With , , and remaining atop the College Football Playoff rankings, ‘s loss to opened the door for and to move up to No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, entering this weekend‘s conference championship games.
Taking advantage of ‘s loss to , moved up two spots to No. 7 entering Saturday‘s Big 12 title game against the No. 6 Sooners.
Alabama — which will miss the playoff for the first time since its inception in 2014 after suffering its second loss of the season in Saturday‘s thriller at Auburn — fell to No. 12.
With Ohio State (56-27 over Michigan), LSU (50-7 over Texas A&M), Clemson (38-3 over South Carolina) and Georgia (52-7 over Georgia Tech) all winning easily Saturday, the focus entering Tuesday‘s rankings was squarely on Utah and Oklahoma, to see which would emerge with the fifth spot.
Both teams moved up one spot after the Utes beat Colorado 45-15 and the Sooners beat Oklahoma State 34-16. Utah will look to state its case for a spot in the College Football Playoff on Friday night when it meets No. 13 Oregon for the Pac-12 title.
The question for both Utah and Oklahoma is whether either can do enough in its respective title game to earn a top-four spot; the Utes are seeking their first CFP berth, while the Sooners are aiming for a fourth appearance.
LSU (12-0) and Georgia (11-1) square off for the SEC title on Saturday afternoon, and Ohio State (12-0) meets 10-2 Wisconsin in Saturday night‘s Big Ten title game. A loss by Georgia could open the door for Utah, Oklahoma or Baylor to gain a CFP berth.
The final rankings, which will reveal the New Year‘s Six teams and set the field for the College Football Playoff, will be released Sunday
Wisconsin‘s victory saw it move to No. 8, a gain of four spots, while Florida moved to No. 9, gaining two spots. Penn State held its position to round out the top 10.