Hurricanes ranked No. 3 in College Football Playoff poll

Top 4 teams in final rankings will make playoff

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios celebrates a first-quarter touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes are ranked No. 3 in the poll that matters most.

Miami was ranked third behind undefeated Alabama and one-loss Clemson in Tuesday night's College Football Playoff poll.

The Hurricanes (9-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are ranked No. 2 in both The Associated Press and coaches poll after their impressive 41-8 victory over then-No. 3 Notre Dame last weekend. The Fighting Irish, who were previously ranked third in the CFP poll, dropped to eighth.

Miami's rise from No. 7 to third is the largest jump in the history of the CFP rankings.

The top four teams in the final poll will make the playoff. If the Hurricanes win out, they will almost assuredly remain among the top four.

Miami still has games against Virginia, Pittsburgh and Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

Alabama (10-0) moved into the top spot after Georgia, which was ranked No. 1 in the first two CFP rankings, lost to Auburn.

Clemson, which was ranked fourth in last week's CFP rankings, moved up to No. 2 after a 31-14 win against Florida State to clinch the ACC Atlantic Division title.

"They have two road victories that are very impressive to the committee," former University of Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who serves as the CFP selection committee chairman, told ESPN. "Miami's not played a winning team on the road yet, and that's something that has given Clemson a slight edge this week with their performance on the road."

Barring an upset before their meeting in Charlotte, the winner of the ACC title game between Miami and Clemson will likely knock the other team out of the top four.

Oklahoma (9-1) rounds out the top four in the CFP rankings.

Head coach Mark Richt said during Tuesday's news conference that he expected his team to rise.

"No matter where we are, if we keep winning, we'll stay up, maybe move up and, obviously, if we lose, we'll go down," Richt told reporters. "There's at least three more games, I guess, before everything is decided. We have a long way to go yet."

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