Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, Wisconsin are playoff top 4

Lawrence Cooper
November 30, 2017

Alabama (11-1) dropped to number-5.

The No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers will meet on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis. If Clemson lost a close game to Miami, it would still have three top-25 wins and seven wins against FBS teams that have winning records, keeping open the possibility of two ACC teams getting in. That said, if one of those teams does slip up, then the Crimson Tide will be sitting in that No. 5 spot in the rankings waiting to stake their claim to move up into the Top 4. 1 team in a span of three weeks as well as the conference championship. Oklahoma at 11-1 lost at home to Iowa State, Clemson at 11-1 lost on the road to Syracuse, and Georgia, which is also 11-1, lost at Auburn. The Pac-12 is not going to get a team in the playoff, and with the Rose Bowl reserved as a semifinal game, the Pac-12 champ has to go somewhere else; the Fiesta Bowl feels like the best fit to me.

Second, there's the matter of the comparable weakness of the wins Alabama does have. That's your current top four.

"I will be prepared and able to answer that question next Sunday", Hocutt said when asked about whether Ohio State and Alabama were close enough so that a conference title could be the difference. The Sooners and Buckeyes would both be 11-2 with a loss to a top-10 team and a loss to a 7-5 team.

Auburn, which lost to Clemson on September 9, slid up to No. 2 after knocking off the Crimson Tide.

But Bama's biggest problem is that the game with the biggest impact on their season was a game they had no control over - Georgia losing to Auburn.

The only thing the other potential two-loss contenders, such as Ohio State, TCU or Southern California, would have on Clemson is a conference title. The Tigers might have some cushion.

This puts teams like Alabama in a weird situation where they actually want their hated rival Auburn to win all their games that are not against the Crimson Tide.

Mullen reaches agreement with Florida
Mullen has had success developing quarterbacks in Starkville, including current Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott . During that span, Mullen also worked with eventual Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow at Florida .

Hate is a strong word.

Alabama football needs help to make the Playoff field for the fourth straight season.

In other words, Alabama's position would have been better if they were facing a lesser Auburn team that had lost to Georgia, as the Tide would have still controlled their own destiny.

Where it gets unclear is No. 11 TCU (10-2), No. 13 Washington (10-2) and maybe No. 15 Notre Dame (9-3). The Tigers won't get in over the Hurricanes, but if Wisconsin or Oklahoma loses, Clemson could be part of the conversation with Alabama and/or Ohio State.

Auburn and No. 6 Georgia will square off Saturday in the SEC championship game, with the victor assured a spot in the playoff.

Say TCU beats Oklahoma and Ohio State beats Wisconsin.

The Knights just beat South Florida, which had only one loss, but they're 14 in the playoff rankings.

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