Alabama leads the penultimate CFP rankings while the top 5 teams remain stable; Iowa State is moving up to number 6

The top five teams in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings, released Tuesday, remained unchanged, while hopes for the Iowa State playoffs were boosted and Cincinnati took another blow.

Alabama still leads the ranking at No. 1, followed by No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State, and No. 5 Texas A&M. Notre Dame and Clemson will meet for the second time this season in Saturday’s ACC Championship game.

Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide (10-0) heads into the SEC championship game to take on No. 7 Florida, which lost just one spot after a home loss 37-34 to 3-5 LSU. Ohio State, which last played on December 5 and has registered only five games this season, will face No. 14 Northwestern for the Big Ten Championship.

The state of Iowa, which was inactive last weekend, moves up one spot to No. 6 and enters the Big 12 championship game against No. 10 Oklahoma. The Cyclones, Gators and No. 8 Georgia all have two defeats, but are ahead of unbeaten No. 9 Cincinnati (8-0), which has dropped one spot in each of the past two rankings, despite not having have played at UCF.

The Bearcats are finally getting the chance to impress the committee in the American Athletic Conference title game against No. 23 Tulsa, which is moving up a spot. But even a win could keep them behind the Big 12 champions and possibly Texas A&M, taking on unranked Tennessee this week. Georgia is inactive after the match against Vanderbilt was canceled due to COVID-19 and other availability issues with the Commodores.

Neither Notre Dame nor Clemson played last weekend, but Notre Dame’s chances for CFP improved after North Carolina thrashed Miami 62-26 on the road. The Tar Heels climb two places to No. 15, while Miami drops eight places to No. 18. Notre Dame defeated North Carolina on Nov. 31-17 on Nov. 27 at Chapel Hill. Even if the Fighting Irish lose to Clemson, their profile seems strong enough to stay in the top four.

Coastal Carolina (11-0) needed a late touchdown in Troy to become the first FBS team with 11 wins. The Chanticleers move up one spot to No. 12 and enter the Sun Belt title game against No. 19 Louisiana.

USC (5-0) remains the highest-rated Pac-12 team at No. 13, moving up two places, but the Trojans miss a signature win after having to cancel a game with Colorado, which fell back to No. 25 after the first loss. of the season. Clay Helton’s team will play no rank Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday.

San Jose State makes its CFP debut at No. 24 after a 6-0 start, the best team since 1939. The Spartans will face off-ranked Boise State in Saturday’s Mountain West championship game in Las Vegas.

BYU and NC State are among the nine teams to move up a single spot in this week’s rankings, checking in at No. 17 and No. 22 respectively.

The selection committee of the CFP will announce its final classification on Sunday, including the four semi-final teams.