Hurricanes drop out of top 4 in College Football Playoff poll

Sheri Evans
November 30, 2017

Clemson is the No. 1 ranked team in the College Football Playoff Poll released Tuesday evening by the CFP Committee.

UCF, a victor over in-state rival USF in a high-scoring thriller Saturday, is the highest-ranked Group of 5 school and sits at No. 14 with designs on a New Year's Day bowl game.

The Tigers moved up to No. 1 in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday night.

In the ACC, a similar scenario is on the line for Clemson and Miami.

Second, there's the matter of the comparable weakness of the wins Alabama does have.

Two ACC teams in the playoff puts the next highest-ranked team from that conference in the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma and Wisconsin round out the top four. A Tigers loss in the SEC title game makes things more hard, but doesn't automatically knock Alabama out of the running.

Big Ten: No. 4 Wisconsin vs.

Alabama's chances of making the playoff seem bleak at the moment, but crazier things have happened in college football. A win and Georgia is in the field of four in all logical likelihood.

No. 6 Georgia is a lock if it avenges its previous loss to Auburn. 1 team in a span of three weeks as well as the conference championship. That's a no-doubt playoff resume. Miami: Win and you're in 8. In this case that will probably be the loser of the conference title game between Clemson and Miami. The first team out isn't the worst place to be right now.

At this point, Alabama needs chaos on championship Saturday. Those two losses hold Ohio State back against Alabama even though the Buckeyes would have two wins against top 10 teams while Alabama's best win will be against an LSU team hovering in the middle of the top 25 at best. So the stakes are still high in the Big 12 championship game.

But what if Ohio State wins? The 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes are a special group!

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"If all goes as planned with Clemson and Oklahoma winning, you take the victor of the SEC over Alabama and then if Wisconsin wins you have to take a conference champion". Let's look at the Tide's likely positions and what each will mean.

One of those teams is not like the others in a potentially significant way. MSU (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten) finished its regular season with a 40-7 win over Rutgers on Saturday.

If Ohio State and/or TCU win, then the final spot - or spots - gets tricky.

Head-to-head results could complicate matters.

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"And when it's all said and done, if you're in Wisconsin right now you have what you want". Ohio State would own a conference championship, but Oklahoma decisively beat the Buckeyes in Columbus on September 9.

The third-ranked Sooners will be locked in a rematch for their conference title game as Oklahoma will face TCU for the Big 12 championship.

A two-loss Clemson will still be in the conversation.

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How does Alabama get back in? The committee clearly likes Clemson. Auburn previously beat Georgia when the Bulldogs were No. 1. Auburn and Oklahoma are the only two teams with two wins over teams which will appear in the top 10 this week. The Sooners' spot is not guaranteed, though, as a loss to the No. 11 Horned Frogs on Saturday could send them tumbling out of the CFP semifinals. Alabama also must hope the committee values the Crimson Tide's 11 wins over a potential two-loss conference champion.

"It's unbelievable", ESPN analyst Booger McFarland said Tuesday night after the top four were revealed. Unfortunately, we get a little caught up in the madness sometimes and lose sight of the game itself. Southern California (10-2), 11. We'll find out the weight of those conference championships. A win over Stanford would give USC two wins over the Cardinal.

Maybe they were just words and not a warning. The defending national champions enter the ACC championship game with just one loss.

Peach Bowl: No. 14 UCF vs. Notre Dame (9-3), 16. That said, if one of those teams does slip up, then the Crimson Tide will be sitting in that No. 5 spot in the rankings waiting to stake their claim to move up into the Top 4. But what about the rest of that New Year's Six bowl lineup?

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