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College Football Playoff rankings announced: Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State are the first four

The third College Football Playoff rankings have arrived. We break down the full Top 25, led by an elite top four.

Mac Jones of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after a play against the Kentucky Wildcats at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bearcats have committed the crime of not playing football this week as the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has once again helped protect the Power Five from any Group of Five invaders by dropping UC one spot.

The Iowa State Cyclones move from No. 9 to No. 7 for their 42-6 win over the 5-4 West Virginia Mountaineers. The Cyclones lost to the No. 19 University of Louisiana by 17 points at home earlier this season.

Coastal Carolina moved up from 18th to 13th based on their late-scheduled win over BYU on Saturday in Conway, South Carolina. But previously No. 8 BYU fell to No. 16 with the extremely close loss on the road on short notice.

If you thought any Group of Five team had a shot at breaking through for the final four, those hopes are basically out the window with these rankings.

Here are the rankings from the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for December 8th:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0)
2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0)
3. Clemson Tigers (9-1)
4. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0)
5. Texas A&M Aggies (7-1)
6. Florida Gators (8-1)
7. Iowa State Cyclones (8-2)
8. Cincinnati Bearcats (8-0)
9. Georgia Bulldogs (6-2)
10. Miami Hurricanes (8-1)
11. Oklahoma Sooners (7-2)
12. Indiana Hoosiers (6-1)
13. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (10-0)
14. Northwestern Wildcats (5-1)
15. USC Trojans (4-0)
16. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2)
17. North Carolina Tar Heels (7-3)
18. BYU Cougars (9-1)
19. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (9-1)
20. Texas Longhorns (6-3)
21. Colorado Buffaloes (4-0)
22. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-3)
23. NC State Wolfpack (8-3)
24. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6-1)
25. Missouri Tigers (5-3)