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CFP Committee Explains Cincinnati Move, Michigan Left Out and More

College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chair Gary Barta answered media questions following the CFP's latest batch of rankings that stirred a lot of conversation.
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The latest batch of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday evening, causing quite the stir in conversation. 

Of course, the Georgia Bulldogs remain atop the rankings after again looking like the best team in the country. Following the Oregon Ducks' loss, Ohio State leap-frogged Alabama to claim the No. 2 ranking following a dominant win over Michigan State. 

The fourth and final spot was awarded to the Cincinnati Bearcats, becoming the first G5 school to be ranked in the top four.

College Football Playoff Selection Committee chair Gary Barta was made available to media members following the release of the rankings, and expanded on varying topics. 

Opening Statement

"Undefeated Georgia continues to dominate, to just play great football on both offense and defense, so they came in at No. 1.

"Ohio State, following its incredible performance against a good Michigan State team, is No. 2. The committee was certainly impressed by their win on Saturday.

"Alabama comes in at 3 coming off a relatively close win against Arkansas. In the eyes of the committee, that result when you combined it with Ohio State's performance against Michigan State resulted in the ranking of those two teams.

"Cincinnati was previously ranked 5. They won again. Their victory over a good SMU team combined with Oregon's loss led the committee to rank Cincinnati at No. 4.

"Oregon, Michigan State and Wake Forest all dropped in our rankings, and that's probably not a surprise. That's a reflection of how soundly each team was defeated last week in combination with the teams around them winning their games."

On Michigan

"Michigan, we've talked, especially the last several weeks about just them being a complete football team. They're well-balanced. Their offense and defense are both ranked nationally in most categories. Their best win to date is at Wisconsin. 

"They also had a good win at Penn State. Very good football team, well-balanced, and obviously looking forward to watching Ohio State and Michigan play this weekend."

Why Michigan is Ranked Ahead of Others in Top 10

"I think the win at Penn State has gotten the committee's attention. Michigan has also been a well-balanced team pretty much all year, so it's been a consistency for most of the year. Notre Dame started out a little bit slower. They've certainly come on. But their last three games, they totally manhandled Georgia Tech.

"Georgia Tech, Navy and Virginia were their last three wins, so they haven't had the strength of schedule that they had earlier.

"Oklahoma State, their defense has been terrific. They have a great win against Baylor. Texas Tech couldn't do anything against Oklahoma State's defense this past weekend.

"Their offense shows signs at times. They do enough, Spencer Sanders and that group do enough, but they're more defensive-minded. They have the loss on the road at Iowa State.

"So all of that is considered, and that just gives you a sense of some of the things we talked about among those three teams

On How Close Top Teams Are

"We have conversations, and you can get a sense through conversations and people's opinions and their questions kind of how people feel about each team. Georgia is undefeated, and I just said a minute ago that there's only three undefeated teams left, and for Georgia to be 11-0 and against the schedule that they play continues to get the committee's attention.

"The defense that they play, they have the best defense in the country, Jordan Davis and Co. and their offense is still a top-10 type offense. They do have wins against Clemson and Arkansas.

"When we voted, Georgia came out on top. There was more conversation between Ohio State and Alabama. I went through that a little bit earlier in terms of why the committee ended up putting Ohio State ahead of Alabama this week, but both are considered to be great teams, not just good teams.

"All three of those teams received great conversation. Ohio State offensively is considered to be the strongest in that group, but Ohio State's defense is better. Georgia may be the best defense there, and Alabama both offensively and defensively. It's just exciting to see those teams continue to get better every week.

"But when it came down to the vote, Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama in that order this week."

On Oklahoma/Oklahoma State

"Oklahoma only has one loss. You've heard us talk previously about the strength of their schedule not being as difficult as some of the others. The Iowa State win was a heck of a football game, first of all. The fact that they were able to hang on and win that game; the committee certainly considered that. Their only loss is to a really good Baylor team.

"There's never a discussion about separation; right now it's 7, 8, 9 and 10. When this week occurs, obviously Oklahoma State and Oklahoma play each other, and that will be a piece of information that will be important to add to the conversation."

On Oklahoma State elevating themselves

"To say yes because they're ranked No. 7, and their defense continues to be strong, they certainly get included in discussions with people above them, with Michigan, but you are where you're ranked. 

"Right now they're at 7, and as I said earlier, they have a big game coming up that can add to their resume'."