Three losses by Top 10 teams and a dominating performance by Ohio State has reshuffled the College Football Playoff rankings and set the stage for a dramatic finish when the final rankings set the four-team field on Dec. 5.
Here are the highlights from the newest set of rankings that were released on Tuesday night:
**--Georgia (11-0) remained the clear No. 1 and, if the Bulldogs take care of Georgia Tech on Saturday, they are pretty much a lock to make the four-team field whether or not they beat Alabama in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 4.
**--No. 3 Oregon’s 38-7 loss to Utah sent the Ducks plummeting out of the Top 10 and opened the door for Ohio State (10-1) to jump from No. 4 to No. 2 based on the strength of the Buckeyes’ 56-7 destruction of No. 7 Michigan State.
Ohio State plays at Michigan on Saturday where a win puts the Buckeyes into the Big Ten championship game.
**--Alabama (10-1) dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 after a close 42-35 win over Arkansas. But the Crimson Tide, which plays at Auburn on Saturday, will face Georgia in the SEC championship game on Dec. 4. A win there puts Alabama into the CFP. The Tide could still get in with a close loss to Georgia.
**--Cincinnati (11-0), which had an impressive 48-14 win over SMU, moved from No. 5 to No. 4. The Bearcats are the highest ranked Group of Five team in the history of CFP. It appears the Bearcats are in good shape to make the playoffs if they can win Saturday at East Carolina and then beat No. 24 Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship game to finish 13-0.
**--Michigan (10-1) jumped from No. 6 to No. 5 after a strong 59-18 win over Maryland. The Wolverines still control their fate with a win Saturday at home against No. 2 Ohio State, which would put them in the Big Ten championship game.
**--Notre Dame (10-1) is at No. 6 after a 55-0 win over Georgia Tech. The Fighting Irish will likely dispatch Stanford (3-8) on Saturday but will need some help because they do not play a conference championship game.
**--Oklahoma State (10-1) is at No. 7 going into Saturday’s Bedlam game with Oklahoma in Stillwater. The Cowboys are playing some of the best defense in the country with only one touchdown allowed in the past four games. A win advances Oklahoma State to the Big 12 championship game against Baylor, if the No. 8 Bears beat Texas Tech. A 12-1 Big 12 champ could make a strong case against a 13-0 Cincinnati or an 11-1 Notre Dame.
The rest of the Top 10 included:
No. 8 Baylor (9-2), which hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.
No. 9 Ole Miss (9-2), which has a chance to win 10 regular-season games for the first time in school history Saturday against Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.
No. 10 Oklahoma (10-1), which still has a chance to win the Big 12. If the Sooners beat Oklahoma State, the two teams will have a rematch in the conference championship game.
Here are the Top 10 in the new CFP rankings that were released Tuesday night:
1—Georgia (11-0): at Ga. Tech , SEC Champ game
2—Ohio State (10-1): at Michigan, Big Ten Champ game*
3—Alabama (10-1): at Auburn, SEC Champ game
4—Cincinnati (11-0): at East Carolina, AAC Champ game
5—Michigan (10-1): Ohio State, Big Ten Champ game*
6—Notre Dame (10-1): at Stanford
7—Oklahoma State (10-1): Oklahoma; Big 12 Champ game*
8—Baylor (9-2): Texas Tech; Big 12 Champ game*
9—Ole Miss (9-2): at Miss. State (Thursday)
10—Oklahoma (10-1): at Oklahoma State; Big 12 Champ game*
.*--Must win Saturday to qualify for conference championship game.