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Tide, Buckeyes, Tigers, Huskies the Top 4 in CFP’s Last Preliminary Ranking

GRAPEVINE, Texas, Nov. 29 (UPI) — Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington made the top four in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s penultimate rankings on Tuesday night.

The Crimson Tide (12-0/8-0 SEC) has remained in the top spot for all five committee rankings so far this season.

The defending national champions surprised no one by appearing there again this week, since they are the only remaining undefeated team from the “Power Five” conferences.

The Buckeyes (11-1/8-1 Big Ten), who topped Michigan Saturday in a double-overtime thriller, also stood firm at No. 2 — an indication they will make the four-team playoff field even though they will not play for the Big Ten championship this weekend.

Clemson (11-1/7-1 ACC) has been in the committee’s top four for all five rankings, though the Tigers have shifted between Nos. 2 and 4. They play Virginia Tech for the conference title on Saturday.

Washington’s place in the top four this week indicates that the Huskies (11-1/8-1 Pac 12) will also make the playoff if they finish the regular season by beating eighth-ranked Colorado in the Pac 12 title game Friday in Santa Clara, Calif. (9 p.m. EST, Fox)

After the first four, though, it gets pretty convoluted — especially if there is an upset in the top four this weekend.

Michigan was listed fifth, one spot out of the playoff field, and fellow Big Ten member Wisconsin was sixth. Penn State, Colorado, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State round out the top 10.

If Alabama, Clemson or Washington lose this weekend, it’s likely to set off some chaos and controversy as to who should punch their ticket to the playoff. Teams 5-10 all have two losses and most would have an argument to be included in the playoff field, with no more possible than two open slots to fill.

On Saturday, Alabama meets No. 15 Florida for the SEC championship in Atlanta (4 p.m. EST, CBS); Clemson will play the Hokies in Charlotte (8 p.m. EST, ABC); and Penn State takes on Wisconsin for the Big Ten title in Indianapolis (8 p.m. EST, Fox).

The selection committee will unveil its final rankings on Sunday at noon EST on ESPN.

College Football Playoff Rankings (Nov. 29)
(Playoff teams in bold, *denotes championship game participant)

1. Alabama* (12-0/8-0 SEC)
2. Ohio State (11-1/8-1 Big Ten)
3. Clemson* (11-1/7-1 ACC)
4. Washington* (11-1/8-1 Pac 12)
5. Michigan (10-2/7-2 Big Ten)
6. Wisconsin* (10-2/7-2 Big Ten)
7. Penn State* (10-2/8-1 Big Ten)
8. Colorado* (10-2/8-1 Pac 12)
9. Oklahoma (9-2/8-0 Big 12)
10. Oklahoma State (9-2/7-1 Big 12)
11. Southern California (9-3/7-2 Pac 12)
12. Florida State (9-3/5-3 ACC)
13. Louisville (9-3/7-1 ACC)
14. Auburn (8-4/5-3 SEC)
15. Florida* (8-3/6-2 SEC)
16. West Virginia (9-2/6-2 Big 12)
17. Western Michigan* (12-0/8-0 MAC)
18. Stanford (9-3/6-3 Pac 12)
19. Navy* (9-2/7-1 AAC)
20. Utah (8-4/5-4 Pac 12)
21. Louisiana State (7-4/5-3 SEC)
22. Tennessee (8-4/4-4 SEC)
23. Virginia Tech* (9-3/6-2 ACC)
24. Houston (9-3/5-3 AAC)
25. Pittsburgh (8-4/5-3 ACC)

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