The Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) climbed one spot to No. 8 in the second-to-last College Football Playoff ranking, which was released Tuesday night. Among the seven teams ahead of them are three teams from the Southeastern Conference.
Clemson is the new No. 1, passing Alabama and Miami, who both suffered their first losses last week. Auburn moved from No. 6 to No. 2 after beating Alabama. Oklahoma, one of the two teams to beat Ohio State, moved from No. 4 to No. 3.
Wisconsin, which plays Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship at 8 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, moved from No. 5 to No. 4. Alabama is fifth, and Georgia is sixth.
Ohio State ranked sixth in the first ranking, dropped to 13th after losing to Iowa and moved to ninth after beating Michigan State. It stayed ninth last week after beating Illinois.
The final playoff ranking will be announced at noon Sunday on ESPN. The two semifinal games are the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl. Both games will be played on Jan. 1. The national championship game will take place Jan. 8 in Atlanta.
The rest of the rankings include: No. 9 Penn State; No. 10 Southern California; No. 11 TCU; No. 12 Stanford; No. 13 Washington; No. 14 Central Florida; No. 15 Notre Dame; No. 16 Michigan State; No. 17 LSU; No. 18 Washington State; No. 19 Oklahoma State; No. 20 Memphis; No. 21 Northwestern; No. 22 Virginia Tech; No. 23 Mississippi State; No. 24 N.C. State; and No. 25 Fresno State.
If the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin, their resume could be compared against Alabama if it comes down to those teams for the final spot in the playoff.
Ohio State would have victories over No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 9 Penn State, No. 16 Michigan State and losses to Oklahoma and unranked Iowa.
Alabama, which doesn’t play again, would have victories over No. 17 LSU, No. 23 Mississippi State and No. 25 Fresno State and a loss to Auburn.