Notre Dame moves into College Football Playoff top four

Notre Dame is in -- for now.

The Fighting Irish moved into the College Football Playoff selection committee's No. 4 ranking, up from No. 5, with its 42-30 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Clemson held the No. 1 ranking for the second consecutive week, while Alabama moved from No. 4 to No. 2 with its home win over LSU, and Ohio State remains ranked No. 3.



"Notre Dame moved themselves up. They've got a couple top-25 wins now. Their quarterback has had great play and they've overcome some injuries," said Arkansas athletic director and CFP selection committee chairman Jeff Long. "They were solidly in at No. 4 with the committee this week."

Notre Dame has one more game against a top-ranked opponent -- Stanford -- with which to impress the selection committee.

Iowa replaces Notre Dame in the No. 5 spot, followed by Baylor, which held steady at No. 6. Stanford was ranked No. 7, followed by Oklahoma State, LSU and Utah at No. 10. While last week's games were certain to shake up the rankings, including top-four movement, this week's games don't offer the same assurance. Baylor plays 12th-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday, which could help the Bears move forward, but that might still require an upset in the top five. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Iowa will all be heavily favored this week against Syracuse, Mississippi State, Illinois, Wake Forest and Minnesota, respectively.

Still, Long said significant movement in the rankings should be expected.

"We're not necessarily wed to how the polls react to wins and losses," Long added. "We start with a clean sheet of paper and work our way and evaluate those teams. There should be, and you could expect more volatile movement in the future."

The committee will release subsequent rankings each Tuesday through Dec. 1, and will pick the four-team playoff field on Dec. 6. The Capital One Orange Bowl and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl will host the semifinals at 4 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET, respectively, on Dec. 31. The College Football Playoff championship game will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 11, 2016.

The committee will operate with 12 members instead of 13 this year following the resignation of USC Athletic Director Pat Haden.

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

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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