Arizona football stays at No. 15 in CFP rankings, Washington and Oregon in top 5
Nov 28, 2023, 6:11 PM
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Arizona Wildcats stayed put at No. 15 in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday, while fellow Pac-12 programs Washington (No. 3) and Oregon (No. 5) enter this weekend’s conference title game seemingly with a playoff berth in the balance.
Arizona, No. 14 on the AP Top 25, capped the regular season with a Territorial Cup victory over Arizona State, 59-23. Under pre-2022 rules, Arizona would be the Pac-12 South representative in the conference championship game against Washington. The change sets the two northern schools up for a rematch. UW beat Oregon the first time.
The Wildcats will wait for their bowl game assignment on Sunday when the field for the playoff will be announced.
The committee stuck with Georgia at No. 1 and moved Michigan to second after its win versus Ohio State. Unbeaten Florida State is fourth behind Washington and ahead of one-loss Oregon.
Ohio State dropped to No. 6 with Texas seventh and Alabama eighth.
This year, every conference championship has at least one CFP contender. The Pac-12 and the SEC each have two. Two-time defending champion Georgia might be able to lose to Alabama and make the field, as it did on the way to the national title in 2021, but that is far from a guarantee.
Here are the paths to the final four for the contenders:
Georgia, Michigan, Washington
With perfect records, it is simple: win and you’re in. Being unbeaten provides some hope of backing in after a loss.
The Seminoles are perfect and in playoff position heading into their Atlantic Coast Conference title game against Louisville, but an injury to star quarterback Jordan Travis creates some uncertainty.
Leaving an unbeaten Power Five conference champion out of the playoff would be unprecedented — and some would say unfair. But the committee is instructed to judge the team as it is entering the postseason.
If Florida State muddles past Louisville and Alabama beats Georgia in a competitive game, leaving the two-time defending national champion 12-1 but without a conference title, the committee will face this question: Are the Tate Rodemaker-led Seminoles better than the Bulldogs?
Oregon, Texas, Alabama
Life is more complicated for these three 11-1 teams playing for their conference titles.
The Ducks seem to have the clearest path. The committee has had them ahead of Texas for weeks, so it would stand to reason if they beat Washington and win the Pac-12 they are good to go.
Among these three, Texas seems most likely to get the squeeze, and Alabama is the weekend’s biggest wild card.
A Tide victory makes everything more complicated.
In a world where Florida State, Oregon, Texas and Alabama lose, the Buckeyes look like winners.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.