Washington cracks top four in College Football Playoff top 25 rankings

Washington broke into the top four spots of the College Football Playoff Top 25 this week, and the Huskies will get a chance to significantly bolster their strength of schedule Saturday when they face a USC team that flew into this week's rankings.

The top three teams were unchanged this week with Alabama at No. 1, Clemson at No. 2 and Michigan at No. 3.

USC, winner of five consecutive games, broke into the top 25 at No. 20 after being snubbed this week in the Amway Coaches and Associated Press polls. The Trojans are No. 14 in the latest Sagarin Ratings, so Washington would significantly bolster its SOS — currently the worst of the any team in the Playoff top 10 — with a victory.

One-loss West Virginia rose four spots to No. 16 but still trails Big 12 conference mates Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Last week's No. 4 (Texas A&M), No. 10 (Nebraska), No. 11 (Florida), No. 13 (LSU) and No. 17 (Baylor) teams all lost Nov. 5. A&M dropped four spots, Nebraska fell nine and LSU dropped 11 this week. Florida and Baylor fell out of the top 25.

This is the second of six top 25 rankings the Playoff selection committee has scheduled for 2016. The final rankings will be released Sunday, Dec. 4, with the four-team Playoff field announced first and the teams in the New Year's Six bowl matchups and remainder of the top 25 announced shortly thereafter.

This season's Playoff semifinals will be played at the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl on Dec. 31. The championship game will be held Jan. 9 in Tampa.

This week's top 25:

1. Alabama (9-0)

2. Clemson (9-0)

3. Michigan (9-0)

4. Washington (9-0)

5. Ohio State (8-1)

6. Louisville (8-1)

7. Wisconsin (7-2)

8. Texas A&M (7-2)

9. Auburn (7-2)

10. Penn State (7-2)

11. Oklahoma (7-2)

12. Colorado (7-2)

13. Oklahoma State (7-2)

14. Virginia Tech (7-2)

15. Utah (7-2)

16. West Virginia (7-1)

17. North Carolina (7-2)

18. Florida State (6-3)

19. Nebraska (7-2)

20. USC (6-3)

21. Western Michigan (9-0)

22. Boise State (8-1)

23. Washington State (7-2)

24. LSU (5-3)

25. Arkansas (6-3)

USA TODAY


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