Top 10 teams unchanged in College Football Playoff rankings
15 November, 2018, 15:39
The committee will be hoping one of them sweeps both games so they could potentially pluck a one-loss Big 12 champion.
If the Knights remain undefeated, they are on track to clinch the Access Bowl bid again, but they could face competition from Cincinnati and No. 25 Boise State. Without a conference championship game to play in, Notre Dame wouldn't have a game against a great team to make up for that loss in short order.
Notre Dame has added a 20th player to the class of 2019. I expect there will be a lot of fans of Syracuse this weekend to root against Notre Dame's playoff chances. The committee has already twice sent teams that did not reach their conference title games to the playoff. Then again, Alabama showed past year they don't need to be SEC champions to be national champions. Since the SEC champion, in this case No. 1 Alabama, is in a semifinal, the Sugar Bowl would get the next-highest ranked SEC team, No. 5 Georgia.
Put another way, out of the playoff hopefuls, only Alabama can afford to lose.
Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and MI stayed put in the top four, with Georgia and Oklahoma still knocking on the door at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. But is the committee really going to sit there at the end of the year and say Nick Saban's side is not one of the four best - and most deserving in the country?
There are quality contenders nipping at the Sooners, but No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Washington State, No. 9 West Virginia and No. 10 Ohio State all stayed behind OU. It's not as if Alabama would have a loaded resume, with victories against LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn at the top.
No. 4 MI and No. 10 Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams ranked ahead of Penn State and the only Nittany Lion opponents this season to appear in the poll. An Alabama loss to Georgia would be unexpected but, it seems obvious what the committee would do.