The fifth College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2016 season have been released. Alabama remains in the best position, while other contenders are hoping to receive good news this weekend.
The 12-person selection committee tasked with the challenge of putting together this season’s College Football Playoff released its fifth top 25 of the 2016 college football season on Tuesday night, and unbeaten SEC West division champion Alabama remained the No. 1 team in the country as expected.
Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide will try to remain the lone undefeated team from the Power Five conferences when it meets Florida in Atlanta on Saturday for the SEC title. The Gators are heavy underdogs because there is little faith nationally that the team’s offense can sustain many drives against the fierce Alabama defense.
Meanwhile, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 after its emotional win over Michigan in Columbus last Saturday. Despite the Buckeyes not being able to play in the Big Ten title game, it would be hard to imagine Urban Meyer’s squad enduring a TCU-like drop in the final rankings because of the Buckeyes’ body of work this fall. However, OSU does have itself a Penn State problem.
Clemson and Washington round out the Top 4 this week and essentially control their own destiny heading into Championship Saturday. Can the Tigers and Huskies close out strong against Virginia Tech and Colorado, respectively?
And then there is Michigan, which is No. 5 this week. Could the Wolverines get in over the Big Ten champ if Clemson or Washington slip up?
This was the second-to-last set of rankings of the season, as the final one that gets released this coming Sunday will determine which four teams will play for the national title. However, if the season ended today, the matchups for the College Football Playoff would be No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl and No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. The winners of those two semifinal matchups would meet in Tampa on January 9 for the national championship.
How much will these rankings change after Championship Saturday if they even change at all?
With the regular season sadly winding down, here is where we stand as of now as we get closer to the four-team playoff.
Top 25 College Football Playoff Rankings
2. Ohio State
7. Penn State
10. Oklahoma State
12. Florida State
16. West Virginia
17. Western Michigan
23. Virginia Tech