Alabama and Clemson are the top two seeds in the latest round of the College Football Rankings.
The teams that have met in the previous two national championship games are in familiar spots after victories in Week 12. Neither of them were pretty, however. Alabama beat Mississippi State on the road while Clemson pulled away late from a struggling Florida State team.
Miami, which blew out previous No. 3 Notre Dame, jumped up to No. 3. The Hurricanes vaulted over Oklahoma, which sits at No. 4. The Sooners moved up a spot after beating then-No. 6 TCU.
Georgia, who was at No. 1 in the previous CFP rankings, fell to No. 7 after losing to Auburn. The Tigers are at No. 6 behind undefeated Wisconsin.
The prevailing thought before the rankings reveal was that Oklahoma and Miami would both leap over Clemson because of the quality of their victories on Saturday. And the fact that Miami is undefeated. That didn’t happen.
College Football Playoff committee chair Kirby Hocutt said on ESPN’s rankings show that the committee valued Clemson’s strength of schedule more. The Tigers have wins over Auburn, NC State and Virginia Tech as well as road wins over teams with winning records.
We also think the committee is giving Clemson’s loss to Syracuse a boost. The game vs. the Orange happened on the road on a Friday night and Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant started the game with an injured ankle. After suffering a concussion in the first half, Bryant missed the rest of the game.
Miami’s best road win is a four-point win over the same Seminoles team Clemson beat Saturday. But part of that is because the ACC Coastal Division is so weak.
The Badgers are the wild card in these rankings. Wisconsin hosts No. 24 Michigan on Saturday and will also go to the Big Ten championship game. Meanwhile, Clemson and Miami will meet each other in the ACC championship game. A loss for one of the ACC teams will open the door for the Badgers to jump into the top four. Assuming Wisconsin stays undefeated.
Meanwhile, Alabama and Oklahoma will (likely) stay in the top four as long as they keep winning. Auburn, which has two losses, could move up into the top four if it does as well. The Tigers play Alabama in two weeks and would get a rematch against Georgia with a win over the Tide.
8. Notre Dame
9. Ohio State
10. Penn State
13. Oklahoma State
14. Washington State
15. Central Florida
16. Mississippi State
17. Michigan State
19. NC State
25. Boise State
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