Alabama slips to No. 5 spot in fifth ranking of 2017

Paul Finebaum details exactly how Alabama can get back into the College Football Playoff

Most pundits envision, as a top four heading into this weekend's conference championships, Clemson (11-1), Oklahoma (11-1), Wisconsin (12-0) and Auburn (10-2). Not only did the Tigers have a compelling stash of wins already, but they added to it last weekend with their 34-10 nonconference blasting of SC, which had debuted in the rankings last week at No. 24.

Alabama, who lost to Auburn this past Saturday, slipped from first to fifth this week, while Georgia is sixth.

J.T. Barrett has a chance to win another Silver Football, the award given by the Chicago Tribune to the Big Ten's best player.

Alabama fans need to root for TCU and Ohio State to win their respective conferences.

The No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers will meet on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis. MSU (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten) finished its regular season with a 40-7 win over Rutgers on Saturday.

Both Clemson or Miami would make the final four as a one-loss ACC champ.

It's fairly simple: All the teams in the top eight that don't make it into the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl semifinals will land in one of the other major bowls: Peach, Fiesta, Cotton and Orange.




The basic theme of this weekend's conference championship games?

Next for LSU will be a bowl game; the bowl and opponent will be announced Sunday. If TCU beats Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, it's almost unfathomable that the Horned Frogs move all the way up from No. 11. But UCF, the only other unbeaten team in FBS other than Wisconsin, moved up just one spot to No. 14 after beating USF (10-2) last week in a dramatic and thrilling game.

But what if Ohio State wins? If Georgia downs Auburn in the SEC championship, would the Bulldogs jump over Alabama? No two-loss team has made the field in the first three seasons. The Huskies entered last week's Apple Cup ranked 17th, four spots behind rival Washington State, but Washington's decisive 41-14 victory lifted the Huskies to No. 13 and dropped the Cougars to No. 18.

The weekly hype video produced by the Buckeyes video team never disappoints, but they save their best stuff for the biggest matchups. The lack of a marquee nonconference win - their game against Georgia Tech was canceled, although that wouldn't have helped much anyway - has hurt them, and they're far out of the conversation.

Auburn, which lost to Clemson on September 9, slid up to No. 2 after knocking off the Crimson Tide.

No. 11 Southern California (minus 4) vs. If Clemson lost a close game to Miami, it would still have three top-25 wins and seven wins against FBS teams that have winning records, keeping open the possibility of two ACC teams getting in. Win and you're in 3.

Notre Dame fell from No. 8 to No. 15 after losing at Stanford last weekend.

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