College Football Playoff rankings: Cincinnati jumps to No. 5, Michigan moves ahead of Michigan State

·3 min read

Cincinnati is now No. 5.

The Bearcats moved up a spot in the second edition of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night. Cincy moved from No. 6 after Michigan State lost to Purdue in Week 10. The Spartans dropped from No. 3 to No. 7, a spot behind Michigan. Michigan State beat Michigan in Week 9.

"At the end of the day, we felt Michigan was a better team and to be ranked ahead of Michigan State," Iowa athletic director and playoff committee chair Gary Barta said on ESPN after the rankings were revealed. 

Georgia remained at No. 1 and was followed by Alabama again at No. 2. Oregon and Ohio State filled out the top four ahead of Cincinnati as they each moved up a spot, as well. The Ducks and Buckeyes have the same record. Oregon is ahead of Ohio State in large part because it won in Week 2 in Columbus.

Why isn't that same principle being applied to Michigan and Michigan State this week? It's a great question with no good answer. But the nice thing for Michigan State fans is that these rankings ultimately don't matter. If the Spartans beat Ohio State on Nov. 20 and win their other remaining two games in the regular season, they are going to the Big Ten title game with the chance to make the College Football Playoff. 

The playoff scenario still isn't that simple for Cincinnati. There are no other American Athletic Conference teams ranked again this week — Houston is 8-1 — so the Bearcats don't have any other ranked teams left on their schedule. While Cincy is now another step closer to the top four and the first playoff berth for a non-Power Five team, the Bearcats are going to need some more help over the next few weeks to get a playoff berth in December. 

Georgia and Cincinnati are the only two undefeated teams in the top five. Oklahoma is next at No. 8 and you have to go all the way down to UTSA at No. 23 to find another undefeated team. The Roadrunners are 9-0 after beating UTEP on Saturday and are in the rankings for the first time in school history. 

Wake Forest fell from No. 9 to No. 12 after losing to North Carolina on Saturday. Auburn dropped from No. 13 to No. 17 after losing at Texas A&M and Purdue is now at No. 19 after that win over Michigan State.

The full rankings are below. 

Full top 25

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)