Michigan remains No. 3 in CFP, Ohio State moves to No. 2
Last weekend was quite a crazy one in college football, with three of the five remaining unbeaten teams all going down in defeat.
The release of the third week of College Football Playoff rankings?
Well, not nearly as wild.
Unbeaten Alabama remained No. 1, followed by one-loss Ohio State at 2, Michigan at 3 and Clemson at 4.
Michigan remained third for a third straight week, despite suffering a 14-13 loss at Iowa on Saturday night.
Clemson, following a one-point loss of its own — 43-42 to Pitt, but at home — dropped from No. 2, making way for Ohio State.
The ranking, unveiled Tuesday night on ESPN, weren't that surprising, given Clemson, Michigan and Washington picked the same weekend to suffer their first losses of the season.
The 12-person selection committee confirmed what had been obvious: Michigan still controls its own destiny to make the four-team playoff, though it'll almost certainly need to beat Ohio State in the regular-season finale, and then win the Big Ten championship game.
"Nothing happens until after the Ohio State game," said Chris Wormley, a Michigan captain. "We’re just focused on Indiana and playing our best then."
The Wolverines can take nothing for granted, given the lackluster showing at Iowa — plus the unknown surrounding the quarterback position. Starter Wilton Speight suffered a shoulder injury against Iowa, and his status for Saturday is uncertain. John O'Korn could be the starter.
Alabama, Michigan and Clemson have been in the top four all three weeks of the rankings. The final spot started with Texas A&M, then went to Washington, and now belongs to Ohio State.
Just on the outside of the semifinal picture are one-loss Louisville, at No. 5, and one-loss Washington, at No. 6.
The Big Ten has other outliers at Nos. 7 and 8, with two-loss Wisconsin and Penn State. It'd be a stretch to see either one crack the final four in the final rankings, to be released in early December.
Down the rankings, there was one piece of significant movement, at least as far as the state of Michigan is concerned.
Western Michigan is the only other remaining unbeaten team, at 10-0, and never had much of a shot to creep into even the fringes of the playoff picture, because of its strength of schedule.
But it was in line for a New Year's Six bowl game, likely the Cotton Bowl, as the highest-ranked mid-major — until Tuesday night. One-loss Boise State was one spot back of Western Michigan in the first two rankings, but not in the third, as it jumped to No. 20, with the other Broncos, of WMU, at No 21.
That's a bit of a downer for a Western Michigan team that has had an exciting week to this point, with ESPN's cameras following the coaches' and players' every move leading up to "College GameDay" coming to Kalamazoo on Saturday.
CFP rankings: Week 3
1. Alabama (10-0), last week: 1
2. Ohio State (9-1), 5
3. Michigan, (9-1), 3
4. Clemson, (9-1), 2
5. Louisville (9-1), 6
6. Washington (9-1), 4
7. Wisconsin (8-2), 7
8. Penn State (8-2), 10
9. Oklahoma (8-2), 11
10. Colorado (8-2), 15
11. Oklahoma State (8-2), 13
12. Utah (8-2), 15
13. USC (7-3), 20
14. West Virgina (8-1), 16
15. Auburn (7-3), 9
16. LSU (6-3), 24
17. Florida State (7-3), 18
18. Nebraska (8-2), 19
19. Tennessee (7-3), NR
20. Boise State (9-2), 22
21. Western Michigan (10-0), 21
22. Washington State (8-2), 23
23. Florida (7-2), NR
24. Stanford (7-3), NR
25. Texas A&M (7-3), 8