There was guaranteed change among the top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday after Oregon, ranked No. 3 last week, was blown out at Utah.
What was surprising was there was a change at No. 2 with Ohio State, fresh off its impressive defeat of Michigan State, jumping two places and supplanting Alabama, which slipped to No. 3 after Crimson Tide struggled against Arkansas at home.
Cincinnati moved up one spot to No. 4. The unbeaten Bearcats appear to be in solid shape in their bid to become the first Group of Five team to be selected for the semifinals if they can beat East Carolina next week and then Houston in the American Athletic title game.
Michigan moves up one place to No. 5. The Wolverines face Ohio State this weekend with the winner earning the Big Ten East title and would likely be one win away from locking up a playoff spot.
Notre Dame follows in sixth. The Irish will need some help with just one game remaining against Stanford that likely won’t boost their profile.
BOWL PROJECTIONS:College Football Playoff race down to eight teams
A trio of Big 12 teams follow are in the second half of the top 10, led by No. 7 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys and No. 10 Oklahoma each have one loss and face off this weekend. Baylor is No. 8 followed by No. 9 Mississippi.
Hoping to finish in position for a New Year’s Six bowl, independent Brigham Young improves one place to No. 13 putting the Cougars just outside of the top 12, a ranking needed to be considered for a berth.
The SEC and Big Ten lead all conferences with five teams apiece in the rankings. The ACC is next with four and the Big 12 has three.
No. 21 San Diego State, No. 22 Texas-San Antonio and No. 24 Houston are the other Group of Five representatives after Cincinnati and BYU. The highest-rated champion among those conferences is guaranteed a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl.
No. 23 Clemson moves into the Top 25 for the first time this season after beating Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons fell eight places to No. 18 following their first conference loss. Mississippi State, which was No. 25 last week, dropped out even with its defeat of Tennessee State.
The final rankings of the season will be released Dec. 5 with the top four teams playing in the semifinals at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31. The national championship game will be held Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.
College Football Playoff committee Top 25
1. Georgia (11-0)
2. Alabama (10-1)
3. Ohio State (10-1)
4. Cincinnati (11-0)
5. Michigan (10-1)
6. Notre Dame (10-1)
7. Oklahoma State (10-1)
8. Baylor (9-2)
9. Mississippi (9-2)
10. Oklahoma (10-1)
11. Oregon (9-2)
12. Michigan State (9-2)
13. Brigham Young (9-2)
14. Wisconsin (8-3)
15. Texas A&M (8-3)
16. Iowa (9-2)
17. Pittsburgh (9-2)
18. Wake Forest (9-2)
19. Utah (8-3)
20. North Carolina State (8-3)
21. San Diego State (10-1)
22 .Texas-San Antonio (11-0)
23. Clemson (8-3)
24. Houston (10-1)
25. Arkansas (7-4)