After upsetting the Buckeyes 42-27 at the Grande Maison on Saturday, the Wolverines are No. 2 in the final selection committee 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.
“I don’t see how that has anything to do with anything,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said. “I’ve said my whole career that winning the SEC championships is almost as difficult, because the years that I spent in Alabama you could say that winning the SEC championship was just as difficult as trying to win a championship. national, and that’s one of our goals. We wanna put it on this wall in [the team meeting room] and to do this you must earn the SEC. This is what we are focusing on. “
The Crimson Tide standings remained unchanged after another tighter-than-expected victory, 24-22 in four overtime at Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Defending national champion Alabama have won each of their last three SEC games by seven points or less.
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 in 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 rankings release 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.
“I think this team is really well positioned,” Notre Dame sporting director Jack Swarbrick said on Tuesday. “I believe we are one of the top four teams in the country. The cumulative results of our last four or five games, I think, are compelling. I think we can play with anyone in the country right now. “
Training situations can be factored into the discussion after next week’s games, Barta said on the show.
“The committee was obviously aware of all the changes of coaches,” he added. “For this week, however, that did not apply. “
The Buckeyes have dropped five spots after losing to Michigan for just the second time in the last 17 games. Oklahoma fell four spots to No.14 after falling to the Cowboys, and Texas A&M fell 10 spots to No.25 after losing 27-24 to struggling LSU.
Kentucky joined the standings at No.23, and Louisiana is ranked for the first time this season at No.24. The previously undefeated UTSA and Wisconsin, who were No.14 a week ago, are taken out of the ranking.
The Badgers’ exit could potentially hurt the Irish as Notre Dame is counting on its September win over Wisconsin to improve its final standings.