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Sport Opinion: Consensus at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings, but who's No. 4?

17:00  13 november  2019
17:00  13 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Two weeks into the College Football Playoff rankings, and we have consensus at the top. This only means chaos might be coming, of course. But for now, not many would seriously argue with this ranking:

1. LSU

2. Ohio State

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3. Clemson

Those are easy. Shuffle them around if you must, but no one would be surprised if those three teams eventually filled slots in the bracket. What comes next is more difficult to figure:

Ohio State, LSU top initial College Football Playoff rankings; Clemson at No. 5

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The second College Football Playoff rankings have a very different look that the first one from a week ago. Clemson, Georgia and Alabama complete the top five spots with four weeks of the regular season left to play . While still being in the top five would seem to be a positive for the Crimson Tide

LSU is at the top , and Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama round out the top four. November 12, 2019 7:20 PM ET. The newest college football playoff rankings were released Tuesday Obviously, LSU deserves the top spot right now. They might not have looked as consistently impressive as Ohio

4. _________

Who’s No. 4? Who knows?

The competition for that final spot feels much less settled – or rather, like it’s still to be settled over the next few weeks, and quite probably filled by a team currently sitting lower in the rankings.

Georgia is No. 4 this week, getting the nod because of those wins against Notre Dame and Florida – and yeah, despite that terrible loss, at home, to South Carolina.

LATEST RANKINGS: LSU jumps Ohio State for No. 1 spot

ANALYSIS: Winners and losers in second rankings include LSU and Alabama

a baseball player wearing a red shirt: George Pickens and Georgia moved up to No. 4 in the latest College Football Playoff ranking.© Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports George Pickens and Georgia moved up to No. 4 in the latest College Football Playoff ranking.

Meanwhile, the selection committee obviously saw what we all saw, LSU shredding Alabama’s defense in Tuscaloosa, which is why the Tide dropped precipitously, all the way from No. 3 to No. 5.

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In its final rankings before the official bracket is set on Sunday, the College Football Playoff selection committee dropped Alabama (11-1) from No. 1 to No. 5 after it lost to Auburn on Saturday, 26-14, delivering a rebuke of the Crimson Tide for the lopsided defeat.

LSU is the new No. 1 team in the nation as Clemson takes its deserved spot in the top four.

Yeah, because ‘Bama.

But while Alabama sits just outside the bracket, seemingly in prime position to get back in, Tuesday’s ranking might actually reveal that the Tide need help.

Barring a complete collapse by LSU, ‘Bama won’t win the SEC West. And at 11-1, its resume would not stack up favorably against several teams currently ranked lower than the Tide. No. 5 looks great, but at least in the final ranking, it might also be the ceiling for ‘Bama.

Pay attention to these teams:

No. 6 Oregon

No. 7 Utah

No. 10 Oklahoma

No. 13 Baylor

Yes, No. 8 Minnesota and No. 9 Penn State are in the mix, too. But the Big Ten is going to work itself out. It’ll be represented in the Playoff by Ohio State, Minnesota or Penn State as Big Ten champion (presuming the winner is unbeaten or has only one loss).

Meanwhile, neither No. 11 Florida nor No. 12 Auburn is headed to the Playoff; both already have two losses.

But in either Oregon or Utah, the Pac-12 could have a 12-1 champion. In Oklahoma or Baylor, the Big 12 could have a 12-1 champion or perhaps a 13-0 champion.

Winners and losers in College Football Playoff first rankings include Big Ten and Clemson

  Winners and losers in College Football Playoff first rankings include Big Ten and Clemson The College Football Playoff committee released its first rankings of the seasons. There were winners and losers including the Big Ten and Clemson.Another two SEC teams, No. 10 Florida and No. 11 Auburn, led all two-loss Power Five teams and even led unbeaten Baylor, due to the Bears’ weaker strength of schedule. The Big Ten put two teams into the top four, including No. 1 Ohio State, while the Pac-12 saw its two frontrunners, No. 7 Oregon and No. 8 Utah, seeded in position to take advantage of any chaos from the SEC, Big Ten and ACC.

Washington moved into fourth in the College Football Playoff rankings , putting the four remaining unbeaten teams from the Power 5 conferences at the top of the selection committee’ s second Top 25. Alabama, Clemson and Michigan still hold the top three spots.

The second College Football Playoff rankings featured an expected change at the top : LSU rose to No. 1, swapping spots with Ohio State, after Winners. LSU. The case for Ohio State remaining at No. 1 calls on the Buckeyes’ dominance of the Big Ten, which includes no conference win by fewer than

The Big 12 is ranked behind the Pac-12, but it’s hard to know whether its champion would remain there. If Oregon and Utah win out and meet in the Pac-12 championship game, it’ll be a Top 10 matchup and a nice resume boost for the 12-1 winner. But either the Sooners or Bears would have beaten several Top 25 teams in the final weeks, including in the Big 12 championship game, to emerge 12-1 (or maybe 13-0).

Which conference champion would get the nod? It’s hard to know.

It seems easier to extrapolate this, though: A 12-1 or 13-0 conference champion would almost certainly vault past an 11-1 Alabama in the final rankings – which, we’re told, are the only rankings that matter.

The Crimson Tide’s case for the Playoff would include a win against Auburn … and that’s pretty much it. Oh, and also that 46-41 loss to LSU in which the Tigers put up 559 yards, averaged 7.1 yards per play and “led from start to finish,” as selection committee chairman Rob Mullens put it. There was some amount of, uh, game control by the Tigers.

Yeah, it’s a good loss, to the No. 1 team. It’s also a loss. In ranking Georgia No. 4 this week, the committee showed it values quality wins more than it worries about terrible losses.

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The second College Football Playoff rankings will answer five key questions Thursday after a big weekend that saw several changes to the Lan. Alabama would've fallen out of the top four had Penn State found a way to beat Minnesota; that would've bumped the Nittany Lions to No. 3 while Clemson

Wisconsin moves up to No . 4 in College Football Playoff rankings . A victory over Ohio State in the "It’ s amazing," ESPN analyst Booger McFarland said Tuesday night after the top four were revealed. A loss to the Buckeyes likely would result in UW being left out of the playoff , but the Badgers still

Beyond Auburn, there probably wouldn’t be a Top 25 win on Alabama’s resume.

In other words, Alabama’s argument is not strong (yeah, but ‘Bama). Its streak of always reaching the Playoff – five in a row so far – is in serious danger.

But here comes the disclaimer: They’re still going to play out the season, which means we should mention a few scenarios:

-It’s very possible the Pac-12 and Big 12 champions finish with two losses, which would open the door for a ‘Bama bump into the bracket.

-And what if Auburn wins the Iron Bowl? The Tigers host Georgia (Saturday) and Alabama (Nov. 30), and while their offense has struggled, their defense might be the nation’s best. Auburn isn’t going to the Playoff, but the Tigers could shake things up in a big way.

-One other potential wrinkle: Georgia’s path to the Playoff is solely by winning the SEC championship. But if the Bulldogs did just that, handing LSU its first loss in the title game?

It’s not hard to see the selection committee still determining LSU was one of the four best, giving the SEC two teams in the bracket. That would leave out the Pac-12 and Big 12 champions – and it would also end Alabama’s faded hopes.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Consensus at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings, but who's No. 4?

Related slideshow: Best of the 2019-20 college football season (provided by imagn)

LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates midfield with his players following the Tigers 46-41win over the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9, 2019. 

Ohio St jumps LSU to No. 1 in CFP rankings with 2 weeks left .
Ohio State jumped LSU to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings with two weeks left to go before selection Sunday. LSU slipped to second Tuesday night and Clemson remained No. 3 while Georgia held on at four. If playoff history holds form, three of those top four teams will reach the semifinals. Alabama remained No. 5 in the selection committee’s third rankings, with Utah moving up a spot to No. 6. The Utes are the only Pac-12 team in the top 10 after Oregon dropped eight spots to 14th.Oklahoma is seventh followed by Minnesota, Baylor and Penn State.

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