Last week saw Penn State roll into College Park and put up the most points ever in a Big Ten game, and the Nittany Lions were rewarded with their efforts (coupled with some losses ahead of them), being moved up to number nine in the second to last college football playoff rankings of the season. PSU is poised to go to a New Year’s Six bowl game for the second year in a row.
The biggest beneficiary of the chaos at the top was likely Wisconsin, who vaulted into the top four (at #4). If they win against Ohio State (#8) this week, they’ll absolutely make the playoff; the Buckeyes can’t necessarily say the same.
Notre Dame dropped out of the top ten after their loss to Stanford to number 15 (Stanford’s #12), but both Miami (#7) and Alabama (#5) are still ahead of the Lions after suffering each team’s first loss of the year. Only Miami has a chance to rectify that loss, as they play Clemson (#1) for the ACC title this week; the Tide have to sit on the sidelines and watch Auburn (#2) play UGA (#6) for the national title.
In the Big Ten, in addition to the Badgers and Buckeyes, Michigan State and Northwestern are both still in the top twenty five, at 16 and 21 respectively.