At this time next week, we'll have the final College Football Playoff rankings. Four teams will be preparing for national semifinals while a few others will be lamenting missed opportunities and/or engaging in violent debates over their exclusion from the field.
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For now, we just have to to guess where the selection committee will rank the contenders in the final regular-season playoff rankings. Who takes over No. 1 following Alabama's loss? Does Wisconsin move into the top three? How far does Miami fall after an ugly road loss?
The HERO Sports college football staff answers those questions in the form of Week 14 playoff rankings predictions. Scroll down for a brief explanation of the notable movement in the respective rankings.
|A. Doughty||A. Coffaro||J. Oxley|
|1. Clemson||1. Clemson||1. Clemson|
|2. Oklahoma||2. Oklahoma||2. Oklahoma|
|3. Auburn||3. Wisconsin||3. Wisconsin|
|4. Wisconsin||4. Auburn||4. Auburn|
|5. Georgia||5. Alabama||5. Georgia|
|6. Alabama||6. Georgia||6. Alabama|
|7. Miami (FL)||7. Penn State||7. Miami (FL)|
|8. Ohio State||8. USC||8. Ohio State|
|9. Penn State||9. Ohio State||9. Penn State|
|10. USC||10. UCF||10. USC|
Andrew Doughty: Remarkably, just six weeks after losing to Syracuse, Clemson is No. 1 the Week 14 rankings — and comfortably. Though both Auburn and Wisconsin will make the playoff with wins on Saturday, there is a huge seeding question: Do the two-loss Tigers or undefeated Badgers deserve a higher seed?
Andy Coffaro: I guess the Miami Hurricanes are who we thought they were so there’s a new school from the state of Florida in my top 10 — UCF.
I also have Wisconsin up to No. 3, but I think the Badgers’ stay near the top of my list will be short-lived after the Big Ten Championship against Ohio State next weekend. I also like Alabama to sneak in at No. 4 when all is said and done.
Jim Oxley: Chaos has finally come! Nos. 1 and 2 in last week's rankings both fell, setting up a conundrum for the committee — how to handle the SEC?
As I see it, the committee will put two-loss Auburn first in the three-team pileup, with one-loss Georgia and one-loss Alabama following (both of their losses are now to Auburn). Meanwhile, Clemson, Oklahoma and Wisconsin all move up by nature of winning this weekend, while the bottom of the top 10 stays relatively the same with only Notre Dame falling out after a loss to Stanford.