The second edition of the College Football Playoff rankings has been released, keeping Clemson at number one while Alabama move to move to take the number two positions. Ohio State remain at number three while Notre Dame, who like the Crimson Tide have one loss, move up to the number four spot, which means getting into the playoffs.
There are three undefeated teams from the Power 5 conferences who have been left out for now: Iowa at number 5, although they did move up four spots; Baylor at number 6, remaining where they were a week ago; and Oklahoma State following their win against TCU, moving up to number 8, a six spot rise. Besides Alabama and Notre Dame standing in their way, there’s also one-loss Stanford at number 7.
The top 10 is completed by LSU (number nine, big drop) and Utah at number 10. It’s worth noting Florida, number 11 in the rankings, who’ll play in the SEC championship game against Alabama (probably), but a loss against Florida State (#16) could cost them a potential playoff spot, even if they win the SEC championship game, although that probably depends on what other teams do.
Things are quite close in the Big 12, with no championship game. If Oklahoma State or Baylor remain undefeated (they play each other in Stillwater on November 21), it could be enough to put them in the playoff after the conference missed out last season. But Oklahoma with one loss are in the mix, and so are TCU, falling to number 15, with one loss to Oklahoma State. Things could get quite complicated with a lot of big head to heads left in November, which means parity actually hurting the conference.
Michigan State are hoping that their loss to Nebraska doesn’t rule them out completely, but they still have to play Ohio State in Columbus. It’s interesting to see undefeated Houston of the American conference ranked below Temple, Memphis and Navy, all one loss teams from the conference, but either way, it won’t get any of them into the semifinals. UCLA are still hoping they have a shot to overthrow Utah in the Pac-12 South while North Carolina, number 23 in the rankings and probably headed towards playing against Clemson in the conference championship game, might actually get a huge leap towards the top 4 if they win out, including against the Tigers.