With all of the discussion about where Auburn falls in the AP or Coaches poll over the last few weeks, the reality is that those polls really don't matter at all. What matters is the ranking of the College Football Playoff Committee.
Tonight, for the first time, we see where things stand.
Keep in mind that these rankings are much more fluid than the normal polls. The Committee is ranking teams where they see them right now and without regard to Conference Champions. That type of thing may cause teams to change places in the rankings dramatically over the next few weeks.
So, where does Auburn stand? The Tigers are ranked 9th (NINTH) in the first poll. That's even better than the major polls, who currently have the Tigers ranked 11th (AP) and 12th (Coaches). As for the rest of the poll...
4) Texas A&M
6) Ohio State
12) Penn State
18) Oklahoma State
19) Virginia Tech
20) West Virginia
21) North Carolina (6-2)
22) Florida State (5-3)
23) Western Michigan (8-0)
24) Boise State (7-1)
25) Washington State
The Schedule & The Path Ahead
So, here's the bad news for Auburn... The Tigers have only beaten one team currently ranked in the CFB Playoff rankings, lose to two of them, and only have one more to play.
It's kind of crazy to think of Auburn having a path into the Playoff, but when you start ranked #9, you have to believe the chance is there. If Auburn wins out - and that's a big if - and Texas A&M suffers one more loss, the Auburn would probably play Florida - who is also ranked - and a win could get the Tigers into the Playoff. Maybe.
There's a lot of strange combinations that could happen. Would the Committee take a 1-loss Michigan (if they lose to Ohio State) who didn't even go to their conference championship over a 2-loss SEC Champion? It's possible. The Wolverines are ranked over Auburn, right now.
It's a difficult path, but if the Tigers are able to win the SEC (a very tall order, right now), then you'd have to think the Tigers would have a good chance at making it. The picture will become much clearer over the next few weeks, that's for sure.
For now, Vanderbilt is next up. Sink The Boat, Auburn.