College Football Playoff rankings: New No. 1 Alabama leads a way, Clemson right behind

It was a furious and crazy week of college football, that meant when Tuesday’s third College Football Playoff rankings were expelled to a masses, there would be copiousness to unpack. The cabinet did not let us down.

First off, here’s a demeanour during a full rankings:

The some-more things change, a some-more they stay a same.

Unsurprisingly, with Georgia stumbling in a large way against Auburn, Alabama has taken over a tip mark in this week’s rankings, nonetheless even a Tide weren’t yet fear in Week 11 as Mississippi State pushed them to a brink. This was sincerely expected; a Tide still haven’t mislaid this year, and that invulnerability looks truly special. 

Behind a Tide, interestingly enough, come final year’s inhabitant champions, a new No. 2 Clemson Tigers.

RELATED: Wacky Week 11 shakes things adult during a top

Some folks might’ve approaching a impassioned Miami Hurricanes during No. 2 (more on them in a second), yet instead a ACC’s heading patrol is Clemson, a group entrance off a third true win after a detriment to Syracuse in Week 7. The Tigers have 4 wins over then-ranked opponents, a many considerable ones being victories over Auburn (No. 6 in this week’s ranking) and Virginia Tech, both of that expected factored into a committee’s decision, generally after Auburn distant former No. 1 Georgia final week.

Georgia, for a possess part, took a six-spot tumble down a rankings interjection to that enormous detriment to Auburn. The Bulldogs’ initial detriment of a year was a killer, came during a bad time and competence finish adult costing UGA a mark in a Playoff. There’s always small room for blunder when a stakes are this high, yet there’s never, ever room for blowout-style error.

Rounding out a tip four, for now, are Miami and Oklahoma, dual teams who only keep rolling along.

The Hurricanes are a speak of a nation after dismantling then-No. 3 Notre Dame (the Fighting Irish have given depressed to No. 8) 41-8 on inhabitant television. It was a coming-out jubilee for Miami’s misfortune kept secret, a defensive dominance, as good as a jubilee of a entire turnover chain. Mark Richt has a Hurricanes personification good football right now and The U’s strut is positively back. All they have station in a approach of a ideal deteriorate during this indicate is dual matchups with unranked opponents — Virginia and Pittsburgh — and a matchup with No. 2 Clemson in a ACC championship diversion on Dec. 2. 

Which means, if Miami can equivocate upsets and afterwards find a approach to tip Clemson in what should be a good matchup, a Hurricanes could be in a driver’s chair en track to a Playoff mark in reduction than a month. 

And Oklahoma competence feel like a tip 3 mark is fitting after a third ranked win this year, and after unresolved 100 total points on back-to-back ranked opponents in Oklahoma State and TCU. It’s tough to disagree with any of a tip 4 being where they are, yet Baker Mayfield and a Sooners are personification desirous football right now. They get another possibility to stir a cabinet when they face West Virginia to hang adult a unchanging season. Can they shake their approach past Miami? It’ll be close.

Elsewhere in this collection of numbered football teams, a dual teams only on a outward looking in — Wisconsin and Auburn — both have to feel good about where they’re sitting. This past week showed there are no protected teams in a country, that means even yet they’re stranded outward of a joint right now, there’s no reason to consider one or some-more of a tip 4 could event and remove a way.

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For Wisconsin, a name of a diversion is don’t lose. Close wins won’t assistance as most as large ones, yet a ideal outcome right now is to sojourn unblemished. If a Badgers conduct to deflect off Minnesota and Michigan in uninterrupted weeks, and afterwards move home a Big Ten championship, a cabinet will have a tough time gripping a ideal record out of a Playoff, generally with one of Miami and Clemson guaranteed to remove before a final preference is made. 

As distant as Auburn is concerned, dual waste will be a tough sell, yet unresolved tighten with Clemson and knocking off a No. 1 group in a nation with a 23-point win are dual good resume builders. And afterwards there’s a light during a finish of a tunnel: a Nov. 25 matchup with No. 1 Alabama, followed by a SEC Championship. A group violence dual opposite No. 1-ranked squads down a stretch, and afterwards commanding it off with a discussion title, will have as clever an evidence as any for their inclusion in a CFP.

MORE: Could Auburn pile-up a CFP with wins over Alabama and Georgia?

A few other nuggets before we go a apart ways for Week 12? Certainly. 

One fun group to keep an eye on is No. 15 UCF. The Knights are 9-0 with dual winnable games remaining, and as prolonged as they hang on to their seats a rest of a approach and don’t lay an egg, they should be ticketed for a large play diversion come this winter. Scott Frost has finished a good pursuit with that group this season, and he deserves a good understanding of approval for removing a tip 15 ranking.

Here’s an eye-catching stat:

Hypothetically, if Clemson and Miami play to a really tighten and interesting finish in a ACC championship game, do they both still go in a Playoff? If Wisconsin is undefeated, it competence be tough to make that case… yet not impossible.

Because if 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that anything is probable in a universe of college football.

Adam Hermann has created for a Philadelphia Inquirer, a Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia magazine, SB Nation, and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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