Ohio State and LSU have once again traded places atop the College Football Playoff Rankings. In the fourth edition, released Tuesday night, the two undefeated teams flip flopped for the second time. Clemson, who is the only remaining team without a loss, was No. 3. Georgia has the last playoff spot at No. 4, while Alabama stayed fifth, and Utah moved up a spot to sixth.
The Buckeyes took back the No. 1 spot from LSU. OSU was No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings, but the Tigers grabbed it in the second rankings, and kept it through the third one. CFP Selection Committee Chair Rob Mullens said the 13-member voting panel believed the Buckeyes had a stronger defense.
“Ohio State’s been a complete team, and that win over Penn State was their third win against teams that we currently have ranked in the top 19,” Mullens said. “Ohio State’s been really good on both sides of the ball. “They’re obviously both very good on the offensive side. And this week the committee felt that that win over Penn State again solidified that Ohio State’s a little better on the defensive side of the ball.”
Ohio State, LSU Fighting it Out in College Football Playoff Rankings
Though LSU won for the 11th time, they received a demotion in the College Football Playoff Rankings. The Tigers easily handled Arkansas, 56-20 at home. They were 41.5-point favorites over the Razorbacks, who are 2-9 on the season and fired coach Chad Morris on Nov. 10.
The committee didn’t find that victory as impressive as Ohio State’s 28-17 win over Penn State. The Nittany Lions were No. 8 in last week’s College Football Playoff Rankings, but were 20.5-point underdogs against OSU.
This week is another test for Ohio State. They travel to Michigan to face the No. 13 Wolverines on Saturday. They are currently on a seven-game winning streak, including last year’s 62-39 drubbing.
Coach Ryan Day is experiencing his first game as the OSU head coach in the rivalry, and told reporters the preparation will be the same as any other game.
if you’re working on it all year, then you’re prepared, whether you’ve worked on it the spring, the pre-season, certain periods that you set aside just to work on the team up north,” Day said. “You talk to guys all the time about what it means, so they understand coming into the game what to expect.”
Can Alabama, Utah Crack Top 4?
Alabama could jump into the top four this week with a convincing victory over No. 15 Auburn. The Iron Bowl has been a little more equal, with the Crimson Tide winning four of the last six.
What has hurt Nick Saban’s team is the one loss to LSU, and playing a non-conference schedule that has included powder puffs such as Western Carolina, and New Mexico.
Utah will also need some help if they are going to crack the top 4. The Utes have one loss on the season, but it was to a ranked USC team. They will need to defeat Colorado on Saturday and win the Pac-12 Championship, as well as get some help from either Clemson or Georgia.