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    College Football Playoff Rankings: Ohio State moves into No. 4 spot behind Oregon in new top 25 – CBS Sports

    The second edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night with undefeated Georgia and one-loss Alabama remaining as the top two programs in the four-team field. With previously unbeaten and third-ranked Michigan State being upset by Purdue on Saturday, a spot opened in the top four. Oregon moved up to No. 3 with Ohio State filling out the bracket in the final slot.

    The Spartans not only fell out of the top four but dropped behind rival Michigan, which Michigan State beat head-to-head just a couple weeks ago. The Wolverines step up to No. 6 with the Spartans at No. 7.

    Cincinnati, at 9-0 with two Power Five wins, ascended one spot to No. 5 after a closer-than-expected win over Tulsa. As such, the Bearcats set a new mark for highest-ranked Group of Five program in this history of the CFP Rankings.

    The lone other undefeated Power Five program, Oklahoma, stayed pat at No. 8 after sitting home for an off week. The Sooners will have a chance to jump in the rankings next week after they face No. 13 Baylor on Saturday.

    Notably absent from the initial CFP Rankings last week was Penn State and undefeated UTSA out of Conference USA. The Nittany Lions, despite having two wins against teams in the new top 25, remained unranked, while the Roadrunners debuted this week at No. 23.

    Let’s take a look at the entire CFP Rankings top 25. Analysis from CBS Sports bowls expert Jerry Palm will be added momentarily.

    College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 9

    1. Georgia (9-0)
    2. Alabama (8-1)
    3. Oregon (8-1)
    4. Ohio State (8-1)
    5. Cincinnati (9-0)
    6. Michigan (8-1)
    7. Michigan State (8-1)
    8. Oklahoma (9-0)
    9. Notre Dame (8-1)
    10. Oklahoma State (8-1)
    11. Texas A&M (7-2)
    12. Wake Forest (8-1)
    13. Baylor (7-2)
    14. BYU (8-2)
    15. Ole Miss (7-2)
    16. NC State (7-2)
    17. Auburn (6-3)
    18. Wisconsin (6-3)
    19. Purdue (6-3)
    20. Iowa (7-2)
    21. Pittsburgh (7-2)
    22. San Diego State (8-1)
    23. UTSA (9-0)
    24. Utah (6-3)
    25. Arkansas (6-3)

    Analysis by bowls expert Jerry Palm

    The CFP selection committee seems to be confused about to do with Cincinnati. Last week, committee chairman Gary Barta dragged the Bearcats, questioning their schedule other than their win over Notre Dame. He then commented briefly on how poorly they played against Navy and Tulane. He did not say so explicitly, but it’s clear that’s why Cincinnati was No. 6 in last week’s rankings.

    This week? Cincinnati needed a late goal line stand to hold off another AAC also-ran in Tulsa. It was unquestionably the Bearcats’ worst performance of the season and the worst in a win by any top-seven team. Yet, Cincinnati actually moved up one spot to No. 5 in this week’s rankings. That was the result of Michigan State dropping back, but there was a good case for Michigan to be ahead of Cincinnati. Still, the Bearcats need to start playing a lot better if they are truly going to contend for a playoff spot.

    Michigan State fell all the way to seventh after the loss at Purdue, which threw for 536 yards in the game. The Spartans pass defense has been one of the worst in the nation, and that was surely a big negative during the discussion about them in the committee room. Michigan State fell all the way behind Michigan, a team it beat just 10 days ago. The Wolverines have been playing well despite that road loss. You could argue they have been the best team in the Big Ten East of late in terms of giving consistently good performances.

    It’s unlikely this is the last time we see a head-to-head result get overwhelmed by other criteria. We will likely see it with Ohio State and Oregon if both win out because the Buckeyes’ strength of schedule is ratcheting up while the Ducks’ is staying flat or declining.

    Speaking of head-to-head, Penn State has beaten No. 17 Auburn at home and No. 18 Wisconsin on the road. All three teams are 6-3, but the Nittany Lions remain unranked for the second week in a row.

    A 1-3 start is going to hold Wisconsin down in the rankings, but since the insertion of Braelon Allen in the primary running back role, the Badgers look not just a lot like their old selves but also like the best team in the Big Ten. Wisconsin has won five straight since the change. Wouldn’t it turn the College Football Playoff race upside down if the Badgers stepped up and won the league?

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