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

When College Football Playoff rankings are released, Alabama could be in uncharted waters

The ACC, SEC, and Big Ten championship game all pit top 10 teams against each other for their respective conference championships using the College Football Playoff rankings.

Clemson (11-1) was the No. 1 team in Tuesday's latest playoff rankings.

Ohio State is ranked eighth, Penn State is ninth and Southern California is 10th.

In the past few days, the college football world has been buzzing about a number of topics regarding the coaching carousel. The next best result for the Tide would be a Wisconsin loss to Ohio State. The series was dominated by the SEC as the conference racked up nine National Championships in that time frame. Alabama also must hope the committee values the Crimson Tide's 11 wins over a potential two-loss conference champion.

This puts teams like Alabama in a weird situation where they actually want their hated rival Auburn to win all their games that are not against the Crimson Tide. That's your current top four. The Big 12 championship game could join that group if the selection committee's rankings on Tuesday night elevate TCU into the top 10 as the AP top 25 did this week. The Tigers, who beat Alabama 26-14 in Saturday's Iron Bowl, are the first two-loss team ever to be ranked in the top four.

The Miami Hurricanes have dropped out of the top four in the penultimate College Football Playoff poll.

Looks like it, especially if Auburn wins the SEC, but it likely will require a loss by either Wisconsin or Oklahoma.

The Playoff was instituted in 2014 and has yet to feature two teams from the same conference in a single Playoff.

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The No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers will meet on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis.

The Knights play Memphis, the committee's 20th-ranked team, on Saturday for the AAC championship.

Ohio State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) is coming off a 31-20 win over MI. In the No. 6 slot, Alabama could be jumped by an Ohio State win and a Georgia win.

Penn State is the one team out of the playoff race but fairly well locked into a New Year's Six spot.

Clemson also will face Miami for the ACC title and Oklahoma faces No. 11 TCU for the Big 12 title.

Can Clemson lose to Miami and get in? But that is largely based on Ohio State having two double-digit losses including one at home to the probable Big 12 champion and a blowout loss on the road against Iowa.

That ranking prompted this tweet from UCF athletic director Danny White: "You've got to be kidding me!" Oklahoma State (9-3), 20.

The next highest-ranked team available is No. 6 Georgia, which makes sense for the nearby Peach Bowl in Atlanta. It has three wins over ranked teams, and could lose one this week if SC drops out, but might gain one if Louisville (8-4) enters. Not very many teams are able to do that.

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