CFP Rankings: Michigan rises amid top 4 shake-up, Ohio State drops to No. 5
The top four of the College Football Playoff rankings was shuffled Tuesday, with USC joining Georgia, Michigan, and TCU.
The Wolverines moved up one spot to No. 2 after dispatching rival Ohio State in a dominating 45-23 win last weekend. Michigan will look to improve to 13-0 and win back-to-back conference titles when it faces Purdue in the Big Ten championship game Saturday.
The Trojans climbed to No. 4 following an impressive win over Notre Dame in their regular-season finale. USC can clinch a playoff berth by avenging its lone loss against Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday.
Meanwhile, Ohio State tumbled to No. 5 in the penultimate edition of the rankings. After a devastating loss to their bitter rivals, the Buckeyes remain within range to still qualify for the postseason tournament should an upset or two take place during conference championship weekend.
No. 6 Alabama will sit idle this week as the SEC Championship Game won't feature Nick Saban's squad for the first time since 2019. The Crimson Tide made the most of their final regular-season appearance as they overwhelmed Auburn 49-27 in the Iron Bowl. With both of Alabama's losses coming by one score, the Tide need chaos and a bit of luck to climb up the rankings.
"It was a tough decision," CFP committee chair Boo Corrigan said of placing Ohio State ahead of Alabama, according to ESPN's Andrea Adelson. "There's four teams in front of them, and there's plenty of games that still need to be played this weekend."
Tennessee follows behind the top six teams after an impressive 56-0 victory over Vanderbilt without star quarterback Hendon Hooker.
South Carolina made one of the biggest leaps this week, earning the No. 19 ranking after holding on late to beat Clemson 31-30. The Tigers dropped one spot as a result of the loss. Dabo Swinney's program will look to move on from the defeat Saturday when it plays for the ACC title against No. 23 North Carolina.
The final CFP rankings will be released Sunday along with bowl matchups.