Michigan’s first victory over rival Ohio State in 10 years paved the way for the Wolverines for their first college football playoff appearance.
After upsetting the Buckeyes 42-27 at the Grande Maison on Saturday, the Wolverines are No. 2 in the selection committee’s latest ranking, released Tuesday night. The final standings, determining the four teams that will compete in the two CFP semi-finals on New Years Eve, will be released Sunday at noon ET on ESPN.
Undefeated, Georgia remained No.1 for the fifth straight week, followed by Michigan, Alabama, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State.
As long as Michigan defeats Iowa’s No.13 in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis, they are expected to play a CFP semi-final at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic or the Capital One Orange Bowl.
Georgia reached 12-0 for the first time since its last national championship season in 1980 with a 45-0 victory at Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Bulldogs face Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Georgia could enter the CFP even if they lose to Crimson Tide due to their dominance this season.
Cincinnati, who are trying to become the first team in a Group of 5 conference to crush CFP, face No.21 Houston at home in Saturday’s AAC Championship game on ABC.
The Cowboys, after a 37-33 victory over Oklahoma at Bedlam on Saturday, have their best ranking this season. If Oklahoma State defeats No.9 Baylor in Saturday’s Big 12 title game on ABC, he could overtake the undefeated Bearcats, or enter the top four if Alabama or Cincinnati lose.
“There was a lot of talk but it’s hard to say how it came down to three, four and five,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said during the ESPN ranking show.
With just one loss to the Bearcats, Notre Dame is No. 6, followed by Ohio State, Ole Miss, Baylor and Oregon. The Fighting Irish, who lost coach Brian Kelly to LSU on Monday, won’t play this weekend and will have to wait and see how things develop with the other contenders.