College Football Playoff Rankings: LSU jumps Ohio State for No. 1 as Clemson, Georgia enter CFP top four

The second College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2019 season have arrived, and after LSU defeated Alabama on the road in Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Tigers have jumped Ohio State for the No. 1 spot. The Buckeyes move to No. 2 after smothering Big Ten tomato can Maryland. LSU’s tremendous performance to this point will be tough to topple, particularly if it runs the table, but there is not much of a difference between it and OSU. They may flip back and forth over the next few weeks, but probably not this week as Ohio State plays an even worse team in Rutgers.

Behind those two, Clemson and Georgia move from the first teams out of the field to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. These Tigers remain undefeated after obliterating NC State 55-10 last week, while the Bulldogs are the top-ranked one-loss team and are coming off a 27-0 win against Missouri.

Georgia over Alabama is the most talked about — and overreacted to — placement. It does not matter whatsoever where these teams are placed now. What matters is that Georgia does not need help from anyone to make the College Football Playoff.  Win out, become a 12-1 SEC champion, and the Dawgs are in. The No. 5 Crimson Tide need help, maybe a lot of it. That would be true if their rankings were switched this week.

Remember: The playoff does not start today, and the season can get wacky over the final few weeks. All four spots in the field remain up for grabs with rivalry games and top 25 showdowns ahead down the stretch of the 2019 season.

Let’s take a look at the entire CFP Rankings top 25. Keep on reading for further analysis on these rankings.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 12

  1. LSU (9-0)
  2. Ohio State (9-0)
  3. Clemson (10-0)
  4. Georgia (8-1)
  5. Alabama (8-1)
  6. Oregon (8-1) 
  7. Utah (8-1)
  8. Minnesota (9-0)
  9. Penn State (8-1)
  10. Oklahoma (8-1)
  11. Florida (8-2)
  12. Auburn (7-2)
  13. Baylor (9-0)
  14. Wisconsin (7-2)
  15. Michigan (7-2)
  16. Notre Dame (7-2)
  17. Cincinnati (8-1)
  18. Memphis (8-1)
  19. Texas (6-3)
  20. Iowa (6-3)
  21. Boise State (8-1)
  22. Oklahoma State (6-3)
  23. Navy (7-1)
  24. Kansas State (6-3)
  25. Appalachian State (8-1)

Minnesota was the big mover this week, up nine spots from No. 17 to No. 8.  The Golden Gophers vaulted on the strength of a win over former No. 4 Penn State. The CFP Selection Committee has always said that head-to-head is a factor but not the only one.  With the Nittany Lions falling to ninth, they have shown that at least in this case, it was a factor in the ranking.

Though Oregon and Utah have one loss, both are ahead of Minnesota because the Gophers’ resume isn’t as good. Their strength of schedule is still poor, despite a high-quality win at home over the Nittany Lions. Penn State’s resume is clearly better than either Pac-12 team, but the committee obviously felt it could not rank it ahead of Minnesota, so it was docked three spots for a head-to-head result.  Again, though, if it wasn’t this week, it probably would have been next week if Minnesota wins at Iowa and Penn State beats Indiana.

There are very few, if any, surprises further down the rankings.  It was an unusual week in that you could pretty much slot the teams from the week before. Texas replaced Wake Forest in the rankings, leaving Clemson as the lone ACC team in the top 15.

The biggest surprise to me was SMU falling out in favor of Appalachian State.  While I like the Mountaineers, their schedule does not compare to that of the Mustangs, and SMU’s lone loss is to Memphis.  App. State hasn’t played a team in the rankings and will not this season. It is hard to justify a top 25 spot for them.

Remember, be calm. We still have four weeks to go.

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