Nittany Lions Jump 6 Spots in New College Football Playoff Rankings

Doug Mendoza
November 15, 2018

This is the first time a team from the Group of 5 conferences has been ranked higher than No. 12.

I sincerely doubt it. Michigan's path to the playoff is to win out and hope for a loss by either Clemson, Notre Dame, or Georgia.

There are two Big 12 teams in our top 10, and they're No. 9 Texas and No. 10 West Virginia. Northwestern winning the Big Ten wouldn't get them in the Playoff, but it would get them a Rose Bowl berth and shake-up the New Year's Six bowls. But even if that were to happen, Alabama could quickly redeem itself by beating Georgia to win the SEC on championship weekend. Meanwhile, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 MI all tallied big wins over the weekend to keep their respective places in the playoff picture. Undefeated UCF climbed up one spot to No. 11, as did Syracuse to No. 13.

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4 p.m. ET: College Football Playoff semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 4 MI vs. However, there are plenty of games with intrigue or importance to the races within a conference or for a division title.

Rivals rates Liufau as the No. 10 player in the state of Hawaii. It's not as if Alabama would have a loaded resume, with victories against LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn at the top. It's more likely Alabama loses to Georgia, Michigan loses to Ohio State, Notre Dame loses to Syracuse or the Big 12 teams beat up on each other more than SC or Pitt beating Clemson.

UCF is officially set to host a top 25 matchup in primetime Saturday, with Cincinnati moving up to No. 24 in the latest rankings. Herbstreit said Michigan's playoff chances will all come down to the Ohio State game. Florida 14. Penn State 15. That's not almost enough to reach the top four, and even the Pac-12 Championship likely won't be against a Utah team ranked much higher than where it is now at No. 18. MI could help Notre Dame by finishing 12-1.

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