Get ready for a third straight meeting between Alabama and Clemson for the national championship.
A week after Georgia and Notre Dame suffered one-sided defeats to Auburn and Miami, respectively, the College Football Playoff rankings went through dramatic changes.
Alabama, Clemson, Miami and Oklahoma are currently in the top four spots, with Wisconsin sitting at No. 5 and Auburn at No. 6.
College Football Playoff Rankings
8. Notre Dame
9. Ohio State
10. Penn State
13. Oklahoma State
14. Washington State
16. Mississippi State
17. Michigan State
19. NC State
25. Boise State
While Miami has put together back-to-back impressive victories over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, the Hurricanes have a key game coming up with Clemson Dec. 2, and the Tigers are not about to let Miami roll all over them.
Clemson is battle-tested and knows how to come through in the biggest games, and the prediction here is that head coach Dabo Swinney’s team will deliver a crucial loss to the Hurricanes.
Alabama has its most crucial game coming up Nov. 25 against Auburn. The Tigers will have the home-field advantage in this game, and they come into it after having pummeled the previously top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
Head coach Gus Malzahn’s Tigers are confident and motivated. “Our goal was to win the SEC championship,” Malzahn said, per Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com, “…and we’re right in the middle of it. All the dreams we have are still alive.”
They may be good enough to engage Alabama for 60 minutes, but the Crimson Tide is the better team and will emerge as the No. 1 team heading into the College Football Playoff.
In addition to Alabama and Clemson, look for Wisconsin and Oklahoma to join them. The likely matchups will be Alabama and Wisconsin, while the Sooners and the Clemson Tigers will matchup in the other semifinal.
Wisconsin may not like being the No. 5 team in the rankngs at this point, but the Badgers clearly control their own destiny. They have a challenging game at home this week against No. 24 Michigan before closing the regular season with a road game against Minnesota.
The Badgers would then play the East Division champion in the Big Ten title game. If the Badgers are undefeated at that point, they would be all but guaranteed a spot in the CFP.
It would be difficult to see Wisconsin hanging with Alabama for more than a half. Wisconsin has a dominating defense, but it doesn’t seem likely that Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook could do enough damage against the Alabama defense to come up with the upset.
Alabama takes that semifinal with a strong second half.
Oklahoma has responded to numerous challenges this year, starting with a road win at Ohio State in Week 2. The Sooners will not be intimidated by a matchup with Clemson.
However, Swinney’s Tigers know how to execute in tight situations. Clemson wins the game on a late score.
Alabama won the national championship over Clemson two years ago, while Deshaun Watson led the Tigers to a revenge victory over head coach Nick Saban‘s Crimson Tide last season.
Give the rubber match to Alabama, which is simply too strong, too talented and too motivated with Jalen Hurts at quarterback to let the championship slip away.
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Source: Bleacher Report-CFB News