What to look for tonight in CFB Playoff Rankings

Arnold Nichols
November 30, 2017

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. It will be a rematch of a game handedly won by Auburn just a few weeks ago, but the victor is practically guaranteed to get one of the four available spots in this year's College Football Playoff. No. 3 Oklahoma will need to prevail over No. 11 TCU in the return of the Big 12 title game to get in, while No. 4 Wisconsin will face off with No. 8 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game as the Buckeyes hope to do enough to potentially sneak into the field. Auburn lost to No. 1 Clemson and No. 17 LSU on the road, but it owns double-digit wins over No. 5 Alabama and No. 6 Georgia that are far superior to anything that Wisconsin has accomplished. From there, an ironclad top seven fills with Alabama (11-1), Georgia (11-1) and Miami (Fla.) (10-1).

The Playoff was instituted in 2014 and has yet to feature two teams from the same conference in a single Playoff.

All that could change with Auburn and Georgia playing Saturday for the SEC championship and Wisconsin and Ohio State playing Saturday for the Big 10 title.

The only thing the other potential two-loss contenders, such as Ohio State, TCU or Southern California, would have on Clemson is a conference title.

The final rankings are set to be revealed at 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN.

When College Football Playoff rankings are released, Alabama could be in uncharted waters

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. 1 team in a span of three weeks as well as the conference championship. That's your current top four. Ohio State would be coming off four straight wins and a highly-valued conference championship, but one of its two losses was an unexpected beatdown at the hands of a lesser team. They got a lot of flak for it previous year, especially after Ohio State got crushed by Clemson.

Another wild card in the batch would be Auburn, No. 6 last weekend, but capable of turning up just about anywhere north of that tonight. Ohio State would own a conference championship, but Oklahoma decisively beat the Buckeyes in Columbus on September 9. Unfortunately, we get a little caught up in the madness sometimes and lose sight of the game itself. 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 Orange Bowl matches the top non-playoff team from the ACC against the top non-playoff team from the Big Ten, SEC and Notre Dame. 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.

The next highest-ranked team available is No. 6 Georgia, which makes sense for the nearby Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

Orange Bowl: No. 7 Miami vs.


Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER