UCF, a victor over in-state rival USF in a high-scoring thriller Saturday, is the highest-ranked Group of 5 school and sits at No. 14 with designs on a New Year's Day bowl game.
Second, there's the matter of the comparable weakness of the wins Alabama does have. The Spartans also improved from 1-8 to 7-2 in conference play. Would that be enough to drop the defending national champions all the way out of the top four? Alabama easily has the best loss compared to Miami and Ohio State. According to Anderson, no SEC team would rank in the top three heading into Championship Weekend.
Anyone in the top seven will make the playoff with a win.. The intrigue would start if Oklahoma and/or Wisconsin lose. They have the ability to make the committee's job easy. That could give the Tigers a trump card on Alabama, which just lost to Auburn.
Georgia gets a rematch with No. 2 Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. "I know they lost to Auburn, but they're just that good." .
No. 7 Miami is close to a lock with a win.
The educated guess here is the committee would go with the Tide, not unlike its choice of the one-loss Buckeyes last season when Penn State beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten title. That's not a resume that would get left out. Meanwhile, Alabama is ranked No. 5 and could stand to move up should another team in the top four fall this weekend. Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0) is coming off a 31-0 win over Minnesota, and is the only remaining Power Five unbeaten team.
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Why, yes, these two teams did just play last week.
The Big 12 and Big Ten championship games are responsible for potential chaos..
In other words, Alabama's position would have been better if they were facing a lesser Auburn team that had lost to Georgia, as the Tide would have still controlled their own destiny. You beat Ohio State, you're in the playoff. Auburn (10-2) is number two and Oklahoma (11-1) is third. Those three wins - plus a conference championship - would all be better than anything that current No. 5 Alabama has accomplished. Unlike Miami and Ohio State, however, Alabama won't have the luxury of playing an additional game to state its case. Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield & Co. boast victories against Ohio State, Oklahoma State and TCU and a not-as-bad loss to Iowa State.
Head-to-head results could complicate matters.. UCF is the highest scoring team in the country, but Hocutt said overall strength of schedule and some defensive shortcomings were holding back UCF. It is important to remember that the committee's protocol states when teams are similar conference titles should be used as essentially a tiebreaker. Michigan State (9-3), 17.
A two-loss Clemson will still be in the conversation..
That ranking prompted this tweet from UCF athletic director Danny White: "You've got to be kidding me!" The committee clearly likes Clemson. The Crimson Tide's resume has no wins against teams now in the top 15 and it is done playing, but the Buckeyes have two losses by double digits, including a 31-point blowout at Iowa.
The final two spots could be simple.
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This feels like an especially notable moment, because it's the type of thing that would never happen in national championship conversation before the playoff.
The Crimson Tide (11-1) fell to No. 5 after suffering their first loss of the season. With a four-team field, the committee has room to act like this.
With No. 10 USC and No. 11 TCU staring up at the other contenders, they look like extreme long shots.
A win on Saturday would likely vault either the Trojans or Horned Frogs over Penn State. Win and you're in 3. 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.
Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Clemson vs. Not very many teams are able to do that.
The AAC victor is probably going to the Peach Bowl.
The Spartans also came in at No. 16 last week before beating Rutgers over the weekend. Let's look at a more likely scenario.
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