Alabama down, but not out, in College Football Playoff race

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The system would rank Wisconsin and Clemson as No. 1 and No. 2 with Auburn, Georgia, and Alabama on the outside looking in. Auburn would become the first two-loss team to play in the playoff but that would be because they beat two teams ranked No. 1 by the committee in November, and a second win against a Georgia team the committee rightfully respects as much as they do is a nice final push into the playoff should Auburn win.

"The committee will also look at quality wins and the skeptics against Alabama could argue that the Crimson Tide's schedule was rather light in 2017 with their only marquee wins coming against LSU and Mississippi State".

Alabama, who lost to Auburn this past Saturday, slipped from first to fifth this week, while Georgia is sixth.

Each of the top four teams plays a conference title game this Saturday against another highly ranked team, creating potential play-in playoff games. Alabama should root for Wisconsin to win if TCU beats Oklahoma earlier in the day. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

UW faces No. 8 Ohio State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) at 7:17 p.m. Saturday in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. One of the reasons the Buckeyes made the field a year ago but Big Ten-champion Penn State did not was a blowout loss for the Nittany Lions.

The final two spots could be simple. Virginia Tech (22nd) and NC State (24th) are the only other ACC teams in the ranking and the Tigers defeated both of those squads earlier in the season.

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"This group has earned the right to have the opportunity to play in the Big Ten championship", he said. U-M (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten) will learn its bowl game fate on Sunday. 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.

Alabama vs. Ohio State is the argument to end all arguments, and it will be close. Let's say Oklahoma wins and takes the third spot along with the SEC and ACC champs. 1 team in three weeks - Auburn climbed to No. 2, despite owning two losses. Penn State (10-2), 10. Ohio State would own a conference championship, but Oklahoma decisively beat the Buckeyes in Columbus on September 9. Clemson was No. 1 in every poll in 2015 before losing in the National Championship game to Alabama.

Also keep in mind that Clemson beat Auburn on September 9, too, and they would have the same records if Clemson lost to Miami and Auburn beat Georgia. Probably Cotton Bowl for them or maybe Fiesta if Stanford wins the Pac-12.

No. 10 USC and No. 11 TCU are still hoping to be a part of the conversation.

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The Orange Bowl is guaranteed the ACC champion, but with projected champion Clemson in a semifinal, it would choose the next highest-ranked ACC team, which is No. 7 Miami.

Clemson would go to New Orleans because, as the No. 1 team, it would get the most favorable geographic position. Alabama football needs an Oklahoma loss to make the field if Wisconsin wins.

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