SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the Auburn Tigers’ and Miami Hurricanes’ big wins and what it means going forward. USA TODAY Sports
The shakeup in college football on Saturday has shaken up the College Football Playoff rankings.
The third edition of the rankings, released Tuesday night by the College Football Playoff selection committee, not only delivered a new No. 1 but also added two new teams.
Georgia’s blowout loss (40-17 to Auburn) knocked the Bulldogs out and opened the door for Alabama to move to first, followed by Clemson, Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma. Georgia had been No. 1 in the previous two rankings.
The 9-0 Hurricanes, coming off a 41-8 thrashing of Notre Dame, climbed from seventh to third, and Oklahoma moved into the top four after spending the previous two weeks at No. 5. The Irish fell from No. 3 to No. 8.
PLAYOFF: Week 3 rankings
Wisconsin (10-0), rose to No. 5. The Badgers, whose schedule has been the object of derision, can get a boost this week if they can beat Michigan.
“Tremendous debate between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Miami. Both play tremendous defense,” said CFP selection committee chair Kirby Hocutt, who noted the Tigers’ win against Auburn as a deciding factor.
Clemson and Miami both have clinched spots in the ACC title game.
“Lots of debate on teams one through five and where they went,” Hocutt said. “We talked a lot about the Sooners. Three wins against teams ranked in the top 13 of this week’s rankings. It’s the loss to Iowa State that did not allow Oklahoma to rank higher this week.”
Auburn, Hocutt said, was the best two-loss team in the running.
UCF climbed to No. 15, making the undefeated Knights the highest-ranked team from a Group of Five conference. The highest-ranked conference champion from outside the Power Five is guaranteed a spot in the New Year’s Six bowls.
There were complaints from Miami and Oklahoma fans about being stuck behind Clemson. Hocutt, also the athletic director at Texas Tech, said Clemson’s six victories against teams with winning records gave the Tigers the nod.
He added that the impact of Clemson’s loss to Syracuse (4-6) has been mitigated by injuries hampering Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant in that game. Bryant came into the game with a sore ankle that hobbled him and missed the second half with a concussion.
“That continues to be a factor in our discussions of Clemson,” Hocutt said.
He also pointed at that Miami not having a road win against a winning team worked against the Hurricanes and that Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State (6-4) at home was weighing down the Sooners a bit.
The full rankings:
1. Alabama (10-0)
2. Clemson (9-1)
3. Miami (9-0)
4.. Oklahoma (9-1)
5. Wisconsin (10-0)
6. Auburn (8-2)
7. Georgia (9-1)
8. Notre Dame (8-2)
9. Ohio State (8-2)
10. Penn State (8-2)
11. Southern California (9-2)
12. TCU (8-2)
13. Oklahoma State (8-2)
14. Washington State (9-2)
15. Central Florida (9-0)
16. Mississippi State (7-3)
17. Michigan State (7-3)
18. Washington (8-2)
19. N.C. State (7-3)
20. LSU (7-3)
21. Memphis (8-1)
22. Stanford (7-3)
23. Northwestern (7-3)
24. Michigan (8-2)
25. Boise State (8-2)