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Data: College Football Playoff; Table: Will Chase/Axios

Michigan's first victory over Ohio State in 10 years has given the Wolverines their highest ranking of the CFP era — and a clear path to their first playoff appearance.

Where it stands: Unbeaten Georgia remained No. 1 in the CFP rankings for the fifth straight week, followed by Michigan, Alabama, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame.

By the numbers: Those six true contenders all have at least a 32% chance of making the field ahead of conference championship weekend. Notre Dame, who just lost their coach, will watch anxiously from the sidelines.

  1. Georgia: 99% chance
  2. Michigan: 72%
  3. Alabama: 59%
  4. Cincinnati: 74%
  5. Oklahoma State: 32%
  6. Notre Dame: 58%

Looking ahead: Georgia is in no matter what, and Michigan, Alabama and Cincinnati are almost certainly in if they win on Saturday. If the unbeaten Bearcats get jumped by a one-loss team after beating No. 21 Houston, the entire system is broken.

  • SEC: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama (4 pm ET, CBS)
  • Big Ten: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 13 Iowa (8pm, Fox)
  • Big 12: No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Baylor (12pm, ABC)
  • AAC: No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 21 Houston (4pm, ABC)

Other title games ... No. 10 Oregon vs. No. 17 Utah (Pac-12); No. 15 Pitt vs. No. 16 Wake Forest (ACC); No. 19 San Diego State vs. Utah State (MWC); No. 24 Louisiana vs. Appalachian State (Sun Belt); UTSA vs. Western Kentucky (C-USA); Northern Illinois vs. Kent State (MAC).

What's next: The final rankings will be released Sunday.

Go deeper

Record campaign cash flows into races for state election officials

Former President Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Georgia in 2020. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Record-breaking waves of campaign cash are poised to flood state-level races for secretary of state and other positions with a role in administering elections, according to the election watchdog Brennan Center.

Why it matters: As many GOP-led states move to restrict voting rights, and as former President Trump promotes loyalist candidates backing baseless election fraud claims or paths for elected officials to overrule the will of voters, both parties have put outsized focus on getting the "right" people into decision-making posts.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

Georgia fans buying championship apparel at record pace

Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Georgia fans are buying championship gear at a historic rate. 41 years of waiting will do that to you.

Driving the news: Fanatics says it sold more Georgia championship merchandise in the first 24 hours after the Bulldogs' victory than the previous best-selling school (2021 Alabama) sold in the first 30 days.

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

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