This week's rankings was the first time the order of the Top 10 teams remained the same. Syracuse and Notre Dame meet in Yankee Stadium at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by West Virginia-Oklahoma State, Boston College-Florida State, Wisconsin-Purdue and USC-UCLA in the 3:30 p.m. ET window.
As you can see, this big-bowl payday will likely come down to either the victor of the AAC or the victor of the MWC. But if Georgia hands Alabama their first and only loss of the season in the SEC Championship Game and it's a close game, the SEC will get two teams in.
Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and MI remained the top four teams in that order.
UCF moved up one spot to No. 11 and remained the highest-ranked team from outside the Power Five conferences. Put me down for Oklahoma at No. 3 and Ohio State at No. 4 as the committee falls back on the safety of conference crowns to inform their decision.
Many have already awarded Alabama the national title, but it's no sure thing they even win their conference.
No. 4 MI and No. 10 Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams ranked ahead of Penn State and the only Nittany Lion opponents this season to appear in the poll. They need to first focus on IN and win their final home game before traveling to Columbus to take on Ohio State. With conference championships a big point of emphasis for the committee, Notre Dame would effectively be eliminated without an unblemished record.
Oklahoma would possibly put up a fight with Alabama, but to go from preaching a coach and his program to then flipping the switch weeks later (after winning big games and by double digits) and siding with a team that has struggled to take down Army, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Texas Tech and lost to Texas isn't right. Mississippi State 22. Northwestern 23.