Hurricanes drop out of top 4 in College Football Playoff poll

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The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings were released Tuesday night, meaning the stage is officially set for conference championship week as the top teams in the nation will vie for the four spots that will be selected on Sunday.

With Saturday's loss, Alabama is on the outside of the College Football Playoff picture and needs help to get in.

Alabama (11-1) dropped to fifth and Georgia (11-1) was sixth.

"If all goes as planned with Clemson and Oklahoma winning, you take the victor of the SEC over Alabama and then if Wisconsin wins you have to take a conference champion". 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.

The victor of Saturday's SEC championship game between Georgia (11-1) and No. 2 Auburn (10-2) is widely expected to get in the playoff, which it makes essentially a quarterfinal game.

With eight top 10 teams in four conference championship games, we have ourselves the ingredients for a bit of an expanded playoff field, some will say.

Would the playoff committee go with an Alabama team that didn't even win the SEC West and lacks a signature victory? Now that the scenario is now officially in play, it deserves a little looking ahead to debate whether or not you should take a two-loss conference champion over a one-loss team without a conference or division championship.

This is the seventh time has been ranked No. 1 by the CFP Committee.

Pac-12: No. 10 USC vs. That game will be a rematch of a September 9 USC victory at the Coliseum.

There's a fair chance that actually happens, especially if either Wisconsin or Oklahoma loses in their conference championship games. LSU (9-3), 18. Washington State (9-3), 19.

While the Nittany Lions won't be able to defend their 2016 Big Ten title this weekend, a berth in a New Year's Six bowl - the Cotton, Fiesta, Peach or Orange, all of whom will be looking to fill at-large slots - seems nearly assured, barring a insane result or two on Saturday. The only thing standing in the undefeated Knights' way is No. 20 Memphis. 1 team in a span of three weeks as well as the conference championship. 8 Notre Dame also falling to Stanford, the Nittany Lions were able to rise slightly among the chaos. 3 Florida State in Atlanta, romping to a seemingly impressive 24-7 victory.

Two wins came against teams now ranked in the Top 25, a 24-10 victory over No. 17 LSU and a 31-24 squeaker against No. 24 Mississippi State.

Behind Auburn sat No. 3 Oklahoma (11-1), No. 4 Wisconsin (12-0), No. 5 Alabama (11-1), No. 6 Georgia (11-1) and No. 7 Miami (10-1).

The Orange Bowl matches the top non-playoff team from the ACC against the top non-playoff team from the Big Ten, SEC and Notre Dame. If the rankings held it would then turn to No. 5 Alabama, which is the highest-ranked available team meeting that criteria.

The only thing the other potential two-loss contenders, such as Ohio State, TCU or Southern California, would have on Clemson is a conference title.

Georgia would make it as a one-loss SEC champ.

Does the committee hate UCF, the American Athletic Conference and Group of Five teams in general?

Cotton Bowl: No. 8 Ohio State vs.

Orange Bowl: No. 7 Miami vs.

Oklahoma's record includes three ranked wins, which have come by a combined 43 points, as the Sooners also knocked off then-No.

Sugar Bowl (CFP semifinal): No. 4 Wisconsin vs.