Ohio State takes over No. 1 spot in College Football Playoff ranking, LSU is No. 2

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The College Football Playoff race is turning the final corner and about to hit the final straightaway. With one more week of the regular season to play and the conference championships to be played after that, it is crunch time for playoff contenders. On Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff selection committee returned to action to rank the top 25 teams in college football, and there is a new No. 1 in town. Ohio State climbed ahead of LSU in this week’s rankings following their notable win against Penn State this weekend. The top four still includes the same teams as last week with LSU, Clemson, and Georgia following the Buckeyes.

As expected, Oregon and Penn State each took a fall in the rankings this week, but each took a different tumble. Penn State only fell back two spots to remain in the top 10 of the playoff rankings after their loss at Ohio State. Oregon, meanwhile, fell out of the top 10 entirely and landed at No. 14 this week after a road loss at Arizona State. Orgeon sits one step ahead of the only other team to beat them this year, No. 15 Auburn. Penn State’s rank suggests the Nittany Lions could be in the running for the Orange Bowl if the Rose Bowl doesn’t pan out.

Alabama holds firm at the No. 5 spot waiting for some help to get into the top four. The Crimson Tide remains one spot ahead of No. 6 Utah, although it remains to be seen if a potential 1-loss PAC-12 champion Utah will manage to move ahead of Alabama (the same goes for a 1-loss Big 12 champion Oklahoma or Baylor).

Memphis is the highest-ranked Group of Five team, although they are just one spot ahead of Cincinnati, a team they could potentially face twice in the next two weeks with their regular-season finale and a potential rematch a week later in the AAC Championship Game. Boise State sits just behind both AAC favorites, hoping for a split between the AAC contenders the next two weeks to make a return to the New Years Six lineup. Appalachian State fell to No. 25 but remains in the running.

The full rankings:

  1. Ohio State
  2. LSU
  3. Clemson
  4. Georgia
  5. Alabama
  6. Utah
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Minnesota
  9. Baylor
  10. Penn State
  11. Florida
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Michigan
  14. Oregon
  15. Auburn
  16. Notre Dame
  17. Iowa
  18. Memphis
  19. Cincinnati
  20. Boise State
  21. Oklahoma State
  22. USC
  23. Iowa State
  24. Virginia Tech
  25. Appalachian State

Arizona State hires Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has hired former Cal Poly head coach Beau Baldwin as its next offensive coordinator.

The school announced Baldwin’s hiring of new coach Kenny Dillingham‘s staff a week after he resigned at Cal Poly.

The 50-year-old Baldwin spent three seasons as the Mustangs’ head coach, going 4-21.

Baldwin previously served as California’s offensive coordinator for three years after a nine-year stint as Eastern Washington’s head coach. He went 85-32 at Eastern Washington and won the 2010 national championship with three trips to the FCS semifinals.

Baldwin also served as Central Washington’s head coach in 2007.

Stanford QB Tanner McKee declares for NFL draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee is leaving school to enter the NFL draft.

McKee announced his decision on Thursday after a disappointing junior season on an overmatched Stanford team.

McKee completed 62% of his passes for 2,947 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season as Stanford went 3-9 for a second straight year.

Stanford will undergoing an overhaul with coach David Shaw stepping down after 12 seasons and several players expected to transfer.