The College Football Rankings debuted part three of their rankings, and you can be the judge of how they stack up compared to Parts I and II or whether the three hold up as a trilogy as a whole.
Mississippi State remains at number one, Oregon jumped to number two, Florida State fell to number three, and TCU moved into the top four. If the season ended today, that would be your playoff, but the season does not end today (as far as I know), so this is sure to change.
The top 25 is below with a few quick thoughts after that.
1. Mississippi State
3. Florida State
6. Arizona State
8. Ohio State
10. Ole Miss
12. Michigan State
13. Kansas State
18. Notre Dame
22. Georgia Tech
24. Texas A&M
• It might not matter much to everyone, but it still does matter: Where is the Group of Five representative? The highest ranked member of those conferences gets an invite into one of the big bowls, and as of now it’s either Marshall, Colorado State or a darkhorse like Boise State. It won’t get as much scrutiny as the Playoff itself, but the committee will have to explain its rationale at some point here.
• The committee seemed to value Ohio State’s win over Michigan State, which is good news for the Buckeyes. Ohio State moved up from No. 14 to No. 8 after the 49-37 road win over the Spartans and should have a couple more chances to add to their body of work with Minnesota and (potentially) the Big Ten championship remaining. As for Arizona State, the Sun Devils jumped to No. 6 after beating Notre Dame in Tempe. Ohio State and Arizona State are two teams to keep an eye on outside of the usual suspects.
• That Big 12 battle is going to be one to watch the rest of the year. Both No. 4 TCU and No. 7 Baylor are sitting at one loss, with Baylor winning the head to head, but TCU arguably holding the “better” loss and the “better” nonconference slate (its win over Minnesota gets better ever week). As of now, it looks like TCU has the edge, but this could fluctuate as we go. Remember: Baylor still has to play Kansas State, and the Horned Frogs just beat the Wildcats, 41-20.