College Football Playoff rankings: Washington State remains No. 8, Washington at No. 18, Utah at No. 19
Utah joins Washington State and Washington in the Nov. 13 release of the College Football Playoff rankings. The Cougs are sitting at No. 8 for the third week in a row, while Washington jumps from No. 25 to No. 18 and Utah enters at No. 19.
This week’s top four is the exact same as last week's, matching No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Michigan in a CFP semifinal and No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame in the other semifinal.
Rather than take three paragraphs to lay out what needs to happen for Washington State (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) to jump into the top four, I'll hand it over to The Athletic's Chantel Jennings, who explains it concisely here:
(2/2) Then, Washington State would need to pull off big wins vs. ranked UW and ranked Utah (in P12 title game). ... And even then I'm not super confident the committee respects Cougs/P12 enough, BUT, to Pac-12 fans I say... pic.twitter.com/fDtF4s6cSO
— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) November 14, 2018
A few of those scenarios seem unlikely – particularly the five-loss USC Trojans upsetting No. 3 Notre Dame – but now fans of Washington State and the Pac-12 know exactly what needs to come to fruition to achieve top-four status. All that Washington State can control? Beat Arizona this Saturday, beat No. 18 Washington on Nov. 23, and then win the Pac-12 Championship Game on Nov. 30 to reach the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
Washington makes the leap from No. 25 to No. 18 in this week's rankings after the Huskies ... did absolutely nothing in their bye week. Results elsewhere in the college football landscape bumped UW up the list, but at this point, all this ranking does is boost Washington State should the Cougs beat the Huskies in the Nov. 23 Apple Cup. Not much you can hope for as far as College Football Playoff participation goes when you have three losses on the season, but a few bowl projections currently have Washington to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28. UW returns to the field Saturday against Oregon State for one final tune-up before the regular-season finale against WSU in Pullman.
After a one-week hiatus from the CPF rankings, Utah re-enters at No. 19 this week. The Utes posted a 32-25 win over Oregon in Salt Lake City on Saturday, bringing them to 7-3 on the season. Like Washington, Utah's CFP chances are slimmer than slim, but it's nice to be in the rankings and get sent to a good bowl game. Kyle Whittingham's squad has two big rivalry games left as they stay in contention for the Pac-12 South: at Colorado this Saturday and home against BYU on Nov. 24. The Utes are relying on Arizona State to lose over the next two weeks so that they can represent the division in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Nov. 30.