BY KEVIN CONNELL
Virginia Tech’s third loss of the season caused the Hokies to fall far in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night.
After losing for the third time this season in a 30-20 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, Virginia Tech (7-3, 5-2 ACC) dropped out of the rankings. The Hokies were ranked No. 14 and No. 19 during the first two College Football Playoff rankings of the season the past two weeks.
Virginia Tech also fell out of both the AP and coaches poll on Sunday following its loss to the Yellow Jackets.
The Hokies, in their first season under coach Justin Fuente, can still win the ACC Coastal Division title to advance to the ACC Championship Game if they beat Virginia at home on Nov. 26. North Carolina – who Virginia Tech beat head to head earlier this season – could also clinch the division for the Hokies if it loses to NC State on Nov. 25.
Virginia Tech travels to face Notre Dame this Saturday before its regular-season finale against the Cavaliers the following week.
The Hokies’ fall in the rankings comes in the same week five top-10 teams – including three in the top four – lost. Clemson, Michigan, Washington, Texas A&M and Auburn all suffered defeats this past Saturday, though neither Michigan nor Clemson moved far – if at all.
Overall, Alabama, one of two remaining undefeated FBS teams along with Western Michigan, remained No. 1, with Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson rounding out the top four in that order. The top four teams in the final ranking on Dec. 4 will meet in the College Football Playoff.
The rankings were announced on ESPN.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS
2. Ohio State
8. Penn State
11. Oklahoma State
14. West Virginia
17. Florida State
20. Boise State
21. Western Michigan
22. Washington State
25. Texas A&M