College Football Playoff rankings: Washington State stays No. 8, Washington at No. 25
The Apple Cup rivalry picks up even more (apple) juice with Washington State and Washington representing the Pac-12 in this week’s release of the College Football Playoff rankings at No. 8 and No. 25, respectively.
This week’s top four would pit No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Michigan in a CFP semifinal and No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame in the other semi.
Washington State doesn’t budge in the Nov. 6 rankings release, staying at No. 8. No teams bypassed the Cougs in the new rankings as the top seven teams from last week simply changed order this week.
Three one-loss teams — No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 Oklahoma — remain ahead of WSU, and each of those three teams has just one challenging game left on their schedules: Ohio State vs. Michigan on Nov. 24, Alabama vs. Georgia on Dec. 1 and Oklahoma at West Virginia on Nov. 23.
Utah’s 38-20 loss to unranked Arizona State on Saturday doesn’t do the Cougars any favors, lessening the heft of their 28-24 win over the Utes in late September. Utah, sitting No. 15 in last week’s CFP rankings, is now out of the top 25.
So, WSU rolls on at 8-1 with a five-game win streak and a touch of swagger. As our Kevin Danna wrote after the initial release of the College Football Playoff rankings last week, the remainder of Washington State’s schedule is all quite winnable: at 5-4 Colorado, home against 5-5 Arizona and home against 7-3 Washington. (Arizona played beautifully the past two weeks in decisive wins against Oregon and Colorado, but overall has not been consistent enough to have the Cougs’ number.)
That brings us to Washington, popping into this week’s College Football Playoff rankings at No. 25. The Huskies fell out of the AP Top 25 poll in Week 10 after their third loss of the season in late October, not even appearing in the College Football Playoff rankings when they debuted last Tuesday. But losses by the No. 11, Nos. 14-17, No. 20 and No. 25 teams over the weekend cleared space for the Huskies to slide in.
Sadly for WSU, even a victory over once-CFP contender Washington on Nov. 23 won’t do anything to push the Cougars up the rankings. Washington State's fate lies in the hands of the top seven teams.
Here are the Nov. 6 College Football Playoff rankings in full:
3. Notre Dame
8. Washington State
9. West Virginia
10. Ohio State
14. NC State
16. Mississippi State
17. Boston College
18. Michigan State
20. Penn State
22. Iowa State
23. Fresno State