Washington joins UGA, Ohio St., U-M atop CFP

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Washington leapfrogged Florida State into the No. 4 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, after beating its third straight ranked opponent this past 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 moved into the top four for the first time this season and Florida State fell to No. 5 after losing quarterback Jordan Travis for the season.

The Huskies beat then-No. 12 Oregon State 22-20 this past Saturday, after wins over then-No. 18 Utah and then-No. 20 USC. Though Utah and USC are no longer ranked, Washington is now No. 1 in the ESPN strength of record metric. Florida State is No. 4 in that same metric.

The Seminoles played FCS North Alabama this past weekend, overcoming an early 13-0 deficit to win 58-13. But the score and result hardly mattered after losing Travis to a lower-leg injury — and how the committee views that injury will be a source of intrigue in the weeks to come.

Florida State plays at rival Florida on Saturday with Tate Rodemaker as its starting quarterback and then has the ACC championship game against No. 10 Louisville on Dec. 2 in Charlotte.

On Monday, coach Mike Norvell told ESPN he was not worried about what the committee would do this week with its ranking.

“I didn’t care three, four weeks ago what our ranking was, I sure don’t care what our ranking’s going to be this week,” Norvell said. “We’ve done things necessary to show who we are, and we get an opportunity to show how we respond to adversity, to an unfortunate situation, but this is one heck of a football team. I can promise you our guys are going to work as hard we possibly can to get better.

“We get to go on the road, big rivalry game, big week for us, and the next week we get a chance to play in a conference championship. I know that if we go and show all that we are, the ranking in the end that truly matters, we’ll put ourselves in position to achieve all the things that we ultimately desire.”

There is sure to be more shifting next week with a showdown between rivals Ohio State and Michigan looming Saturday. One of those teams will end up 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 sideline — will still be enough to make a four-team playoff.

The three one-loss teams behind Florida State in the top 10 remain unchanged: Oregon at No. 6, Texas at No. 7 and Alabama at No. 8. All three have huge games looming as well. The Ducks have Oregon State, which dropped 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 and then the SEC championship game against Georgia.

Tulane remains the highest-ranked Group of 5 team at No. 23, though Liberty joined the rankings this week at No. 25. Also joining the rankings this week are two schools familiar to Florida State: NC State at No. 22 and Clemson at No. 24.

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