College Football Playoff Rankings: Michigan slides into No. 4 spot, LSU avoids major fall

A new set of College Football Playoff Rankings is out from the CFP Selection Committee, and there was very little drama this week.  The top six were pretty obvious after the results of last week.

Alabama remains firmly in the No. 1 spot with Clemson checking in just below it, which is unsurprising considering it has turned on its boosters as of late and is one of only three undefeated Power Five teams. With LSU being knocked out of the top four by Bama over the weekend (but still maintaining a great ranking), Notre Dame slides into the No. 3 spot with Michigan moving up to No. 4. The Wolverines dominated a ranked Penn State team 42-7 on Saturday, ensuring they were not jumped by another program.

LSU came in at No. 7, which ruffled some feathers.  People seem to feel that the Tigers getting blitzed by Alabama meant that they should have fallen farther.  However, there are two other factors to consider here.  First, everyone is getting blitzed by Alabama. Only Texas A&M lost to the Tide by fewer points than LSU.  Also, and probably more important to the committee, LSU has played far and away the toughest schedule.  All eight FBS teams on LSU's schedule are currently above .500.  Five of them are in this week's rankings, and LSU beat three of them.  No other team has as many as three wins against such teams.

Washington State, West Virginia and Ohio State each have a much worse strength of schedule than LSU.  They have played a combined 11 opponents that are currently above .500.  The Cougars have beaten four, and if they had not played such a terrible nonconference schedule, they would probably be ahead of LSU as well.

Let's take a look at the entire top 25. Keep on scrolling for additional analysis.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 6

  1. Alabama (9-0)
  2. Clemson (9-0)
  3. Notre Dame (9-0)
  4. Michigan (8-1)
  5. Georgia (8-1)
  6. Oklahoma (8-1)
  7. LSU (7-2)
  8. Washington State (8-1)
  9. West Virginia (7-1)
  10. Ohio State (8-1)
  11. Kentucky (7-2)
  12. UCF (8-0)
  13. Syracuse (7-2)
  14. NC State (6-2)
  15. Florida (6-3)
  16. Mississippi State (6-3)
  17. Boston College (7-2)
  18. Michigan State (6-3)
  19. Texas (6-3)
  20. Penn State (6-3)
  21. Iowa (6-3)
  22. Iowa State (5-3)
  23. Fresno State (8-1)
  24. Auburn (7-3)
  25. Washington (7-3)

UCF sits at No. 12 again this week ranked behind all of the Power Five conferences teams with fewer than three losses, except the three two-loss teams from the ACC that are in this week's rankings.  Aside from Clemson, the ACC is far enough down that its teams are being grouped, as it were, with teams from other Power FIve conferences with one more loss.  The ACC is the only Power Five conference without a three-loss team in the rankings.

After the top 12, there is a lot of hair splitting, but head-to-head is still being respected without exception.  No team in the rankings is behind a team it beat as long as that team does not have a better record.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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