Dec 6, 2015; Grapevine, TX, USA; The college football playoff national championship trophy on display on Selection Day at the Gaylord Texan Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Top four shakeup in new CFP poll

After college football rivalry week, the Week 14 poll has emerged with some shakeups at the top of the CFP ranking.

With just one week remaining in the 2021 season this fifth edition of college football rankings is penultimate as we move into conference title games.

At the top, Georgia remains undefeated and at No. 1. Notable changes in this week’s rankings include Michigan ascending to the No. 2 spot, causing Alabama to slip to No. 3. Cincinnati has been able to maintain its No. 4 spot after a dominant performance over East Carolina. Oklahoma State and Notre Dame are in the hunt to slip into the playoff picture as they sit outside of the top four.

Full Top 25 Ranking:

1. Georgia

2. Michigan

3. Alabama

4. Cincinnati

5. Oklahoma State

6. Notre Dame

7. Ohio State

8. Ole Miss

9. Baylor

10. Oregon

11. Michigan State

12. BYU

13. Iowa

14. Oklahoma

15. Pittsburgh

16. Wake Forest

17. Utah

18. North Carolina State

19. San Diego State

20. Clemson

21. Houston

22. Arkansas

23. Kentucky

24. Louisiana

25. Texas A&M

Fresh Face in the CFP Top Four

Michigan’s 42-27 upset over Ohio State marked the school’s first victory over the Buckeyes in 10 years. The win also granted the Wolverines their first appearance in the College Football Playoff as they took Ohio State’s No. 2 ranking.

No. 2 Michigan will meet with No. 15 Iowa in Indianapolis Saturday for the Big 10 Championship game. This is the school’s first appearance in the Big 10 Championship in program history. Michigan currently ranks among the top 15 nationally in scoring defense (8th) and scoring offense (13th).

On the Hunt

Currently, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame are sitting outside of the top four, hopeful things fall in line, allowing them to creep into the playoffs.

No. 5 Oklahoma State jumped from their No. 7 spot after a dominant performance over Oklahoma. The 37-33 win on Saturday secured the Cowboys’ spot in the Big 12 Championship game where they will face No. 9 Baylor. A Big 12 Championship title and any sudden upset in the top four could mean a first-ever playoff berth for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State is currently at 11-1 overall and 8-1 in conference play.

No. 6 Notre Dame is also in the hunt for a back-to-back playoff appearance. Last year, the Fighting Irish finished ranked 4th and met with No. 1 Alabama in the Rose Bowl where they were defeated 31-14. After a sudden departure from head coach Brian Kelly, the Irish will continue the season coachless. Notre Dame’s athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the program will try a different approach from using an interim head coach. Swarbrick said that no decision has been made and that the school may not appoint an interim at all.

Kelly’s departure also continues to affect the Irish in the sense that it could impact the school’s final ranking. CFP chair Gary Barta said the committee’s protocols include player-coach availability. Kelly leaving could cause the CFP committee to leave Notre Dame out of the playoffs.

The Fighting Irish do not have any matchups slated for the remainder of the season. They rank first in FBS Independent schools.

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