College Football Playoff rankings

Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, Wisconsin are playoff top 4

Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99), Dexter Lawrence (90) and Austin Bryant (7) react after a sack during the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Clemson defeated South Carolina 34-10. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Sean Rayford/Associated press
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99) and his Clemson teammates are pointed toward the Sugar Bowl — if the Tigers win the SEC title game.

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Clemson is No. 1, followed by Auburn, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin in the last College Football Playoff rankings before the semifinals are set by the selection committee Sunday.

Alabama fell from No. 1 to fifth in the new rankings Tuesday night after losing to Auburn, while Georgia was sixth. Miami slipped after taking its first loss of the season last week from No. 2 to seventh, just ahead of Ohio State at No. 8.

Each of the top four teams plays a conference title game this Saturday, creating potential play-in playoff games. Clemson faces Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship; Auburn and Georgia play for the Southeastern Conference title; Wisconsin faces Ohio State for the Big Ten title; and Oklahoma faces No. 11 TCU for the Big 12 title.


If the top four win out, the semifinals likely would fall into place: Clemson would face Wisconsin in the Sugar Bowl semifinal on New Year’s Day by virtue of giving the top seed a regional advantage, and Auburn and Oklahoma would play in the Rose Bowl semifinal.

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It is likely Miami would jump into the top four by beating No. 1 Clemson and winning the ACC and same goes for Georgia if it can win a rematch against Auburn. The intrigue would start if Oklahoma and/or Wisconsin lose.

The selection committee could be faced with a choice of Alabama (11-1) or Ohio State (10-2). The Crimson Tide’s resume is no wins against teams currently in the top 15, but the Buckeyes have two losses by double digits, including a 31-point blowout at Iowa.