The College Football Playoff selection committee said the rankings might vary quite a bit from week to week, but that wasn't the case with its second set of top 25 rankings released Tuesday.
Mississippi State remained ahead of Florida State despite the Bulldogs' close call with Arkansas on Saturday night, keeping the top three intact from last week's initial rankings. The Seminoles' comeback win against Louisville didn't seem to sway the committee members enough to cause them to leapfrog the Bulldogs. Auburn remained the highest-ranked one-loss team at No. 3 and remains in position to make the playoff even if it needs some help to win the SEC.
"It really wasn't close, we stayed pretty consistent with the way we looked at Mississippi State and Florida State," committee chair Jeff Long said in a short television appearance Tuesday, as if to say the committee considered flipping the two top teams.
Ole Miss, following its heart-breaking loss to LSU, fell to No. 11 but still remained ahead of one-loss teams such as Baylor, Nebraska and Ohio State. It's clear the committee continues to respect the SEC West tremendously, with the division making up half the top six. A surging LSU, however, was still kept behind a pair of one-loss Big Ten teams.
"It was very close," Long said. "I think it's a product of Oregon's other wins. They obviously have the Michigan State win, plus they went on the road at UCLA and had a couple of other wins that put them a step ahead at this point."
Following the loss of East Carolina to Temple, no Group of Five team among the non-traditional conferences made it into the committee's top 25. That was not what undefeated Marshall fans were looking for, but there's still several more sets of rankings left before the bowl games are picked in December.
Arizona State also made a huge jump in the rankings and found itself at No. 9, just one spot ahead of Notre Dame ahead of its matchup in Tempe on Saturday. The respect the committee has shown for the Pac-12 was apparent in this week's top 25, with Utah not falling at all after its narrow overtime loss. Add in Oregon moving into the top four, and every team coming in higher than its AP/Coaches' Poll rankings, and it was a good week of action out West.
The entire order of the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings: