Washington moved ahead of Florida State into fourth place in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, after beating its third straight opponent last weekend.
While the top three remained unchanged – Georgia is still No. 1, followed by Ohio State at No. 2 and Michigan at No. 3 – Washington entered the top four for the first time this season and l ‘Florida State fell to No. 1. 5 after losing quarterback Jordan Travis for the season.
The Huskies beat then-No. 12 Oregon State 22-20 last Saturday, after wins against then-No. 12. 18 Utah and then-No. 20 US dollars. Although Utah and USC are no longer ranked, Washington is now No. 1 in ESPN’s record strength metric. Florida State is No. 4 in that same metric.
The Seminoles faced FCS North Alabama last weekend, overcoming an early 13-0 deficit to win 58-13. But the score and result hardly mattered after Travis was lost to a leg injury — and how the committee views that injury will be a source of intrigue in the weeks to come.
Florida State plays rival Florida on Saturday with Tate Rodemaker as the starting quarterback, then plays the ACC championship game against No. 10 Louisville on Dec. 2 in Charlotte.
On Monday, coach Mike Norvell told ESPN he wasn’t worried about what the committee would do this week with its rankings.
“Three or four weeks ago, I didn’t care what our ranking was, I didn’t care what our ranking was going to be this week,” Norvell said. “We’ve done the necessary things to show who we are, and we have an opportunity to show how we respond to adversity, to an unfortunate situation, but this is a heck of a football team. I can promise you that our guys are going to work as hard as we can to get better.
“We get to go on the road, a big rivalry game, a big week for us, and next week we get a chance to play in a conference championship. I know if we show everything we are, the ranking in the end that really matters, we will put ourselves in a position to achieve whatever we ultimately desire.”
There will certainly be more changes next week with a showdown between rivals Ohio State and Michigan looming on Saturday. One of these teams will be left with a loss and no chance to play for a Big Ten championship. The question for Florida State is whether an undefeated season — with Travis on the sidelines — will still be enough to make the four-team playoff.
The three teams one loss behind Florida State in the top 10 remain unchanged: Oregon at No. 6, Texas at No. 7 and Alabama at No. 8. All three also have huge matches coming up. The Ducks have Oregon State, which has fallen to No. 16, while Texas has Texas Tech on Friday with a chance to clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game. Alabama has rival Auburn, then the championship game of the SEC against Georgia.
Tulane remains the highest-ranked Group 5 team at No. 23, although Liberty joined the rankings this week at No. 25. Two familiar Florida State schools also join the rankings this week: NC State at No. 22 and Clemson at No. 22. No. 24.