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Alabama slips to No. 5 spot in fifth ranking of 2017

Alabama slips to No. 5 spot in fifth ranking of 2017”

Should the No. 8 Buckeyes beat No. 4 Wisconsin to win the Big Ten title, the committee would have to decide whether their résumé - with a conference title and two losses, including to Iowa - is enough to catapult them ahead of one-loss Alabama. 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. 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.

Ohio State would finish as 11-2 Big Ten champions.

With the SEC champ and ACC champ in, let's say Oklahoma wins the Big 12 to stay in the top four and Ohio State doesn't just win the Big Ten title but throttles undefeated Wisconsin to do so.

Clemson also will face Miami for the ACC title and Oklahoma faces No. 11 TCU for the Big 12 title. The final rankings will be released Sunday at 9 a.m. on ESPN. The Hurricanes last won a national title in the 2001 season.

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.

Wisconsin's schedule is actually a case worse than Alabama's, with zero Power Five nonconference wins and a Power Five set of victims who have gone 50-58, but the Badgers are expected to ride their distinction as the lone unbeaten into the magic four of the penultimate playoff rankings. 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. Wisconsin at No. 4 slightly improves the odds for Ohio State if they take down the Badgers. Then again, if both Ohio State and TCU win, perhaps the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide will both make the playoff. One of the reasons the Buckeyes made the field previous year but Big Ten-champion Penn State did not was a blowout loss for the Nittany Lions.

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A win on Saturday would likely vault either the Trojans or Horned Frogs over Penn State. An 11-2 Pac-12 champion USC?

Maybe they were just words and not a warning. 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 national semifinals are set for January 1, at 4 p.m.at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and at 7:45 p.m.at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The Spartans also came in at No. 16 last week before beating Rutgers over the weekend. The Huskies entered last week's Apple Cup ranked 17th, four spots behind rival Washington State, but Washington's decisive 41-14 victory lifted the Huskies to No. 13 and dropped the Cougars to No. 18. Georgia checked in at No. 6.

No. 2 Oklahoma (minus 7) vs.



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