The College Football Playoff picture is finally starting to take shape.
The Top Four teams in last weeks playoff rankings should remain unchanged.
The Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) are the Big-Ten Champions, so they’re pretty much in right now. Clemson (12-0), Alabama (11-1), and Iowa (12-0) also emerged from the flames of Rivalry Week victorious, and one step closer to solidifying their current spots.
Championship Week is up next, and with only one week left in the regular season, teams currently outside of the Top Four are hoping for some loses and a few miracles.
TEAMS TRENDING UP: Ohio State (11-1), Stanford (10-2), North Carolina (11-1)
These three teams are making a late push to try and sneak their way into the Top 4. They managed to stick their foot in the door with wins over the weekend, but each will need a little help to push it wide open.
Ohio State declawed the previously ranked No. 10 Michigan Wolverines 42 to 13, ruining their playoff hopes in the process, but their one loss to Michigan State (11-1) means no Big Ten Championship for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State would need Alabama or Clemson to lose, and Stanford to lose to be seriously considered.
Stanford’s 38 to 36 win over previously ranked No. 6 Notre Dame puts them in great shape to get in. If Stanford wins the Pac-12 Championship by beating USC (8-4), they would theoretically be next in line if Clemson or Alabama loses, and would shut the door on Ohio State.
A Clemson loss to North Carolina would also put the Tar Heels into consideration, but they’ve played two FCS teams season.
“[If they beat Clemson] I would be in favor of putting North Carolina in there,” ESPN analyst Danny Kanell said. “but I don’t think that’s what the committee would look at because they’ve already criticized North Carolina’s schedule.”
Those FCS games is hurting their strength of schedule, and makes it unlikely for the committee to push them ahead of Stanford or even Ohio State; however, unlikely doesn’t mean impossible.
“You’re telling me you’re going to leave a 12 and 1 ACC champion with a monster win against Clemson out, over Ohio State, who didn’t win their conference?!”, said SEC Network Football Analyst Booger McFarland.
TEAMS TRENDING DOWN: Notre Dame (10-2), Florida (10-2), Oklahoma State (10-2), Baylor (9-2)
This one is easy to explain. They all lost, and now have no chance of making it into the Top Four.
Be that as it may, Florida can still play an important role in the playoffs as a spoiler by upsetting Alabama in the SEC Championship this weekend, eliminating the SEC from playoff contention in the process.
The fifth edition of this season’s College Football Playoff rankings will be released at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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