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Northwestern jumps to No. 16 in Week 12 College Football Playoff rankings

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Northwestern has risen to No. 16 in the Week 12 College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday night.

The Wildcats moved up four spots from last week's No. 20 ranking after a 13-7 win at previously-25th-ranked Wisconsin. Northwestern won in controversial fashion, but dominated defensively and forced five Badger turnovers.

Northwestern benefited from not only its own win, but also from losses by Houston, TCU, LSU and Utah. All four dropped below NU in the rankings.

Sixteenth is the highest the Wildcats have ever reached in the College Football Playoff rankings, which are in their second year of existence.

The Wildcats (9-2, 5-2), are now the fourth-highest ranked two-loss team, behind Stanford (whom NU beat in Week 1), Michigan (to whom NU lost in Week 6) and Florida State.

The Wildcats would need to finish the season in the College Football Playoff rankings top 11 (or top 12 if the highest-ranked Group of Five team is in the top 11) to reach a New Year's Six Bowl. If they don't, they look destined for the Outback Bowl.

Northwestern came in at No. 17 in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll following Week 12.

Credit: CollegeFootballPlayoff.com

Credit: CollegeFootballPlayoff.com