New Playoff Top 25: What We Learned

New Playoff Top 25: What We Learned

New Playoff Top 25: What We Learned

Maybe nothing the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee says before Championship Weekend means anything.

It has had to make its mere seven wins against Power Five teams count, and that it has, throttling both Georgia and Alabama, the only two teams to rank No. 1 so far this season.

We'll believe that only after the final rankings are released.

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. Win and you're in 3. But Wisconsin at No. 5 would reduce the chances of the Buckeyes jumping the Tide with a win.

At this point, Alabama needs chaos on championship Saturday. Miami dropped to No. 7 in the rankings after said loss, and it's not scripture that they would leapfrog the Tide. Miami: Win and you're in 8.

Baker Mayfield's last chance to give someone else the opportunity to win the Heisman Trophy. Oklahoma plays No. 11 TCU in Arlington, Texas, in the Big 12 title game.

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

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The final two spots could be simple.

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So, the gaps are nearly impossible but we found them, most of the time, and that's why I'm so, so pleased. Set pieces, long balls, second balls, this type of game - we have to handle that".

With that established, here's what we'll be talking about after Tuesday's reveal.

The Pac-12 appears to be locked out of the playoff so it is a safe bet that the victor of its championship game between Stanford and Southern California (10-2) winds up in the Fiesta Bowl. Could two make it? The series was dominated by the SEC as the conference racked up nine National Championships in that time frame.

Clemson climbed to No. 1. The committee can't go wrong either way. Not only did the Tigers have a compelling stash of wins already, but they added to it last weekend with their 34-10 nonconference blasting of SC, which had debuted in the rankings last week at No. 24. A win by TCU may not have a similar outcome, however, and the Horned Frogs may be lined up for a spot in the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12 champion to take on the Pac-12 champion.

This debate has stakes, too. The first team out isn't the worst place to be right now.

We're getting into some very tall weeds that probably won't have to be whacked, but that's why we watch this silly sport.

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. Auburn previously beat Georgia when the Bulldogs were No. 1.

More: Where will Michigan State wind up for bowl game? One of the reasons the Buckeyes made the field past year but Big Ten-champion Penn State did not was a blowout loss for the Nittany Lions. The other Orange Bowl spot goes to the highest-ranked team from the Southeastern Conference or Big Ten not in the playoff.

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