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CFP: First five unchanged as Sooners and Cowboys move up rankings

Oklahoma Stateand Oklahomamoved up in this week's iteration of the College Football Playoff rankings, but the Big 12 rivals remain outside the top four.

The top teams in the CFP rankings remain unchanged, with Clemsonleading the way, followed by Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dameand Iowa. The real drama enters at Nos. 6 and 7, where the Cowboys (10-0) are followed by the Sooners (9-1), who knocked off the previously unbeaten Baylor Bears.

All of this means the annual Bedlam game in two weeks will serve as a possible CFP play-in game and perhaps the closest thing the Big 12 Conference could have to a title game. That stage was set thanks to upset losses by Baylor (now No. 10), Stanford(No. 11),Utah(No. 13) andLSU(No. 15).

The Oklahoma duo weren't the only teams to take advantage, as Floridaand Michigan Statepulled back into the top 10 at Nos. 8 and 9, respectively.

Michigan(No. 12) and Florida State(No. 14) each moved up two spots in the rankings.

Navyjumped four spots to No. 16 and is the highest-ranked team from a non-Power 5 conference.

Winners of nine straight, the North Carolina Tar Heels are up to No. 17, while a banged up TCUteam fell for the second straight week and settled in at No. 18. Houstonand Northwesternround out the top 20.

Memphis(No. 21) and Wisconsin(No. 25) held steady in their spots. Between them are three teams that were outside the CFP ranking last week and once held higher hopes for their seasons.

After a week outside the standings,Ole Miss is ranked again, at No. 22. Pac-12 foesOregon(No. 23) and USC(No. 24) both entertained hopes of reaching the playoff this season, but injuries, inconsistency and, in the case of the Trojans, scandal have marred their campaigns.

For the first time this season, Ohio State is not at least a co-favorite to win the title as far as Las Vegas is concerned. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook now lists Alabama as the 5-2 favorite to win the title, with the Buckeyes now the second choice at 11-4.

Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State seem to have control of their playoff fates. If those three win out, they should be in, with the final spot coming down to the Big 12 contenders and Notre Dame. Oklahoma State has the advantage of being unbeaten and has chances to pad its resume with home games against Baylor and Oklahomathe next two weeks.

Unbeaten Iowa would likely have to go through either Ohio State or whatever Big Ten East team beats Ohio State, so the Hawkeyes appear to be in good shape if they win out.

If the Fighting Irish (9-1) and the Sooners (9-1) both win out and finish 11-1 (and things don't get too messy in the other conferences), chances are the final spot in the playoff will go to one of them.

It has the makings of an excellent debate. The Sooners would end the season with three big victories over Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State. Notre Dame's best wins would likely be USC, Stanford and Navy. The Irish's loss was by two at Clemson. The Sooners' loss was by seven to Texas. Notre Dame beat Texas 38-3, and the committee considers games against common opponents in its selections protocol.

"It doesn't go away,'' committee chairman Jeff Long said of OU's loss to Texas.

The highest ranked Pac-12 team is Stanford at No. 11.Navyis the highest ranked Group of Five team. American Athletic Conference rival Houstonis No. 19.

The Midshipmen and Cougars play Nov. 27 in a game that should decide the AAC West division, a trip to the conference title game and, ultimately, which team gets the spot in a New Year's Six bowl game guaranteed to the top-ranked champion from the American, Mountain West, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Conference USA.

Memphis, which has lost to Navy and Memphis the past two weeks, is No. 21 and the only other Group of Five team ranked.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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