Michigan ranks 2nd in latest College Football Playoff rankings; Michigan State 11th

Andrew Hammond
Detroit Free Press

Just 60 minutes, possibly more. 

That's all that stands in the way of Michigan football and its first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff. The latest CFP rankings had the Wolverines ranked at No. 2, meaning that with a win against the Iowa Hawkeyes in Saturday night's Big Ten championship game (8 p.m., Fox), Jim Harbaugh's club will reach college football's final four. 

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For the Wolverines, it is truly "CFP or bust" now. Usually, the Big Ten champion would be headed to the Rose Bowl but with a Wolverines loss, Iowa would go to the Rose Bowl and Michigan would head to another New Year's Six game with thoughts of what could've been. 

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As for the rest of the latest CFP rankings, the Georgia Bulldogs maintained the top spot and the Alabama Crimson Tide, at No. 3, along with the Cincinnati Bearcats round out the top four. 

The positioning of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans make for an intriguing discussion when it comes to the Rose Bowl. With a Michigan victory, the highest-ranked Big Ten team behind the Wolverines will be headed to Pasadena on New Year's Day to face the Pac-12 champion. According to most projections, a U-M appearance in the playoff could mean up to three Big Ten teams will be playing in NY6 bowls: 

  • Michigan — CFP
  • Ohio State — Rose Bowl
  • Michigan State — NY6 at-large spot

Entering the final week of the season before bowl selections are announced Sunday, the drama sits in a few spots. Depending on the results of the SEC Championship game (Georgia vs. 'Bama), Cincinnati's AAC Championship game, the Big 12 Championship game, and the Big Ten championship game, Sunday's final rankings could look very different from Tuesday night. 

College Football Playoff Rankings

1. Georgia

2. Michigan

3. Alabama

4. Cincinnati

5. Oklahoma State

6. Notre Dame 

7. Ohio State 

8. Ole Miss

9. Baylor

10. Oregon

11. Michigan State 

12. BYU

13. Iowa

14. Oklahoma

15. Pittsburgh

16. Wake Forest

17. Utah

18. NC State 

19. San Diego State

20. Clemson

21. Houston

22. Arkansas

23. Kentucky

24. Louisiana

25. Texas A&M

Contact Andrew Hammond at aahammond@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @ahammFreePress. Check out some of the tremendous offers from the Detroit Free Press and subscribe today!