Notre Dame moves up to No

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches from the sideline during Ohio State’s loss to Purdue on Oct. 20 2018. More

Cincinnati and South Florida still loom on the schedule, but there's no way wins over either of those teams would put UCF within striking distance of the top four entering conference championship weekend.

Defense will lead them past Ohio State and now they have a competent quarterback to score on offense. This ranking coupled with the relative weakness of the Pac-12 means LSU could stay ahead of Washington State even if it wins out and takes the Pac-12.

The rest of the top 10 includes No. 6 Oklahoma, followed by No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Washington State, No. 9 West Virginia and No. 10 Ohio State.

Simple: Win out, get in.

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That was a disappointing loss for the Tigers in Baton Rouge, but they ran into a supremely-talented team. Oh, and beat Alabama.

Check back after three more regular season games and the SEC championship tilt with No. 1 Alabama for the final rankings that matter for the Bulldogs. If one of them wins the Big 12 with one loss, OSU's chances at making the playoff are diminished significantly. We think they will move to No. 7 with Washington State remaining at No. 8. The Mountaineers do have a victory against Tennessee on a neutral field.

It's been a struggle in Year 1 for Chad Morris at Arkansas, but the Razorbacks (2-7) have kept three of their last four SEC games within two touchdowns. Boston College 18. Michigan State 19. But that's a long way from certain considering the Buckeyes are the lowest ranked one-loss team. It has a strong defense, but offensively, it's limited at best. The Wolverines enjoyed the latest stop on their revenge tour, demolishing Penn State and improving to 3-0 against teams that beat them last season - Wisconsin, Michigan State and the Nittany Lions.

Athletic director Danny White and the Knights fans certainly don't want to hear this, but another ideal season probably won't even get UCF seriously considered for a spot in the semifinal - unless things get really weird. During the past two games, Clemson has outscored its opponents 136-26 and should easily win out, setting up a possible playoff rematch against Alabama for the fourth consecutive season. That's extreme, but if three of those six things happen, UCF probably gets a look.

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