College Football Playoff Rankings winners, losers: Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame may prove costly for Irish

The penultimate College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday, five days before the actual four-team field will be set following Championship Saturday. Michigan jumped to No. 2 after its big win over Ohio State, while Oklahoma State slid into the top five after handing Oklahoma its second loss of the season. Georgia, of course, checked in at the No. 1 spot while SEC Championship Game foe Alabama stayed put at No. 3. 

So who were the winners and losers of the penultimate edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings? Let’s break them down.

Winner: Oklahoma State

It might not look this way, but the Cowboys control their own destiny. A win over No. 9 Baylor — however it looks — will be enough to jump Cincinnati and whomever else based on Saturday’s results to get in the top four.

CFP selection committee chair Gary Barta said on the telecast that the committee found it difficult to separate Alabama, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State. If the Pokes top the Bears for the second time this year, and gets its second straight top-14 win to close out the season in the process, that would be more than enough to jump a Bearcats team that has a date with No. 21 Houston in the AAC Championship Game. 

Even if Georgia loses and there’s only one spot available for Oklahoma State and Cincinnati, Mike Gundy’s crew would get the nod. The combination of a more difficult conference championship game and a tremendous closing argument for a team that has been flying under the radar all season would get the job done. Plus, does the committee really want to put a Group of Five team in the playoff? Nope.

As if losing its coach abruptly wasn’t enough, Notre Dame was dealt a brutal gut punch when it got jumped by Oklahoma State. Now Kelly’s former…


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