Playoff Rankings Preview: Final Debates as the Field Is Cut to Eight

  • Playoff Rankings Preview: Final Debates as the Field Is Cut to Eight

Playoff Rankings Preview: Final Debates as the Field Is Cut to Eight

Georgia has been in the top seven of the College Football Playoff rankings since the first reveal, which came prior to its game against SC. 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.

Georgia gets a rematch with No. 2 Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.

Will Clemson or Oklahoma take Alabama's place atop the rankings? But UCF, the only other unbeaten team in FBS other than Wisconsin, moved up just one spot to No. 14 after beating USF (10-2) last week in a dramatic and thrilling game.

What about Wisconsin? The undefeated Badgers have 10/1 odds to win the national title, right behind the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are 15/2 to win this year's title. Teams on the verge of winning 11 games like Miami and Ohio State also have ugly losses with the Hurricanes recently losing to Pittsburgh and Ohio State losing to Iowa. Good chance that's an SEC team this season with Auburn, Alabama and Georgia all sitting in the top six. Unlike Miami and Ohio State, however, Alabama won't have the luxury of playing an additional game to state its case.

The Tigers (9-3) have moved up steadily in the rankings since the loss November 4 at Alabama by beating Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Miami slipped after taking its first loss of the season last week from No. 2 to seventh, just ahead of Ohio State at eighth.

No. 1 Clemson and No. 7 Miami will meet in the ACC title game, while No. 2 Auburn faces No. 6 Georgia in the SEC title game with winners from both expected to wind up in the top four.

The final CFP rankings will be released 11:30 a.m. CT Sunday.

The Nittany Lions are followed by USC, the highest-ranked team from the Pac-12. That game will be a rematch of a September 9 USC victory at the Coliseum.

No. 11 Southern California (minus 4) vs. Even as conference champions, a one-loss Alabama or two-loss Ohio State would stand a better chance to make the top four.

A win on Saturday would likely vault either the Trojans or Horned Frogs over Penn State.

Auburn and No. 6 Georgia will square off Saturday in the SEC championship game, with the victor assured a spot in the playoff. Alabama is the only team in that group not playing in its conference championship game. Maybe Notre Dame could move up and in if some of its previous opponents play well this weekend.

So how would these rankings shake out if they were to hold?

What is a conference championship worth? Alabama began in 2014 at No. 6, then No. 5, then No. 5.

If Ohio State and/or TCU win, then the final spot - or spots - gets tricky. Georgia checked in at No. 6. The goal for UCF is clear right now, because the victor of the AAC title game against Memphis will secure a New Year's Six bowl spot. Michigan State (9-3), 17.