College Football Playoff: Ohio State moves to No. 2, Cincinnati to No. 4 after big Week 12 wins

Ohio State and Cincinnati each moved up a spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Buckeyes pushed ahead of Alabama to No. 2 after beating Michigan State on Saturday while Cincinnati went up a spot to No. 4 after a big win over SMU. Georgia is still No. 1 and Michigan is at No. 5 ahead of its game against Ohio State to close out the regular season. The winner of Michigan and Ohio State will go to the Big Ten title game and be in position to make the College Football Playoff.

Cincy's ranking is the highest a non-Power Five team has ever achieved. Cincinnati plays East Carolina on Friday and then has Houston in the AAC title game. If the Bearcats win both of those games they should be one of the four playoff teams.

It wasn't a surprise that both Ohio State and Cincinnati moved up. Ohio State was more convincing in its win over Michigan State than Alabama was in beating Arkansas. And Cincinnati jumped ahead of Oregon after the Ducks were beaten soundly by Utah.

Oregon fell eight spots to No. 11 while Michigan State fell five spots to No. 12 after Week 12.

What's ahead

Alabama and Georgia will play for the SEC title in two weeks. If Alabama wins that game, both teams are likely to stay in the top four — assuming neither lose as big favorites in the final week of the regular season. If Georgia wins, Alabama could fall out of the top four and open the door for a team like Oklahoma State, Notre Dame or Oklahoma to get to the top four. Remember, no two-loss team has made the playoff.

No. 6 Notre Dame's final game of the season is on Saturday against Stanford. No. 7 Oklahoma State plays No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday. If OU wins, the two teams play again in the Big 12 title game on Dec. 4. If OSU wins, the Cowboys will play No. 8 Baylor for the conference title.

If Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma on Saturday, the Cowboys could conceivably be as high as No. 5 ahead of the Big 12 title game. That would set OSU up to make the top four if Georgia beats Alabama. If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, it seems likely the Sooners will stay behind Notre Dame ahead of the Big 12 title game.

Post-Week 12 CFP rankings

1. Georgia (11-0)

2. Ohio State (10-1)

3. Alabama (10-1)

4. Cincinnati (11-0)

5. Michigan (10-1)

6. Notre Dame (10-1)

7. Oklahoma State (10-1)

8. Baylor (9-2)

9. Ole Miss (9-2)

10. Oklahoma (10-1)

11. Oregon (9-2)

12. Michigan State (9-2)

13. BYU (9-2)

14. Wisconsin (8-3)

15. Texas A&M (8-3)

16. Iowa (9-2)

17. Pitt (9-2)

18. Wake Forest (9-2)

19. Utah (8-3)

20. NC State (8-3)

21. San Diego State (10-1)

22. UTSA (11-0)

23. Clemson (8-3)

24. Houston (10-1)

25. Arkansas (7-4)