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CFP Rankings Analysis: Group of 5 Race Worth Talking About With Little Week 12 Movement

There were no changes in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings this week, with Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan remaining in line for the final four.

Guess what? The top of the latest College Football Playoff rankings turned out to be as uninteresting as everyone expected them to be. More specifically, the top 10 is exactly the same as it was last week.

Even so, here's what these rankings mean going forward.


Like we've said time and time and time again, No. 11 UCF isn't making the playoff, but the Knights definitely remain in play for a highly-coveted New Year's Six Bowl. The other main contenders for the G5 spot are all bunched up at the tail end of this week's top 25: No. 23 Utah State, No. 24 Cincinnati and No. 25 Boise State. Here are these four teams' remaining schedules.

UCF: vs. Cincinnati, at South Florida, potential American Athletic Conference Championship Game

Utah State: at Colorado State, at Boise State, potential Mountain West Conference Championship Game

Cincinnati: at UCF, vs. East Carolina, potential American Athletic Conference Championship Game

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Boise State: at New Mexico, vs. Utah State, potential Mountain West Conference Championship Game

As you can see, this big-bowl payday will likely come down to either the winner of the AAC or the winner of the MWC. UCF and Cincinnati play each other in Orlando this weekend in a defacto elimination game, while Boise State and Utah State do the same over Thanksgiving weekend. UCF has the advantage of being so far ahead of the rest of this crew, for now. We've all become accustomed to penciling in the Knights as the G5 rep, but this is by no means settled.


Washington State and its press conference-maven head coach are the Pac-12's lone playoff hope at this point, which means seeing Apple Cup-rival Washington show up at No. 18 and potential Pac-12 Championship Game-foe Utah at No. 19 is a big boost.

Washington State and Washington will battle Arizona and Oregon State, respectively, prior to their meeting. Utah is not guaranteed to reach the Pac-12 title game. The Utes need to win at quickly-unraveling Coloradoand have Arizona State lose at least one of its two remaining games. Darkhorse Heisman-candidate Gardner Minshew and his Cougars would still need help from the other power conferences in order to reach the playoff, however.

Full rankings are below.

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. UCF
12. Syracuse
13. Florida
14. Penn State
15. Texas
16. Iowa State
17. Kentucky
18. Washington
19. Utah
20. Boston College
21. Mississippi State
22. Northwestern
23. Utah State
24. Cincinnati
25. Boise State