- The top five hasn't changed, so what's there to talk about? The latest playoff rankings set us up for three huge top-10 matchups this week and plenty of more intrigue in the event a current playoff four squad falters.
As for the teams the committee chose for the next few spots, we have plenty to talk about. So what stood out the most from the latest CFP rankings? (Note: We already detailed how Auburn could go nuts and upend the playoff field, so we'll focus on other scenarios.)
MIAMI vs. TCU/OKLAHOMA IS A FUN SUBPLOT
Miami jumped fellow undefeated and out-of-the-top-tier Wisconsin in this week's rankings to land at No. 7, while TCU moved up one spot ahead of the Canes to No. 6. Oklahoma remains No. 5. Saturday night will decide these three teams' fates as the Canes take on No. 3 Notre Dame and the Horned Frog and Sooners battle for the Big 12's top spot.
For argument's sake, let's say the TCU-Oklahoma winner wins out and Miami ends up with a loss but wins the ACC. Who would the committee rank higher? These are their remaining schedules.
Miami: No. 3 Notre Dame, Virginia, Pitt, potential ACC title game likely vs. No. 4 Clemson
TCU: No. 5 Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Baylor, potential Big 12 title game vs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Oklahoma: No. 6 TCU, Kansas, West Virginia, potential Big 12 title game vs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Further chaos could make this Miami vs. the Big 12 narrative moot, but it's an interesting thought right now.
Wait, but Clemson is ahead of all three and controls its own destiny, you say. That 's true, but things may get dicey for the Tigers...
CLEMSON'S SCHEDULE IS SET UP FOR A POTENTIAL FALL IN THE RANKINGS
Look, the Tigers are No. 4. win out and they're mostly likely in. However, their pre-ACC Championship schedule is pretty meh with Florida State, Citadel and South Carolina left. Advanced stats give Clemson a 62% probability of winning those three games. But as those other teams' rèsumès above show, it's not entirely out of the question that the next two or three rankings will see the defending national champions fall out of the top four.
Maybe it won't matter in the end, but if there's a 12-1 Clemson sitting there on Selection Sunday having to contend with fellow one-loss teams from power conferences and/or Notre Dame, it won't look as simple as it may today.
WASHINGTON IS VERY MUCH IN THE CONVERSATION
"The Pac-12 is NOT making the playoff!" we all yelled last week. That doesn't exactly look like the smartest take now.
Currently ranked No. 9, Washington would certainly need help to end up in the committee's final four. But then again, every year of the playoff has had at least one team that simply did what it had to do and benefited from stuff falling apart elsewhere. The Huskies can be that team in 2017, especially with potential quality wins still on the board in No. 19 Washington State to close out the regular season and a likely date with No. 11 USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game. A 12-1 Pac-12 champion would absolutely be part of the playoff discussion.
With the Pac-12 not looking as good as other Power 5 conferences so far this season and Washington's schedule leaving a lot to be desired, many assumed the left coast was out of playoff contention after just one week's worth of rankings. That's clearly not the case.
The second edition of the 2017 College Football Playoff rankings are as follows:
1. Georgia (9-0, SEC)
2. Alabama (9-0, SEC)
3. Notre Dame (8-1, Independent)
4. Clemson (8-1, ACC)
5. Oklahoma (8-1, Big 12)
6. TCU (8-1, Big 12)
7. Miami (8-0, Big Ten)
8. Wisconsin (9-0, Big Ten)
9. Washington (8-1, Pac-12)
10. Auburn (7-2, SEC)
11. USC (8-2, Pac-12)
12. Michigan State (7-2, Big Ten)
13. Ohio State (7-2, Big Ten)
14. Penn State (7-2, Big Ten)
15. Oklahoma State (7-2, Big 12)
16. Mississippi State (7-2, SEC)
17. Virginia Tech (7-2, ACC)
18. Central Florida (8-0, AAC)
19. Washington State (8-2, Pac-12)
20. Iowa (6-3, Big Ten)
21. Iowa State (6-3, Big 12)
22. Memphis (8-1, AAC)
23. NC State (6-3, ACC)
24. LSU (6-3, SEC)
25. Northwestern (6-3, Big Ten)