Georgia remains at No. 1 and Washington State climbs to No. 19 in CFP rankings.
In the second College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday afternoon, Washington improved three spots to No. 9.
At this rate, the Huskies will certainly land among the coveted Final Four when the final rankings and bowl pairings are announced Dec. 3. Of course, that’s assuming UW continues to win impressively and chaos befalls the other top-10 ranked teams.
Washington (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) sits behind four undefeated teams and four one-loss teams.
The top four teams in the CFP remained unchanged starting with No. 1 Georgia (9-0) followed by No. 2 Alabama (9-0), No. 3 Notre Dame (8-1) and No. 4 Clemson (8-1).
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The next four includes: No. 5 Oklahoma (8-1), No. 6 TCU (8-1), No. 7 Miami (8-0) and No. 8 Wisconsin (9-0).
Washington, which is ranked ninth in the Associated Press poll, finish the regular season at Stanford (6-3) on Friday before home games against Utah (5-4) and No. 19 Washington State (8-2).
“You have 13 individuals that go deep into these teams that look at the complete resume,” CFP commitee chairman Kirby Hocutt said. “We look at what’s happening. Where the games are played. What’s transpiring in that particular game.
“So all of that matters as we evaluate these teams. How these teams lose, who they lose to and of course winning is one of the important things as you look at a body of work for a particular team.”
Here is the criteria the 13-person CFP committee uses in determining its rankings:
— Conference championships won
— Strength of schedule
— Head-to-head competition
— Outcomes of common opponents
— Other relevant factors
The Huskies may continue to climb in the CFP rankings if they defeat Stanford (UW is a 5.5-point favorite) considering Notre Dame plays at Miami while TCU travels to Oklahoma this week.
Georgia has a tough game at No. 10 Auburn and Alabama visits No. 16 Mississippi State.
“There’s not a team in the Pac-12 that controls their own destiny,” said ESPN analyst Joey Galloway, the former Seahawks receiver. “They (the Huskies) need help.”
In addition to UW and WSU, No. 11 USC (8-2) is the third team in the CFP rankings.
During the three-year history of the CFP poll, only three semifinalists were ranked outside of the top 10 in Week 2.
In 2015 Michigan State and Oklahoma were 13th and 12th respectively and in 2014 Ohio State was 14th.
Last year, Washington was No. 4 when the second CFP rankings were released. The Huskies finished fourth.
“They are so different from a year ago,” ESPN analyst David Pollack said. “I liked Washington a year ago. Defensively, they are still very well coached and they’re physical, especially on the defensive line. The defensive front seven is very good.
“But there’s nothing about that offense that is like it was a year ago. It’s not super explosive. So they are a very average team to me. They’re not a team screams College Football Playoff.”
The knock against Washington is its strength of record, which ranks 17th in the nation. So far, the Huskies’ best win is a 38-3 victory against Oregon (5-5). UW also lost 13-7 at Arizona State.
“They’ve beaten nobody,” Galloway said. “And they lost a game on a schedule that had nobody on it.”
ESPN.com ranks Washington fourth nationally in its football power index rating, which is a predictive rating system designed to measure team strength and project performance.
“Washington is not done yet,” ESPN analyst Greg McElroy. “They have a possibility of getting in. … If carnage happens the way I totally anticipate it happening, there’s no reason why Washington can’t get back into the conversation here in the next few weeks with some notable victories.”