Mississippi State is still alive for the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Or at least that’s what the week four rankings showed that were released Tuesday evening. The Bulldogs (9-1, 5-1) are ranked No. 4, after spending the first three weeks as No. 1.
Alabama became the new No. 1, while Oregon was No. 2 and Florida State was No. 3. If the season ended today, the Bulldogs would get a rematch with Alabama in New Orleans, La., in a semifinal game.
“There is so much football still to be played this year,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “We have to worry about trying to beat Vanderbilt this weekend. The playoff committee has their meetings all day Monday. I’m in my game planning meetings all day Monday. I’m more focused on beating Vanderbilt, and I’m sure they’re focused on trying to analyze 128 teams and how they rank those teams.”
The Bulldogs lost this past weekend to the Crimson Tide 25-20, the first loss of the year for Mullen’s team. It was enough to pole vault the Tide from No. 5 to No. 1.
“The committee felt Alabama has been right around that top 4,” College Football Playoff committee chairman Jeff Long said. “With what we consider a decisive win over No. 1 Mississippi State, we really think combined with their body of work put them into the No. 1 position. We feel like Alabama is the most complete team right now.”
MSU quarterback Dak Prescott, who threw three interceptions agains the Tide, said in his postgame comments that he hoped he got another shot at Alabama.
“Our only loss is to the No. 1 team right now,” Prescott said Tuesday. “We’d hate to have a loss, but it it’s to anybody, of course the No. 1 team is the best way to go.”