College Football Playoff Rankings 2018: Official Committee Poll for Final Week

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2018

Georgia defensive back J.R. Reed (20) tries to tackle Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta. Hurts scored a touchdown on the play. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

For the second straight year, the College Football Playoff Committee has left Ohio State out in the cold.

The committee announced Oklahoma as the fourth and final team added to the postseason Sunday, with one-loss Ohio State sitting in the No. 6 spot. Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame remain the top three, in that order.

Here's how the rankings played out:

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Notre Dame

4. Oklahoma

5. Georgia

6. Ohio State 

7. Michigan

8. UCF

9. Washington

10. Florida

11. LSU

12. Penn State

13. Washington State

14. Kentucky

15. Texas

16. West Virginia

17. Utah

18. Mississippi State

19. Texas A&M

20. Syracuse

21. Fresno state

22. Northwestern

23. Missouri

24. Iowa State

25. Boise State

The only intrigue coming into the final rankings was whether the committee would flip-flop on its Oklahoma-Ohio State order from a week ago—or perhaps put in two-loss Georgia. 

Logically, there appeared to be no reason to do so. Oklahoma avenged its only loss of the season in the Big 12 Championship Game, scoring the final 12 points of a 39-27 win over Texas. Kyler Murray threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns in what may have been a Heisman-winning performance given Tua Tagovailoa's struggles in the SEC title game.

"There's no doubt we have a playoff-worthy team, but I understand that there's other factors there too that we can't control," Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley told reporters. "We've done all we can."

Ohio State, meanwhile, scored the final 14 points in its 45-24 win over Northwestern to take the Big Ten championship. Dwayne Haskins threw for 499 yards and five touchdowns in a performance that had LeBron James calling for his Heisman moment. Haskins now holds the Big Ten single-season records for passing yards and passing touchdowns.

"This means representing the Big Ten conference, arguably the best conference in college football, and the East Division, arguably the best division in college football," Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer told reporters. "I think all you have to do is look is at the body of work. We went on the road and won some tough games—TCU, Penn State and Michigan State. The way we played against our rival [Michigan] and the way we played tonight, I think we deserve a shot."

Aside from the final spot, things were self-explanatory. Alabama nearly caused widespread chaos when the Tide fell behind Georgia by two touchdowns in the third quarter. But a heroic performance by Jalen Hurts in place of Tagovailoa helped lead Alabama to a 35-28 victory and secure an undefeated regular season.

The victory was a redemptive moment for Hurts, who was pulled from last year's national title game against Georgia in favor of Tagovailoa, who led a comeback effort.

Clemson had no trouble taking care of Pitt in a 42-10 blowout to take the ACC championship. No. 3 Notre Dame was idle.


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