Ohio State moves into CFP position; Cincinnati 5th in rankings

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No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Cincinnati all moved up one spot behind No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama in the second College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday night.

Two Southeastern Conference teams sat atop the ranking for a second straight week, but after Michigan State lost last weekend, at least one spot in the top four was certain to change.

The CFP selection committee simply bumped up the Ducks, Buckeyes and Bearcats and dropped Michigan State to No. 7 behind No. 6 Michigan.

“It’s worth noting that teams ranked two through six all won, but the committee just didn’t see a separation,” committee chairman and Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said.

The Spartans beat the Wolverines 37-33 just two weeks ago, but the head-to-head result didn’t carry the debate with the committee.

“The Michigan-Michigan State discussion started last week,” Barta said. “The committee went back and forth. Michigan, statistically, is probably a more complete team.”

For the second straight week, Cincinnati set a new mark for best ranking for a team outside the Power Five conferences. The Bearcats were sixth in the first rankings.

Unbeaten Oklahoma remained at No. 8 and Notre Dame and Oklahoma State rounded out the top 10.

There are three more regular-season rankings before the CFP selection committee sets the semifinal matchups and other New Year’s Six bowls with its final Top 25 on Dec. 5.

The College Football Playoff semifinals will be played at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31.

The national championship game is scheduled for Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

TAKEAWAYS

BOOMER

The Sooners and the Big 12 have quite a bit of ground to make up, but will have plenty of fuel left on the schedule to get a boost.

Oklahoma’s next three are against Baylor, the committee’s No. 13 team, Iowa State (unranked but 6-3), and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have already split games with Baylor and Iowa State.

“The committee noted, as probably anybody who has been watching Oklahoma, the quarterback change to Caleb Williams has changed that team,” Barta said.

The freshman Williams took over for Spencer Rattler four games ago an Oklahoma’s offense has taken off since.

No unbeaten Power Five conference champion has ever been left out of the playoff and it is doubtful the Sooners would be the first.

The Sooners have also taken this path to the playoff. In 2015, they were 12th in the rankings at this point and made the field. In 2019, they were 10th at this point and got in.

Though it should be noted that in both those season, Oklahoma had already lost a game at this point.

EYES ON THE IRISH

So far Notre Dame’s impact on the rankings has mostly been felt in how beating the Fighting Irish (8-1) has boosted Cincinnati.

Don’t count the Irish out yet.

Assuming they win out, and they will be favored on all of their remaining games (at Virginia, vs. Georgia Tech, at Stanford), the Irish at 11-1 could become an interesting team if the Big Ten and Big 12 teams cannibalize each other and Georgia clears out the rest of the SEC.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.