BY KEVIN CONNELL
Blowout victories helped Navy and Virginia Tech find their way into the second-to-last College Football Playoff rankings of the season released Tuesday.
For the Hokies, it’s the third time in five weeks they have placed in the College Football Playoff rankings. Two weeks ago, they dropped out after ranking as high as No. 14 after the first two weeks of the rankings.
The Midshipmen, then at No. 25, were ranked for the first time last week.
Both Navy and Virginia Tech will play in their conference championship games this week. The Midshipmen host the AAC Championship Game against Temple in Annapolis and the Hokies play No. 3 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game in Orlando.
Additionally, the Midshipmen and Hokies will play in bowl games, which will be announced no later than this Sunday when the final College Football Playoff rankings are released. The top four after the final week of rankings will play in a four-team playoff to determine the national champion.
Along with Clemson, Alabama at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2 and Washington at No. 4 make up the current top four. The Crimson Tide is the defending national champions and the Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014.
In the most recent AP and coaches polls released Sunday, Virginia Tech was No. 19 (AP) and No. 18 (coaches), while Navy was No. 20 in both.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS
2. Ohio State
7. Penn State
10. Oklahoma State
12. Florida State
16. West Virginia
17. Western Michigan
23. Virginia Tech