Clemson No. 1 in College Football Playoff rankings

Change was expected at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings with previous No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Miami (Fla.) losing last weekend.

And the rankings did change with Clemson assuming the No. 1 ranking followed by Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin with one week left in the season. 

Alabama is in fifth followed by Georgia. The Crimson Tide's season is complete, while the Bulldogs still have an opportunity to win their way into the field in a rematch against Auburn in the SEC championship game. The Tigers won the first game at home three weeks ago 40-17. 

Rounding out the top 10 are Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Penn State and Southern California. Of that quartet, only the Nittany Lions do not play on championship weekend.

The Hurricanes will face Clemson for the ACC title. The Buckeyes meet Wisconsin for the Big 12 championship. The Trojans have a rematch with Stanford to determine the Pac-12 winner.

The other game with playoff implications sees Oklahoma playing TCU in the Big 12 title. 

Should the four teams at the top of the rankings all win their respective conference championships, it would appear each would win their way into the field. If Miami or Georgia were to win in upsets, those teams would replace Clemson and Auburn.

The real chaos comes if either Oklahoma or Wisconsin lose. That would open up an opportunity for Alabama, Ohio State or Southern California to move up. It is also possible Clemson could still not fall out of the top four with a loss. Or TCU could move up.

The top four teams in final rankings on Dec. 3 will play in the semifinals. Those two games will be played in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

The championship game will be played on Jan. 8 in Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

College Football Playoff rankings

1. Clemson (11-1)
2. Auburn (10-2)
3. Oklahoma (11-1)
4. Wisconsin (12-0)
5. Alabama (11-1)
6. Georgia (11-1)
7. Miami (Fla.) (10-1)
8. Ohio State (10-2)
9. Penn State (10-2)
10. Southern California (10-2)
11. TCU (10-2)
12. Stanford (9-3)
13. Washington (10-2)
14. Central Florida (11-0)
15. Notre Dame (9-3)
16. Michigan State (9-3)
17. LSU (9-3)
18. Washington State (9-3)
19. Oklahoma State (9-3)
20. Memphis (10-1)
21. Northwestern (9-3)
22. Virginia Tech (9-3)
23. Mississippi State (8-4)
24. North Carolina State (8-4)
25. Fresno State (9-3)

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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