Ohio State remained No. 1 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, revealed Tuesday night on ESPN, as the top eight teams were unchanged from a week ago.
But the potential for movement exists in the next rankings, with two top-10 matchups set for this weekend.
No. 2 Georgia hosts No. 9 Ole Miss, while No. 3 Michigan travels to play No. 10 Penn State. The Bulldogs have the opportunity for two top-15 wins in a row, after beating No. 14 Missouri last week. For Michigan, this will be the first opportunity all season to play a ranked opponent, and that would help boost its résumé — as the Wolverines have the No. 111-ranked strength of schedule, according to ESPN.
Florida State stayed at No. 4 despite an uneven performance against Pitt last weekend, while Washington remained No. 5 after a road win at USC. The Trojans fell out of the top 25 after the loss. Oregon is right behind the Huskies, who handed the Ducks their only loss this season, followed by Texas at No. 7 and Alabama at No. 8.
“We responded well. We showed back up at practice the next week, and we took it personal,” Oregon quarterback Bo Nix said on the rankings release show on ESPN, referring to the loss to Washington. “The continued repetition that we’ve had, and the growth that we’ve shown, has put us in a good spot.”
Though the Tide beat LSU 42-28 last weekend, the Tigers (6-3) remained in the top 25 as the highest-ranked three-loss team at No. 19. Notre Dame, another three-loss team, also stayed in the top 25 at No. 20 after a loss to Clemson.
“You want as many opinions, as you can, to come out to what we think is the right answer,” CFP chairman Boo Corrigan said on the show. “We’re in Week 10 right now, and based on Week 10 we’re making what we feel are the best decisions.”
Texas appears to be the only hope for the Big 12 after Oklahoma lost to Oklahoma State. The Sooners dropped to No. 17, right behind the Cowboys and No. 16 Kansas. But Texas would need to win out and get some help to have any shot at making it into the top four.
Tulane is the only ranked Group of 5 team, at No. 23, after then-No. 24 Air Force lost to Army on Saturday.
Buckeyes coach Ryan Day, in his weekly news conference Tuesday, was asked about rankings and how his program approaches the release each Tuesday night.
“I think you have so many guys on our team that have just kind of been through all of this before, and they know it means absolutely nothing, and their goal is to win the whole thing and to be the No. 1 team at the end of the year,” Day said. “We want to win them all, and that’s all that matters. At the end, they’ll rank us, but we’re just going to try to win them all, and it continues this Saturday.”
For the second time in as many weeks on the show, Corrigan was asked about the committee’s stance on the investigation into Michigan’s sign stealing, and how — or if — it comes up in conversations.
“Not to be repetitive, [but] our mission, as a committee, is to judge the teams that are eligible for the postseason,” Corrigan said. “This is not a CFP committee issue.”
Among notable teams joining the top 25 this week — Arizona (6-3) at No. 21, Iowa (7-2) at No. 22 and North Carolina (7-2) at No. 24. The Wildcats, making their first CFP rankings appearance since 2017, have three straight wins against teams that were ranked at the time they played.
Though Iowa has once again struggled to score points, defeating Northwestern 10-7 on Saturday, and has already announced offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz will not return after this season, the Hawkeyes simply keep finding ways to win.
This is the fifth time in the past six seasons that Iowa has been ranked by the CFP committee.