The committee that issues the College Football Playoff rankings put Washington at No. 6 this week, down two spots from last week, but one slot better than the AP and coaches polls.
The Washington Huskies (9-1 overall, 6-1 Pac-12), demoted to No. 7 in the Associated Press and coaches polls Sunday after losing to USC, caught a small break in the decisive College Football Rankings when they were placed at No. 6 Tuesday. The top four teams in the final CFP poll will be slotted in the semifinals Dec. 4, with the two winners meeting Jan. 9 in Tampa for the national championship.
Washington earned a No. 5 ranking in the first CFP rankings two weeks ago, moved up to No. 4 last week after a 66-27 win over California, but fell two spots Tuesday after dropping a 26-13 decision to the No. 20 Trojans Saturday night at Husky Stadium, its first loss of the season.
That defeat sent the Huskies tumbling to No. 7 in the Associated Press and coaches polls, but the committee that produces the CFP rankings disagreed, elevating Washington one spot to No. 6. The Huskies still have a shot to make the final four if they win out against Arizona State Saturday and Washington State in two weeks, then win the Pac-12 title game.
If the season ended today, the Cougars (8-2) would play Colorado (8-2) in the Pac-12 championship game based on their 7-0 Northern Division league mark vs. Washington’s 6-1.
Alabama (10-0) remained No. 1 in this week’s CFP rankings. Following a weekend in which five of the top 10 teams from last week’s poll lost, Ohio State (9-1) came in at No. 2, followed by No. 3 Michigan (9-1), No. 4 Clemson (9-1), No. 5 Louisville (9-1) and No. 6 Washington (9-1).
“There is very little separation between teams from two through six in the rankings,” said Kirby Hocutt, chairman of the CFP selection committee.
Five Pac-12 schools made upward moves.
Colorado (8-2) jumped from 12th to No. 10 after beating Arizona 49-24, Utah (8-2) advanced three slots from No. 15 to No. 12 after bashing Arizona State 49-26, USC (7-3), No. 20 last week, climbed seven spots to No. 13 after dousing Washington, and the Cougars moved from 23rd to No. 22 after knocking off Cal 56-21. Unranked last week, Stanford came in at No. 24 after blowing away Oregon 52-27.
The Huskies will try to rebound from their loss to USC when they host Arizona State (5-5, 2-5) Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (FOX). The Sun Devils are coming off a 49-26 loss to Utah.
Washington State will play at Colorado at 12:30 p.m. Saturday (FOX).