Michigan moves into top four of College Football Playoff rankings

LSU’s loss was Michigan’s gain.

The Wolverines entered the top four after LSU lost to No. 1 Alabama in the second edition of the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday. Alabama stayed No. 1, Clemson is No. 2 and Notre Dame is No. 3. The Irish beat Michigan in Week 1. The Wolverines are No. 4. CFP committee chair Rob Mullens called Michigan’s defense the best in the country.

LSU fell from No. 3 to No. 7 after the 29-0 loss. Georgia, which lost at LSU, is now at No. 5 while Oklahoma is at No. 6. The Tigers stayed ahead of Washington State despite a 7-2 record to Washington State’s 8-1 record.

The SEC’s chances at two in the playoff again

LSU is curiously ahead of the Cougars, who got a late touchdown to beat Cal on Saturday. Washington State’s non-conference strength of schedule is clearly an issue. LSU played Miami to open the season while Washington’s toughest non-Pac-12 opponent this season is Wyoming.

The Tigers probably aren’t going to make the playoff. But if chaos happens and there are a bunch of two-loss teams, don’t count out LSU. This ranking coupled with the relative weakness of the Pac-12 means LSU could stay ahead of Washington State even if it wins out and takes the Pac-12.

Another scenario where the SEC has two playoff teams: Georgia wins out. If UGA beats a now-ranked Auburn team this weekend, takes care of UMass and rival Georgia Tech and then, somehow, beats an undefeated Alabama team in the SEC title game, the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide could both crack the top four yet again, potentially at Michigan’s expense.

UCF’s playoff hopes are kaput

Undefeated Central Florida continues to get no love from the committee. UCF gave up a bunch of yards to Temple last week and stayed at No. 12 behind Kentucky, which was dominated by Georgia. UCF, at 8-0, is behind two teams with two losses already. It seems impossible for the Knights to make a reasonable run towards the top four in the rankings. Cincinnati and South Florida still loom on the schedule, but there’s no way wins over either of those teams would put UCF within striking distance of the top four entering conference championship weekend.

West Virginia and Ohio State round out the top 10. The Buckeyes are the lowest-ranked one-loss team after beating Nebraska. West Virginia took down Texas 42-41. The Longhorns fell to No. 19 with the loss.


1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Michigan
5. Georgia
6. Oklahoma
7. LSU
8. Washington State
9. West Virginia
10. Ohio State
11. Kentucky
12. UCF
13. Syracuse
14. NC State
15. Florida
16. Mississippi State
17. Boston College
18. Michigan State
19. Texas
20. Penn State
22. Iowa State
23. Fresno State
24. Auburn
25. Washington

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

Michigan is happy to be in the top four. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Michigan is happy to be in the top four. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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