For 3rd week, 'Bama, Clemson, ND, Mich top CFP; UCF's path

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Rivalry week and the conference title games remain, but until then there's no reason for the committee to budge from their standing-Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and MI have separated themselves from the rest.

The top-ranked conference champion from the Group of 5 leagues automatically earns a spot in one of the access bowl games. Following its 50-17 victory over The Citadel over the weekend, the Crimson Tide was once again the top team in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday. No. 7 LSU held off off No. 8 Washington State for another week, while No. 9 Central Florida and No. 10 Ohio State rounded out the top 10.

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As with last week, No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 Oklahoma sit patiently, awaiting their chance to pounce into the semifinals.

The UCF Knights football team is undefeated, after beating Cincinnati in a primetime game at home Saturday, 38-13. "While UCF may not have the depth of talent of Ohio State, the committee felt that right now, today after Week 12, UCF has the more all-around, complete team".

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No. 11 was Florida , which could help the Gators secure a New Year's Six bowl bid.

Beat Ohio State and Northwestern to finish 12-1 and Big Ten champs: IN, unless the SEC has a surprise in store (see above).

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UCF needs all these teams to win their conference titles and Alabama to win the Southeastern Conference at 13-0. That is why the Buckeyes were jumped in the rankings by UCF, which moved from 11th to ninth. Upsets are sweeter and sting more in rivalry games, and you may want to look at some of the recent weeks results from other rivalry games to keep your own emotions and cash in check if you feel like betting on mostly big favorites and stronger teams.

Also that night, Washington State hosts No. 16 Washington (8-3) in the 112th Apple Cup.

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