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College Football Playoff Rankings: 4th Edition

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The Tigers are out of the race, but let's take a look at the rankings anyway.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm posting this with the Tigers out of the picture. I'm posting it mainly because it's still information that concerns the Tigers. You can bet Alabama will be motivated for the Iron Bowl since they're going to be right in the thick of things for the playoff spot.

Also, I'm just interested in where the committee has Auburn ranked. Prior to last week, Auburn was the highest ranked two loss team, showing that the Committee still held the Tigers in high regard. This week the Tigers have slipped back to #14. The Tigers are the highest ranked three loss team one week after being the highest ranked two loss team. This is in part due to the fact that Auburn's schedule features five teams currently in the Top 12 of the Committee's rankings, and Auburn played (or will play) all five of them on the road.

There has been plenty of gnashing of teeth over the past two weeks, and rightly so. But this ranking does show that those who are studying things closely still think very highly of this Auburn team. That doesn't really mean much for the rest of this season, but I believe we can put to rest any possibility of their being an anti-Auburn "bias" with the committee as there has been discussion in the polls. Remember, until their recent losses the Tigers were ranked higher than Alabama in the Committee rankings.

I don't bring that up to try to stir any debate, but rather to assuage any future worries before they even start. This is a committee that has not been afraid to move teams around and rank one loss teams over undefeated teams. Auburn may be out of the picture for this season, but I do think the Committee is doing a good job in trying to pick the legitimate best teams. I also believe they should have more than four spots in the playoff, but we'll get to that.

Now let's look at the full rankings:

Rank Team Last week Week 12 result Toughest opponent left (per F/+) If the season ended today ...
1 Alabama (9-1) 5 Won 25-20 vs. No. 1 Mississippi State Auburn Sugar Bowl vs. Mississippi State
2 Oregon (9-1) 2 Idle Oregon State Rose Bowl vs. Florida State
3 Florida State (10-0) 3 Won 30-26 at Miami Boston College Rose Bowl vs. Oregon
4 Mississippi State (9-1) 1 Lost 25-20 at No. 5 Alabama Ole Miss Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama
5 TCU (9-1) 4 Won 34-30 at Kansas Texas New Year's bowl
6 Ohio State (9-1) 8 Won 31-24 at No. 25 Minnesota Michigan New Year's bowl
7 Baylor (8-1) 7 Idle Kansas State New Year's bowl
8 Ole Miss (8-2) 10 Idle Mississippi State Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech
9 UCLA (8-2) 11 Idle USC New Year's bowl
10 Georgia (8-2) 15 Won 34-7 vs. No. 9 Auburn Georgia Tech New Year's bowl
11 Michigan State (8-2) 12 Won 37-15 at Maryland Penn State New Year's bowl
12 Kansas State (7-2) 13 Idle Baylor
13 Arizona State (8-2) 6 Lost 35-27 at Oregon State Arizona
14 Auburn (7-3) 9 Lost 34-7 at No. 15 Georgia Alabama
15 Arizona (8-2) 14 Won 27-26 vs. Washington Arizona State
16 Wisconsin (8-2) 20 Won 59-24 vs. No. 16 Nebraska Minnesota
17 Utah (7-3) 23 Won 20-17 (2OT) at Stanford Arizona
18 Georgia Tech (9-2) 22 Won 28-6 vs. No. 19 Clemson Georgia Orange Bowl vs. Ole Miss
19 USC (7-3) NR Won 38-30 vs. Cal UCLA
20 Missouri (8-2) NR Won 34-27 at No. 24 Texas A&M Arkansas
21 Oklahoma (7-3) NR Won 42-30 at Texas Tech Oklahoma State
22 Clemson (7-3) 19 Lost 28-6 at No. 22 Georgia Tech South Carolina
23 Nebraska (8-2) 16 Lost 59-24 at No. 20 Wisconsin Minnesota
24 Louisville (7-3) NR Idle Notre Dame
25 Minnesota (7-3) 25 Lost 31-24 vs. No. 8 Ohio State Wisconsin