College Football Playoff rankings: TCU moves into top four

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Mississippi State not surprisingly stayed right where it has been, atop the College Football Playoff selection committee's top 25 after Tuesday's updated standings were released.

The real intrigue came behind the Bulldogs.

As millions wondered who would replace Auburn at the No. 3 spot, the committee surprised everybody by moving Oregon up to the No. 2 spot after its road win at Utah -- passing undefeated Florida State. The Seminoles did remain part of the playoff, but one spot behind where they were expecting.

The big debate the past few days has centered on Big 12 rivals TCU and Baylor, who were separated by six spots in last week's rankings. After an impressive win over Kansas State, the Horned Frogs maintained their spot ahead of the Bears but were surprisingly ranked No. 4 ahead of Alabama, which many expected to jump into the top four. Baylor did close the gap by moving up five spots to No. 7, but that wasn't the story that resonated from the latest top 25 as the team appeared to be punished for its weak schedule.

The committee did seem to notice the improvement in Ohio State after its marquee win over Michigan State on Saturday. The Buckeyes moved from No. 14 to No. 8, providing some hope that they can make the final four at the end of the season if there's additional chaos in front of them. Even better for Urban Meyer's team is that this week's opponent, Minnesota, cracked the top 25 for the first time this season.

Once again, there was no clarity given by the committee in terms of what Group of Five team has the inside track to a New Year's Day six bowl berth. Undefeated Marshall and Colorado State were both ranked in the AP poll this week but failed to show up in the committee's version.

Fresh off their throttling of a Notre Dame team that was in the top 10, Arizona State received a tremendous amount of respect from the committee by jumping from No. 9 to No. 6. That would suggest the Sun Devils control their own destiny with games remaining against No. 14 Arizona and a potential date with No. 2 Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.

The entire order of the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings:

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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