Alabama rolls to No. 1 in playoff rankings

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims throws as he works through drills during an Alabama NCAA college football practice, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)

Alabama is the new No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and Mississippi State remains in the top four after losing to the Crimson Tide.

Alabama jumped from fifth to first after handing previously undefeated and top-ranked Mississippi State its first loss on Saturday. Oregon was bumped down to second and unbeaten Florida State is now third. The Seminoles are the only undefeated team left in a Big Five conference.

TCU slipped to No. 5 while Ohio State moved up to No. 6, ahead of TCU’s Big 12 rival Baylor and Mississippi.

UCLA and Georgia rounded out the top 10.

Selection committee chairman Jeff Long said Alabama controlled the game in its 25-20 victory against Mississippi State enough to earn the big promotion this week.

Alabama led by two scores in the fourth quarter and Mississippi State cut the lead to five with a touchdown with 15 seconds left.

Long referred to game control a few times this week. It’s not a metric used by the committee but a subjective discussion about how the game was played.

TCU rallied for a 34-30 victory against Kansas, and Long noted how the Horned Frogs’ inability to control the game against struggling team negatively affected their resume.

Long also said a second straight road victory for Ohio State, this one against Minnesota after beating Michigan State the week before, helped the Buckeyes move up two spots. Still, an early season home loss to Virginia Tech is still a mark against Ohio State.

“While they have certainly added to their resume and shown they are a better team, it doesn’t erase that loss,” Long said of the Buckeyes.

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