Oklahoma stays ahead of Ohio State in College Football Playoff rankings

Does Oklahoma have the playoff edge over Ohio State?

The Sooners stayed ahead of the Buckeyes entering conference championship weekend. Oklahoma moved up from No. 6 to No. 5 while Ohio State jumped from No. 10 to No. 6. The Buckeyes drubbed previously-No. 4 Michigan in Week 13 while Oklahoma beat then-No. 13 West Virginia.

The top three stayed the same as expected. Alabama is at No. 1 followed by Clemson and Notre Dame. Georgia is at No. 4. The Bulldogs play Alabama on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game. If Georgia loses, Oklahoma and Ohio State will be in line to assume the No. 4 position.

Oklahoma plays No. 14 Texas on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Longhorns gave the Sooners their only loss of the season. Ohio State has No. 21 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game. Given that Oklahoma is playing a better opponent, Ohio State will likely need an Oklahoma loss or a convincing win over Northwestern and a close Oklahoma win over Texas to have a shot at jumping the Sooners on Sunday and make the playoff.

But what if Georgia wins?

If the Tide handles the Bulldogs, the No. 4 spot will ostensibly be there for the taking for Oklahoma and Ohio State. If Georgia beats Alabama, things get really interesting.

Alabama became the first team since the turn of the 20th century to beat its regular season opponents by 20 points or more. If Georgia pulls the upset it’s hard to see Alabama dropping outside the top four. Georgia would conceivably move to No. 3 and Alabama would drop to No. 4.

That would make the discussion surrounding Oklahoma and Ohio State a moot point because they both would get left out of the playoff.

Committee chairman Rob Mullens said Oklahoma stayed ahead of Ohio State because of the team’s “historic” offense. Oklahoma is averaging nearly nine yards a play in 2018 as its defense has allowed 40 or more points in each of the last four games.

ESPN's top 50 college football players of 2018
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ESPN's top 50 college football players of 2018

50. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic

(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

49. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

48. Shaq Quarterman, LB, Miami

(Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

47. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

(Photo by Tyler Lecka/Getty Images)

46. Chase Winovich, DL, Michigan

(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

45. Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

44. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

(Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

43. T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

42. David Edwards, OL, Wisconsin

(Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

41. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

40. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

(Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

39. Greg Little, OL, Ole Miss

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

38. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

37. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

36. A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

35. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

34. Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State

(Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

33. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

32. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

(Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

31. Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

30. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

29. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

28. Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington

(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

27. Devin White, LB, LSU

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

26. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

25. Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

24. Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson

(Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

23. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

22. Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

21. Cam Akers, RB, Florida State

(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

20. McKenzie Milton, QB, Central Florida

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

19. Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

18. David Sills V, WR, West Virginia

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

17. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

16. Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

(Photo by Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

15. Jake Browning, QB, Washington

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

14. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

(Photo by Josh Holmberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

13. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

12. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

11. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

10. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

9. Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

8. Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

7. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

6. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

5. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

(Photo by Brian Utesch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

4. Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

3. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

2. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

(Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Ohio State has jumped a Big 12 team before

The Buckeyes made a massive statement in 2014 to jump over TCU in the final week of the season. Ohio State entered the Big Ten Championship Game at No. 5 and beat No. 13 Wisconsin 59-0. TCU, at 10-1, beat Iowa State 55-3. The Horned Frogs dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 and Ohio State vaulted into the top four to join Alabama, Oregon and Florida State in the first playoff.

A similar situation isn’t out of the question when the final rankings are revealed on Sunday. But Ohio State may need another 59-0 win to do it.

If an Ohio State jump over Oklahoma happens (assuming a Sooners win), the committee will have some explaining to do. With Ohio State staying a handful of spots below Oklahoma for the weeks preceding Tuesday night, it’s clear the committee hasn’t been as impressed with the Buckeyes as it has been with Oklahoma. Likely because of Ohio State’s big loss to Purdue. Would wins over Michigan and Northwestern be enough to erase that gap while Oklahoma also beats ranked teams?

SEC dominance

Teams from the conference make up nearly a third of the top 25. Eight SEC teams are in the top 25 now that Missouri is at No. 24. The Tigers follow No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Georgia, No. 9 Florida, No. 10 LSU, No. 15 Kentucky, No. 18 Mississippi State and No. 19 Texas A&M. With Alabama and Georgia facing off Saturday, those same eight teams will be in the final playoff rankings released on Sunday.

With the loser of Alabama-Georgia not going to fall out of the top 12, the conference will have four teams in New Year’s Six bowl games. If Alabama beats Georgia, the Tide will go to a semifinal, Georgia will likely go to the Sugar Bowl and then Florida and LSU will be divided between the Peach and Fiesta Bowls.

Washington State out of a New Year’s Six Bowl?

The Cougars’ loss to Washington not only knocked Washington State out of the playoff hunt and the Pac-12 hunt, it might have dropped Washington State all the way to the Alamo Bowl.

The Cougars currently sit at No. 13 in the rankings and behind four teams from Nos. 7-12 that have no shot to win their conferences. That’s problematic because there are only 11 New Year’s Six spots available to Power Five teams. Washington State could move up to No. 12 but that would be if Washington loses to Utah. And the Utes would be taking a New Year’s Six spot by heading to the Rose Bowl as the Pac-12 champions.


1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. Ohio State
7. Michigan
8. UCF
9. Florida
10. LSU
11. Washington
12. Penn State
13. Washington State
14. Texas
15. Kentucky
16. West Virginia
17. Utah
18. Mississippi State
19. Texas A&M
20. Syracuse
21. Northwestern
22. Boise State
23. Iowa State
24. Missouri
25. Fresno State

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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