Ohio State slides into College Football Playoff’s top four, joining Georgia, Alabama and Oregon

What happens when every College Football Playoff contender except the No. 1 team struggles on the first Saturday of November?

Not a whole lot when it comes to the CFP selection committee rankings.

The undefeated Georgia Bulldogs remained No. 1 in the second edition of the rankings released on Tuesday night, followed again by No. 2 Alabama, which survived a 20-14 scare against LSU at home. Georgia, which blasted Missouri 43-6 at home last week to improve to 9-0, plays at Tennessee on Saturday.

Michigan State was the only top-five team from a week ago to lose on Saturday, 40-29 at Purdue. The Spartans fell to No. 7, so the other three top-six teams in the initial rankings moved up a spot. Oregon is No. 3, Ohio State is No. 4 and Cincinnati is No. 5.

Michigan is No. 6 and is one spot ahead of Michigan State, even though the Spartans defeated the Wolverines 37-33 on Oct. 30. Oklahoma, which was idle last week, remained No. 8, followed by No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 10 Oklahoma State.

Outside of Georgia, none of the top CFP playoff contenders were overly impressive last week. The Ducks won 26-16 at Washington in inclement weather, and the Buckeyes defeated Nebraska 26-17 on the road. Oregon’s 35-28 win at Ohio State on Sept. 11 is still carrying a lot of weight with the selection committee.

The Bearcats, who needed two goal-line stands in the final minutes to pull out a 28-20 victory against Tulsa at home on Saturday, are the highest-ranked team ever from a Group of Five conference. Unbeaten Cincinnati was hoping to be in the top four last week, but it has struggled to beat lesser opponents in each of its last three games. The overall strength of its conference — there isn’t another AAC in the top 25 for the second straight week — is also hurting its CFP chances.

No. 21 Pitt moved up four spots, and No. 11 Texas A&M and No. 16 NC State each jumped three spots. Along with Michigan State, No. 17 Auburn fell four spots and No. 12 Wake Forest dropped three.

No. 19 Purdue, No. 23 UTSA, No. 24 Utah and No. 25 Arkansas are new to the rankings, while Mississippi State, Kentucky, Minnesota and Fresno State fell out.

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