What to look for tonight in CFB Playoff Rankings

Jessica Allison
November 30, 2017

The top four teams in the final rankings will make the College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs moved up after Miami lost to Pittsburgh and Alabama stayed ahead of Georgia after its 26-14 loss to Auburn.

Are the Oklahoma Sooners now the team to beat in college football? With conference title hardware on its side this year, Ohio State would be able to make a strong case. The Spartans also improved from 1-8 to 7-2 in conference play. Those two losses hold Ohio State back against Alabama even though the Buckeyes would have two wins against top 10 teams while Alabama's best win will be against an LSU team hovering in the middle of the top 25 at best.

"If all goes as planned with Clemson and Oklahoma winning, you take the victor of the SEC over Alabama and then if Wisconsin wins you have to take a conference champion". The Big 12 championship game could join that group if the selection committee's rankings on Tuesday night elevate TCU into the top 10 as the AP top 25 did this week.

The Miami Hurricanes have dropped out of the top four in the penultimate College Football Playoff poll.

If Georgia had beaten Auburn, Alabama would have clinched the SEC West before the Iron Bowl.

The Knights play Memphis, the committee's 20th-ranked team, on Saturday for the AAC championship. Oklahoma at 11-1 lost at home to Iowa State, Clemson at 11-1 lost on the road to Syracuse, and Georgia, which is also 11-1, lost at Auburn. From there, an ironclad top seven fills with Alabama (11-1), Georgia (11-1) and Miami (Fla.) (10-1). Because No. 10 USC, the projected Pac-12 champ in this ranking, can't go to its traditional spot in the Rose Bowl, it would most likely face No. 8 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. There are not enough earths in the multiverse to comprehend a world in which an undefeated Big Ten champion would not be included in a four-team College Football Playoff, no matter what you think about Wisconsin (and by the way, they're pretty good).

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Penn State is the one team out of the playoff race but fairly well locked into a New Year's Six spot. If TCU beats Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, it's almost unfathomable that the Horned Frogs move all the way up from No. 11.

The possibility of Clemson losing to Miami but getting into the playoff anyway is on the table.

That ranking prompted this tweet from UCF athletic director Danny White: "You've got to be kidding me!" The Trojans and Frogs have similar resumes now, and a win over No. 3 Oklahoma might give TCU more ammunition to make a jump.

The only way Alabama could get in over Ohio State, because it's not going to on paper, is if the committee just said - the coaches in the room looked around and said, "I wouldn't want to play them".

The next highest-ranked team available is No. 6 Georgia, which makes sense for the nearby Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The lack of a marquee nonconference win - their game against Georgia Tech was canceled, although that wouldn't have helped much anyway - has hurt them, and they're far out of the conversation.

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