College Football Playoff Rankings 2019: Experts React to Week 13 Top 25 Poll

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2019

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow looks for a receiver during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Thomas Graning/Associated Press

After a lot of shuffling at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings a week ago, the top seven teams were unchanged in the latest reveal Tuesday night, including LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia once again staked to the top four spots.

There was plenty of movement behind that group, though.

Among other notable outcomes, Minnesota and Baylor both suffered their first losses of the season Saturday after occupying the No. 8 and No. 13 spots, respectively, in last week's rankings.

Let's start with an updated look at the rankings:

Despite the Tua Tagovailoa injury, Alabama remained in the No. 5 spot in the rankings, though it sounds like the gap has been closed considerably:

Even against an overmatched Western Carolina team, the Crimson Tide will have something to prove this Saturday, and a strong game from backup quarterback Mac Jones could go a long way.

While Alabama's outlook will continue to dominate headlines, the biggest takeaway for those top seven teams might actually stem from a newcomer to the CFP rankings.

The addition of USC to the rankings in the No. 23 spot is a welcome resume-booster for both Oregon and Utah:

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Those teams are already relying on outside help to sneak into the top four, so every little bit helps when it comes to improving their case.

Speaking of teams on the outside looking in, the fact that Oklahoma only moved up one spot to No. 9 after knocking off undefeated Baylor would seem to suggest the Big 12 is behind the Pac-12 in the eyes of the committee.

If that win against the Bears wasn't enough to propel the Sooners ahead of Utah and Oregon, it's fair to wonder if their remaining games against TCU and Oklahoma State will do the trick.

One of the other major points of discussion is Penn State moving back ahead of Minnesota despite the fact that the Gophers came out on top when the two went head-to-head on Nov. 9.

Committee chairman Rob Mullens had an interesting response to that question that could also have an impact on the Alabama vs. Oregon discussion from earlier:

Further down the rankings, there's a new top dog among Group of Five teams:

Memphis skated past Houston on the road with a 45-27 victory, while Cincinnati eeked out a 20-17 victory over South Florida, so the shuffling makes perfect sense. Those two teams will meet in the regular-season finale on Nov. 29.

There's plenty more excitement on tap this weekend, with a Big Ten clash between Ohio State and Penn State headlining the slate.

Who will take the next step toward securing a spot in the College Football Playoff?

We shall see.

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