The latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were released tonight and to no one’s surprise the committee did not make any changes in spots 3 through 8 which means that the Huskies remain #5 overall and just on the outside looking in to the party. The only major change near the top was Georgia overtaking Ohio State at #1 overall following a blowout win over Ole Miss.
Washington is the highest ranked of 5 Pac-12 teams currently in the top-25, the others are: Oregon at #6, Oregon State at #11, Arizona at #17 and Utah #22. The Utes dropped 4 spots after their loss at Washington this past week. There is sure to be additional movement next week after Washington travels to play at Oregon State while Arizona faces off against Utah. It is also possible that the winner of USC/UCLA sneaks into the back end of the rankings depending on results elsewhere.
It's fairly easy to make schedule based arguments that Washington should be in the 4th spot rather than Florida State. The Huskies have beaten 3 teams currently ranked (Oregon, Arizona, and Utah) while Florida State has defeated just one (LSU). The Dawgs have had closer than expected margins against some not so great teams recently but so has FSU. The computer metrics tend to slightly favor the Seminoles but are generally quite close. This week the Huskies get the chance for another signature win on their resume (at #11 OSU) while Florida State plays an FCS team. If we are here next Tuesday talking about a pair of 11-0 teams and UW has not moved ahead of FSU then logic has officially flown out the window.
The fact remains though that Washington controls their own destiny. Winning out including a second win over Oregon gets them well into the dance. It's also true though given the lack of upsets at the top that anything short of that might not be enough. Just keep winning.
Here’s a look at the paths for the other teams that have 0 or 1 losses with most recent SP+ rank in parentheses.
#1 Georgia: at Tennessee (16), at Georgia Tech (70)
Will almost certainly face Alabama (6) in the SEC title game
#2 Ohio State: Minnesota (55), at Michigan (1)
If they beat Michigan they will likely play Iowa (29) in the Big Ten title game
#3 Michigan: at Maryland (35), Ohio State (3)
If they beat Ohio State they will likely play Iowa (29) in the Big Ten title game
#4 Florida State: North Alabama (228), at Florida (44)
Will almost certainly face Louisville (21) in the ACC title game
#5 Washington: at Oregon State (14), Washington State (56)
If they win either game they will likely play Oregon (4) in Pac-12 title game
#6 Oregon: at Arizona State (91), Oregon State (14)
If they beat Oregon State they will likely play Washington (9) in the Pac-12 title game
#7 Texas: at Iowa State (36), Texas Tech (40)
If they win out will play...someone in the Big 12 title game
#8 Alabama: Chattanooga (142), at Auburn (30)
Will almost certainly play Georgia (2) in the SEC title game
#9 Louisville: at Miami (26), Kentucky (31)
If they win out will play Florida State (7) in ACC title game