus pandemic resulted in conference championship games being pushed back to Dec. 12, 18 or 19.

“With recent schedule changes for the regular season, it makes sense for the committee to make its final rankings after the conference championship games, when it can get a complete picture of the season,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement.

“The selection committee members understand the need to be flexible as we all navigate uncharted waters this season, and this move will allow them to evaluate all the available information.”

The CFP semifinals are slated for Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The title game is slated for Jan. 11 at Miami Gardens, Fla.

Also, the two teams in the championship contest won’t arrive in Miami until Jan. 9.

“In this unprecedented time, the Management Committee believes it is in the best interest for the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches and staffs to complete their game-week preparation on campus, under the familiar protocols they will have used all season,” Hancock said. “This is an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic, but it is the right thing to do.”

The selection committee is now slated to be in Grapevine, Texas from Dec. 18-20 for the final rankings release.

–Field Level Media