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College football rankings: Oklahoma cracks top five, West Virginia gains in CBS Sports 129

The College Football Playoff picture plays out in pieces with results followed by updates in polls and rankings as fans and analysts across the country play out the same arguments that are taking place behind closed doors with the selection committee. Our contribution to this discussion includes the CBS Sports 129, a wide-ranging ranking of all 129 bowl-eligible FBS teams. Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame lead the top five, but as the debate continues to rage about the next teams in line our rankings suggest you give some thought to Kyle Murray and the Oklahoma Sooners. 

The Sooners edged out Georgia for the No. 5 spot in the CBS Sports 129 this week after outlasting Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, in a 51-46 thriller. Murray has been outstanding this season, totaling 31 touchdowns to just five interceptions while completing more than 70 percent of his passes and causing headaches for opposing defenses with his ability to make plays running the football. Oklahoma has one of the only offenses in the country that looks like it could go blow-for-blow with Tua Tagovailoa and the Tide, and it’s possible that the statistics by the end of the season will match or surpass the numbers put up by Baker Mayfield and the 2017 Sooners. 

To actually make the College Football Playoff again, Oklahoma has to win all the rest of its games — potentially needing to beat West Virginia, up to No. 8 in our rankings. twice. But at this point in the season, its time to start considering that Oklahoma, and the Big 12, is still very much in the playoff picture. 

College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top-25 below, and 26-129 on our rankings page.

1 Alabama 9-0 1
2 Clemson 9-0 2
3 Notre Dame 9-0 3
4 Michigan 8-1 5
5 Oklahoma 8-1 6
6 Georgia 8-1 7
7 Washington State 8-1 10
8 West Virginia 7-1 12
9 LSU 7-2 4
10 UCF 8-0 8
11 Ohio State 8-1 9
12 Kentucky 7-2 11
13 Fresno State 8-1 19
14 Utah State 8-1 20
15 Syracuse 7-2 23
16 Texas 6-3 16
17 Boston College  7-2 25
18 Washington 7-3 24
19 Florida 6-3 14
20 Mississippi State 6-3 21
21 Iowa State 5-3 29
22 Utah 6-3 13
23 Penn State 6-3 15
24 Cincinnati  8-1 31
25 Michigan State  6-3 26

Biggest movers 

  • Syracuse (+8): For the second straight week, Syracuse made one of the most significant jumps in the top 40 spots of the CBS Sports 129, up eight to No. 15. The Orange have plowed through the most manageable part of their ACC season — a stretch that continues next week against lowly Louisville — before finishing the year with two huge games against Notre Dame (in Yankee Stadium) and at Boston College. 
  • Boston College (+8): Like its division foe, Boston College improved to 7-2 on the season over the weekend with a tough conference win on the road. Beating Virginia Tech in Lane Stadium is not easy for anyone at any time, no matter the current state or status of the Hokies, and our voters followed the victory with the necessary adjustments in the rankings. 
  • Iowa State (+8): With just a few weeks left in the regular season, Iowa State is in the thick of the Big 12 title race with just two conference losses and a head-to-head win against West Virginia. That result against the Mountaineers and title contention probably anchors Iowa State’s profile as this week’s win against Kansas. 
  • Penn State (-8): Hard to believe that Penn State still occupies that top tier in the Big Ten after getting totally squeezed out by Michigan in the Big House. Top teams that lost this week didn’t all take major drops in the rankings, so this adjustment feels like a bigger correction on the season rather than a one-week takeaway. 
  • Virginia (-8): One week after making a huge leap up in our rankings, a loss to Pitt on Friday night has the Wahoos tumbling out of the top 25 down eight spots to No. 30. 
  • Utah (-9): Saturday was absolutely devastating for Utah. The Utes lost a crucial division game to Arizona State and lost starting quarterback Tyler Huntley to a broken collarbone. The Pac-12 South race is wide open and Utah is far from being on the outside, but no Huntley drastically changes the expectations for this offense. 
  • Iowa (-10): Now checking in at No. 27, Iowa fumbled a chance to make a run at the Big Ten West division title with back-to-back close losses to Penn State and Purdue. At 6-3 there is no panic, but our voters are less bullish on how the Hawkeyes stack up against the best teams in the country. 

Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 129: Teams ranked 26-129

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