Nick Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban puts his team through its first preseason practice Friday. Photo by Kent Gidley

TUSCALOOSA — Like Alabama junior safety Xavier McKinney said after Saturday’s disappointing 46-41 loss to new-No. 1 LSU — the Crimson Tide isn’t done yet. Not by a long shot.

Following its first home defeat since 2015, Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC) dropped just two spots to No. 5 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, remaining in prime position to finish with a coveted Top-4 playoff seed with three weekends left in the regular season.

The top-ranked Tigers (9-0, 5-0 SEC) overtook Ohio State for the No. 1 spot following its fourth Top-10 win of the season, moving ahead of the No. 2 Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big 10) despite their 73-14 blowout of Maryland last weekend. Meanwhile, reigning national champion Clemson (10-0, 7-0 ACC) jumped two spots to No. 3 after rolling over N.C. State, 55-10, last Saturday.

SEC East-leading Georgia (8-1, 5-1 SEC), which shut out Missouri 27-0 last weekend, slid into the No. 4 spot ahead of its annual Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry game at No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2 SEC) on Saturday. The Bulldogs already have two Top-20 wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16 Notre Dame, compared to just one for Alabama in no-longer-ranked Texas A&M.

The Crimson Tide, the consensus No. 4 team in both the Associated Press Top-25 and USA Today Coaches polls Sunday, was considered the nation’s second one-loss team behind Georgia as voted on by the 13-member Playoff committee.

Minnesota (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten), fresh off its impressive 31-26 win over former No. 4 Penn State (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) last Saturday, jumped nine spots from No. 17 to get into the Playoff discussion at No. 8. The Nittany Lions fell to No. 9 after the loss.

One-loss Pac-12 leaders Oregon and Utah, which appear destined for a date in the Pac-12 championship game in December, stood pat at No. 6 and 7, respectively, while Big 12 power Oklahoma rounded out the Top 10.

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