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College Football Playoff Rankings: A New Hope for the Big 12

The Big 12 re-enters the CFB Playoff Rankings, with Oklahoma at #3.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The second to last CFB Rankings were just released and there were some expected, and some unexpected, changes in the top four.

If the playoffs began today, the field would look like...

#1 Clemson Tigers (11-0) vs. #4 Iowa Hawkeyes (11-0)

Interestingly, the only two undefeated teams would have to face each other in the first round of the playoffs.

Clemson still has a game this weekend against their rival, South Carolina (who lost to the Citadel last week) before playing North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game on December 5th.

Iowa faces Nebraska - a team that beat Michigan State and lost to Purdue - before potentially securing their first signature victory of the year in the B1G Championship Game, also December 5th.

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1) vs. #3 Oklahoma Sooners (10-1)

Stoops vs. Saban Part II. Yes, please.

Alabama, a week removed from their scrimmage against Charleston Southern, will need to beat their hated rival, Auburn, in the Iron Bowl and then Florida in the SEC Championship game if they hope to play in their second straight playoff.

Oklahoma needs to survive Bedlam against a team that lost its opportunity to make the playoff last weekend when Baylor beat the Cowboys in Stillwater. With an Oklahoma loss, the Big 12 is yet again left out of title contention as Baylor is the next highest ranked member, at #7, and are down to their third string quarterback.


#5 Michigan State Spartans - Their win over Ohio State last weekend have them knock-knock-knocking on the playoff's door. I'm writing this too quickly to research the scenarios between them, Ohio State and Michigan, but I'm pretty sure Michigan State is in the driver's seat to play Iowa, having beaten both head-to-head. A win over Iowa would keep the B1G's presence intact.

#6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - I honestly didn't think the Irish would fall this far, but a close win against a bad Boston College team wasn't viewed too favorably by the committee, I guess. A win at #9 Stanford may be enough to put them back in with a little help from above.

Next in Line

#7 - Baylor

#8 - Ohio State

#9 - Stanford

#10 - Michigan

Maybe Next Year

Every other team in the FBS.