CFP Top 25 | Conference Championship Week

University of Georgia helmet
University of Georgia helmet | Image by Georgia Football/Facebook

The College Football Playoff Committee released its second-to-last version of its Top 25 rankings on Tuesday night as teams prepare to play for conference championships this weekend.

There is not as much of a change as there was last week when the committee finally moved an unbeaten Washington team into the top four. However, there are still some notable changes as several teams remain in consideration for the four-team field that will be announced on Sunday.

Here are the full College Football Playoff rankings entering Conference Championship Weekend:

1. Georgia 12-0

2. Michigan 12-0

3. Washington 12-0

4. Florida State 12-0

5. Oregon 11-1

6. Ohio State 11-1

7. Texas 11-1

8. Alabama 11-1

9. Missouri 10-2

10. Penn State 10-2

11. Mississippi 10-2

12. Oklahoma 10-2

13. LSU 9-3

14. Louisville 10-2

15. Arizona 9-3

16. Iowa 10-2

17. Notre Dame 9-318. Oklahoma State 9-3

19. NC State 9-3

20. Oregon State 8-4

21. Tennessee 8-4

22. Tulane 11-1

23. Clemson 8-4

24. Liberty 12-0

25. Kansas State 8-4

The four remaining unbeaten Power Five teams lead the way, with Michigan jumping from No.3 to No.2 after beating Ohio State. The Buckeyes still have an outside shot at making the playoff field if No.4 Florida State either loses to No.14 Louisville in Saturday’s ACC Championship or the committee simply does not deem the Seminoles competitive enough with the change at quarterback.

Such a situation would provide the group with an interesting yet complicated decision, especially if Oregon and Texas were to win their conference championships. They would then have at least four one-loss teams to consider for one final playoff spot, assuming Georgia, Michigan, and the winner of Friday’s PAC-12 Championship between No.3 Washington and No.5 Oregon take the first three spots.

Alabama also sits outside the field and could throw everything into further chaos by beating Georgia in the SEC Championship. The committee would not divulge what tiebreakers it would use in those situations.

As for the sole Group of Five New Year’s Six bowl slot, No.22 Tulane continues to lead the pack. The Green Wave has won 10 games in a row since an early loss to now No.11 Ole Miss. Undefeated Liberty, which plays for the Conference USA Championship on Friday night, is the only other G5 school featured in the most recent rankings.

That situation looms large for a school like SMU, which went 10-2 in the regular season and plays Tulane for the American Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday. Many believe the AAC champ should automatically get the Group of Five bid, but the rankings indicate otherwise. Even with a win, SMU would likely need Liberty to lose to New Mexico State.

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