The College Football Playoff Committee released the penultimate (next-to-last) rankings Tuesday night with no change among the top 4 teams as Ohio State, LSU, Clemson and Georgia would be the Final Four if the playoff began today.
Utah moves up to 5th while Oklahoma takes 6th and fellow Big 12 member Baylor climbs to 7th.
Wisconsin, Florida and Penn State round out the Top 10.
Conference championship weekend will have No. 1 Ohio State facing No. 8 Wisconsin in the Big Ten, while No. 2 LSU battles No. 4 Georgia in the SEC. No. 3 Clemson faces No. 23 Virginia for the ACC title, and No. 5 Utah tackles No. 13 Oregon in the PAC-12. The Big 12 pits 6th-ranked Oklahoma against 7th-ranked Baylor.
An interesting competition continues to brew for the Group of Five conference's guaranteed New Year's Six bowl bid to the Cotton Bowl. Memphis inches up from 18th to 17th to maintain the post position, followed by Boise State at 19, Cincinnati at 20, Appalachian State at 21 and Navy at 24.
The American Conference championship game will be hosted by No. 17 Memphis against No. 20 Cincinnati, while No. 19 Boise State hosts unranked Hawaii. No. 21 Appalachian State hosts unranked Louisiana.
The committee removed Virginia Tech from the rankings and replaced the Hokies with Virginia which ended a 15-game losing streak to their state rival.
Iowa State also fell out as Navy moved in.
Alabama took a major dive from No. 5 to No. 12 after the 48-45 loss at Auburn and wound up one spot behind the Tigers despite possessing the better over-all record (10-2 vs. 9-3). And Minnesota took a nose-dive from 8th to 18th after the 38-17 loss to Wisconsin. But Michigan, which was spanked 56-27 by Ohio State, only slipped one spot to No. 14.
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. This season's Playoff Semifinals will take place Saturday, December 28, 2019, at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 13, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.