LSU The New No. 1 in CFP Playoff Rankings, Ohio State Falls to No. 2

The LSU football team moved up to the top spot in the newest College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night. The Tigers, ranked No. 2 in last week's initial 2019 rankings, beat previous No. 3 Alabama, 46-41, in Tuscaloosa.

LSU (9-0) leapfrogged Ohio State (9-0) for the top spot. The Buckeyes fell to No. 2, and Clemson moved up two spots to No.3 after crushing North Carolina State last Saturday.

Rob Mullens, the athletics director at the University of Oregon and CFP Selection Committee chair, said Ohio State's overall consistency on both sides of the ball led the committee to keeping them in the top two, but said LSU and the Tigers' high-flying new offense has the most sparkling resume of the season.

"We've got two great teams at the top with LSU and Ohio State," Mullens said during the selection show Tuesday night. "When you look at LSU's resume with a win over Alabama on the road, that makes their fourth top 20 win, and they're the only team in the nation with that. They're deserving of that No. 1 ranking."

The top three spots in this week's rankings seemed to be a lock, but the fight for No. 4—and Nos. 5 and 6—are what a handful of teams are battling for each week.

Georgia moved into the No. 4 spot and Alabama slipped to No. 5 after its home loss to LSU. Penn State, which was ranked fourth last week, fell to No. 9 after losing at Minnesota on Saturday. Minnesota made a giant leap into the top 10, now sitting at No. 8.

Mullens said the committee reported to him that a one-loss Georgia team had a better resume with wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16 Notre Dame and a one-loss Alabama had. As for putting Oregon at No. 6 ahead of Pac 12 foe Utah, which is at No. 7, Mullens said it was basically because Oregon defeated USC this year, and Utah's lone loss was to USC. Oregon's only loss came to No. 12 Auburn during the opening week this season.

Per the show and committee rules, Mullens is not allowed in the room while Oregon is discussed.

The lowest-ranked undefeated team is Baylor (9-0), which hosts No. 10 Oklahoma (8-1) this Saturday. Appalachian State entered the rankings at No. 25 this week, and Texas joined the rankings at No. 19 after the Longhorns came from behind to beat Kansas State in Austin last Saturday. Kansas State fell eight spots to No. 24.

Here are the CFP rankings released on Nov. 12, 2019:

  1. LSU (9-0)
  2. Ohio State (9-0)
  3. Clemson (10-0)
  4. Georgia (8-1)
  5. Alabama (8-1)
  6. Oregon (8-1)
  7. Utah (8-1)
  8. Minnesota (9-0)
  9. Penn State (8-1)
  10. Oklahoma (8-1)
  11. Florida (8-2)
  12. Auburn (7-2)
  13. Baylor (9-0)
  14. Wisconsin (7-2)
  15. Michigan (7-2)
  16. Notre Dame (7-2)
  17. Cincinnati (8-1)
  18. Memphis (8-1)
  19. Texas (6-3)
  20. Iowa (6-3)
  21. Boise State (8-1)
  22. Oklahoma State (6-3)
  23. Navy (7-1)
  24. Kansas State (6-3)
  25. Appalachian State (8-1)

If the season ended today—which it hasn't—the top four teams would advance to the playoffs. No. 1 LSU would face No. 4 Georgia in one semifinal and No. 2 Ohio State would play No. 3 Clemson in the other semifinal. The semifinal games will be played Dec. 28 at the predetermined sites of the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, and the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners will advance to the national championship game on Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

For comparison, here are the top 7 in the Associated Press and Coaches Polls, which are identical.

AP/Coaches Poll Top 7

  1. LSU
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Alabama
  5. Georgia
  6. Oregon
  7. Minnesota

The CFP rankings will be announced every Tuesday evening through the end of the regular season, culminating with the final four and New Year's Six Bowl pairings after conference championship games in December.

LSU Football
Grant Delpit #7 and Cameron Lewis #31 of the LSU Tigers celebrate defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 46-41 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. ( Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images