UCF jumps past Ohio State into CFP Top 10

The College Football Playoff committee showed some respect for undefeated UCF on Tuesday, jumping the Knights to No. 9 in the latest rankings.

UCF (10-0) became the first team outside of the Power 5 conferences and independent powerhouse Notre Dame to crack the CFP’s Top 10. The Knights moved up from No. 11 last week, leapfrogging No. 10 Ohio State, which edged Maryland 52-51 in overtime on Saturday.

The Knights routed then-No. 24 Cincinnati 38-13 last weekend.

CFP committee chairman Rob Mullens told ESPN, “We spent considerable time talking about UCF and Ohio State. While UCF may not have the same depth and talent as Ohio State, the committee felt that right now, today, after Week 12, UCF has the more all-around complete team. …

“We watched UCF have a strong performance against Cincinnati. When you watch Ohio State, they struggled against Maryland.”

Asked about the Knights’ strength of schedule, Mullens said, “Again, it’s never just one piece of it, but the full body of work is a piece of it. You have to take all those elements; watching the games as we do, looking at the data as we do and then having the discussion and debate in the room. So it’s all of the above,”

The top eight remained unchanged, headed, in order, by Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan. They are followed, in order, by Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU and Washington State.

The top four teams in the final CFP rankings, to be announced Dec. 2, will advance to the national semifinals, to be played in Miami Gardens, Fla., and Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 29.

The national final will be played Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.

The top positive movers in the new rankings are Mississippi State and Northwestern, both up three places to No. 18 and No. 19, respectively.

The biggest falls were made by Iowa State, from No. 16 to No. 25 following a loss at Texas; Syracuse, from No. 12 to No. 20 after a loss to Notre Dame; and West Virginia, from No. 9 to No. 13 after falling at Oklahoma State.

The full College Football Playoff Top 25:

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

–Field Level Media