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New CFP Rankings Set Up Exciting, Possibly Absurd Final Saturday of College Football

by: Esteban On  Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CFP rankings college football conference championship

The penultimate College Football Playoff rankings are out, and the top five remains unchanged from last week. However, that does not mean there isn’t the potential for major drama.

Clemson is still #1 with a record of 12-0. After that it’s Alabama (11-1) at #2, Oklahoma (11-1) at #3, Iowa (12-0) at #4, and Michigan State (11-1) at #5.

The complete top 10 looks like this:

  1. Clemson (12-0)
  2. Alabama (11-1)
  3. Oklahoma (11-1)
  4. Iowa (12-0)
  5. Michigan State (11-1)
  6. Ohio State (11-1)
  7. Stanford (10-2)
  8. Notre Dame (10-2)
  9. Florida State (10-2)
  10. North Carolina (11-1)

If things play out as expected—with Clemson beating North Carolina in the ACC championship, Alabama beating Florida in the SEC championship, and Oklahoma sitting out because the Big 12 is stupid—then the Big Ten championship between Iowa and Michigan State will effectively be a play-in game for the four-team College Football playoff. And that right there is pretty exciting.

However, should Clemson or Alabama stumble this weekend, that would open the door to a whole host of scenarios.

For example, if UNC beats Clemson and Alabama beats Florida, then the final four would probably be Alabama, Iowa or Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. Similarly, if Florida beats Alabama and Clemson beats North Carolina, the final four would probably be Clemson, Iowa or Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Ohio State.

However, if UNC beats Clemson and Florida beats Alabama? Total chaos.

Let me walk you through it.

UNC would be 12-1 at that point, so surely they’d leapfrog all two-loss teams into the top four with Oklahoma and the Big Ten winner. But what about the Big Ten? If Iowa beats Michigan State, it’s settled—the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes are in with the Sooners and Tar Heels, while the Spartans are out. But if Michigan State beats Iowa? Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and Clemson would be 12-1, 12-1, 11-1, and 12-1 respectively. The Spartans would be in, obviously, but who would get the last spot? Would the CFP committee reward Ohio State and Oklahoma for not playing conference championship games rather than choose between one-loss Clemson and Iowa teams? Or do two teams coming off losses actually make the final four?

Personally, I don’t have a horse in this race, so I’m rooting for maximum chaos here. Go Tar Heels, Gators, and Spartans!

Hat Tip – [ESPN]