College Football Playoff rankings: Ohio State moves to No. 1 over LSU after beating Penn State


Ohio State is back to being the No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Ohio State beat No. 10 Penn State 28-17 on Saturday and that was good enough to jump over LSU for the top spot in Tuesday’s rankings. The Tigers fell to No. 2 after blowing out hapless Arkansas. LSU had jumped over Ohio State after beating Alabama on Nov. 9. The Buckeyes were No. 1 in the initial set of 2019 playoff rankings.

Clemson remained at No. 3 while Georgia and Alabama remained at Nos. 4 and 5. Utah jumped to No. 6 after Oregon’s loss at Arizona State on Saturday. The Ducks dropped to No. 14.

Ohio State plays No. 13 Michigan on Saturday with the Big Ten East division already wrapped up. The Buckeyes will face the winner of No. 8 Minnesota and No. 12 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship on Dec. 7.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, right, looks for an open receiver as Penn State defensive lineman Yetur Gross-Matos chases him during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Penn State 28-17. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Ohio State was No. 1 in the first set of CFP rankings. It's No. 1 again this week. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

No. 1 could be a huge advantage

If Ohio State beats Michigan and a top-10 Minnesota or Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game it’s hard to see the Buckeyes not being No. 1 in the final rankings on Dec. 8. That’s a big deal.

If LSU beats Texas A&M on Saturday and then No. 4 Georgia, it’ll need a really convincing win over the Bulldogs to move Ohio State. And Clemson looks set to go 13-0. But definitely won’t pass Ohio State. If all three of those teams end up undefeated, two of them will have to play each other in the No. 2 vs. No. 3 semifinal. And it sure looks like that will be a Tigers vs. Tigers game between LSU and Clemson.

Alabama hangs on to No. 5

Alabama has just one more game left on its schedule. Oklahoma has two. Utah, with a win on Saturday over Colorado, will also have two more games.

The Crimson Tide take on No. 15 Auburn on Saturday while Oklahoma plays No. 21 Oklahoma State and will play No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12 championship. Utah would play Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.

Would the wins over ranked opponents in the title games — and a win over a ranked opponent in the season finale for the Sooners — be enough to push either a 12-1 Big 12 champ in Oklahoma or Baylor or a 12-1 Pac-12 champ in Utah over an 11-1 Alabama team?

That’s an important question, because LSU faces Georgia in the SEC championship. If the Tigers win that game, Georgia is most certainly falling out of the top four and potentially behind any other one-loss teams in the rankings. Whoever the committee feels has the best case among Alabama and any potential one-loss conference champs would take that fourth spot.

Baylor makes a jump after beating ... Texas?

The CFP committee hasn’t been too impressed with Baylor in 2019. Until Tuesday night. The Bears dominated Texas on Saturday to drop the Longhorns to 6-5 on the season. And that was apparently impressive enough for the committee to move Baylor from No. 14 to No. 9.

“We do start with a clean sheet each week and in the last two weeks, Baylor had the dominant win this week following the close loss against a highly ranked Oklahoma team to add to their resume where they already had two wins against ranked opponents,” CFP committee chair and Oregon AD Rob Mullens said. “So the committee felt they deserved to be at No. 9.”

Full rankings

1. Ohio State

2. LSU

3. Clemson

4. Georgia

5. Alabama

6. Utah

7. Oklahoma

8. Minnesota

9. Baylor

10. Penn State

11. Florida

12. Wisconsin

13. Michigan

14. Oregon

15. Auburn

16. Notre Dame

17. Iowa

18. Memphis

19. Cincinnati

20. Boise State

21. Oklahoma State

22. USC

23. Iowa State

24. Virginia Tech

25. Appalachian State

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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