Breakdown: Will No. 4 UW rise in CFP rankings after Apple Cup?

Nov 25, 2023, 5:56 PM | Updated: 7:54 pm

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Michael Penix Jr...

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. reacts after a first down on Nov. 25, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The UW Huskies have survived the Apple Cup, and attention will soon turn to the CFP rankings. A week after moving into one of the four spots that will make up the College Football Playoff, could they be primed to rise even higher?

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Washington (12-0) entered Saturday’s rivalry game against WSU at the No. 4 team in the country. While the last-second 24-21 victory over a 5-7 team may not sound like the makings for a bump up the rankings, there is something else to consider.

In another big rivalry week matchup, No. 3 Michigan took down No. 2 Ohio State 30-24. That means UW is one of four undefeated teams left in the country, one less than before as Ohio State suffered its first loss. So having already overtaken Florida State last week in the eyes of the CFP committee, Washington seems the probable No. 3 team when the new rankings come out Tuesday afternoon.

The top four teams in the CFP rankings after next weekend will make up the bracket to determine the 2023-24 college football national championship.

Florida State is worth keeping an eye on, as the 12-0 Seminoles had a tough time Saturday night against their own rival, Florida. Even though Florida State pulled away from the Gators (5-7) in the fourth quarter for a 24-15 win, Washington likely still has the edge when you consider those two teams’ next matchups.

The UW Huskies will meet No. 6 Oregon, whose only loss came at the hands of the Dawgs, in the Pac-12 Championship in Las Vegas on Friday. Florida State will be in the ACC Championship next Saturday against No. 9 Louisville, which is set to fall in the rankings after being upset this weekend by Kentucky.

If the Seminoles and Huskies end the season with the same record, at least Washington will have the claim of a stronger opponent in its conference championship game. And as proven by the most recent CFP rankings, the UW Huskies have the better résumé going into next week.

We will get an idea of what the CFP will do this week when the latest Associated Press college football top 25 poll is released late Sunday morning.

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Breakdown: Will No. 4 UW rise in CFP rankings after Apple Cup?