CFP Rankings: Finally, unbeaten UW Huskies are in the top 4

Nov 21, 2023, 4:18 PM | Updated: 6:46 pm

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr. Rome Odunze NFL Draft...

QB Michael Penix Jr. and WR Rome Odunze celebrate a touchdown against Utah. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The unbeaten UW Huskies have finally shown the College Football Playoff committee what it wanted to see to put them in the top four of the CFP rankings.

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After Saturday’s 22-20 victory over then-No. 11 Oregon State, the 11-0 Huskies are the new No. 4 team in this week’s CFP rankings, which were released Tuesday afternoon. That’s a big deal, because only the top four teams in the rankings at the end of the regular season will be included in the bracket to determine the 2023-24 national champions.

The Huskies, led by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and star wide receiver Rome Odunze, are one of five undefeated teams left in the country, and they have arguably the best résumé of any. The reason? Head coach Kalen DeBoer’s Dawgs have the best strength of record thanks to four wins over opponents ranked in the top 25 by the Associated Press at the time of the game, with all four coming over the last six weeks, including each of Washington’s last three games.

Click here to see this week’s CFP rankings

Not only that, but UW may have the best win of any team this season. The Dawgs took down current No. 6 Oregon 36-33 on Oct. 14. Because the top five teams are all undefeated and Oregon has just one loss, that means no other team in the country has beaten an opponent with a higher current ranking.

Washington also owns a win over Arizona, who were unranked at the time but are now No. 15 in the CFP.

The UW Huskies overtake No. 4 in this week’s CFP rankings from Florida State, which moves down to No. 5. The Seminoles, who beat North Alabama 58-13 last Saturday, have wins over two ranked opponents this season: then-No. 5 LSU, and then-No. 16 Duke. FSU could get a boost in the rankings if it finishes the next two weeks undefeated, though, with a rivalry game at Florida this week followed by a huge matchup against No. 10 Louisville on Dec. 2 in the ACC Championship.

Of note with the Seminoles, they have lost quarterback Jordan Travis for the season to a leg injury suffered last Saturday, though Tate Rodemaker played well after taking over at QB for FSU in the win over North Alabama.

Washington wraps up the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday in the annual Apple Cup when it hosts rival Washington State (5-6), which needs a win to clinch bowl eligibility. WSU Radio Network coverage of the game will be carried on Seattle Sports 710 AM and the Seattle Sports app beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday with the pregame show.

Following that, the Huskies will have a monumental game in Las Vegas on Friday, Nov. 1 when they play in the Pac-12 Championship. Washington will either have a bitter rematch against Oregon (10-1) or face off again with Arizona (8-3), who they beat 31-24 in Tuscon on Sept. 30.

The Huskies, who made the CFP once before in 2016, are making a bid to become the first team to go undefeated through the entire Pac-12 football schedule since it expanded to 12 member schools in 2011.

Tuesday’s CFP rankings are the fourth to be released this season, with the weekly rankings debuting on Oct. 31. Georgia remains the No. 1 team in the country for the second straight week after overtaking Ohio State the prior Tuesday. Ohio State and Michigan follow at second and third, respectively. Only one of the two bitter rivals will make it through the weekend undefeated, though, as the Buckeyes travel to Michigan Stadium on Saturday to play the Wolverines.

The CFP will begin Monday, Jan. 1 with the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl serving as the national semifinal games. The CFP National Championship will take place the following Monday, Jan. 8 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

More on UW Huskies and CFP rankings

Were UW Huskies at risk of being snubbed again in CFP rankings?
UW Huskies finally convince AP voters they’re CFP material
Apple Cup Lives On: UW, WSU agree to play through 2028
Caple’s Takeaways: No. 4 UW Huskies get important win over OSU
Undefeated UW Huskies clinch spot in Pac-12 Championship game

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CFP Rankings: Finally, unbeaten UW Huskies are in the top 4