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College Football Playoff rankings: Oklahoma leaps to No. 3 in new top 25

We're now only one more set of rankings away from the one that really, really matters. The full top 25 is below.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In a way, the College Football Playoff has already begun.

If Iowa or Michigan State (or maybe the Ohio State-Michigan winner, if MSU falls to Penn State this weekend) wins out, that's one spot. Same for Alabama or Florida from the SEC. Clemson's in with two more wins, and it's not hard to picture North Carolina stealing a spot with an ACC Championship upset and some help. That would be three, unless one of these eventual conference champs loses this weekend.

This Saturday's Notre Dame vs. Stanford isn't quite a qualifier, but it is an eliminator. The winner will join the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State Bedlam winner (OU's the big winner of the week, vaulting all the way from No. 7 after beating TCU and maybe even putting itself in the top group) and possibly Baylor in the holding pen; the Bears and Cardinal would also have games during conference championship weekend (and Stanford would have a real chance to impress against USC or UCLA), but the others in this group would be sitting and waiting.

That's a list of 13 teams still theoretically alive, with almost all of them still to play at least one other team from the group.

That's how it stacks up at the moment, based on the committee's freshly released top 25:

Playoff committee ranking (last week) S&P+ ranking Best win, per S&P+ Worst loss, per S&P+ If the season ended today
1 Clemson (11-0) 1 Florida State Orange Bowl vs. Iowa
2 Alabama (10-1) 2 LSU Ole Miss Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma
3 (7) Oklahoma (10-1) 4 at Baylor Texas Cotton Bowl vs. Alabama
4 (5) Iowa (11-0) 29 at Wisconsin Orange Bowl vs. Clemson
5 (9) Michigan State (10-1) 14 at Michigan at Nebraska Rose Bowl vs. Stanford
6 (4) Notre Dame (10-1) 9 Navy at Clemson Fiesta or Peach
7 (10) Baylor (9-1) 6 West Virginia Oklahoma New Year's Bowl, perhaps Sugar
8 (3) Ohio State (10-1) 5 Penn State Michigan State Fiesta or Peach
9 (11) Stanford (9-2) 12 UCLA at Northwestern Rose Bowl vs. Michigan State
10 (12) Michigan (9-2) 3 at Penn State at Utah
11 (6) Oklahoma State (10-1) 19 at West Virginia Baylor New Year's Bowl, perhaps Sugar
12 (8) Florida (10-1) 10 Ole Miss at LSU Sugar Bowl vs. Big 12
13 (14) Florida State (9-2) 7 NC State at Georgia Tech
14 (17) North Carolina (10-1) 31 at Pittsburgh vs. South Carolina
15 (16) Navy (9-1) 11 South Florida at Notre Dame Fiesta or Peach
16 (20) Northwestern (9-2) 48 Stanford Iowa
17 (23) Oregon (8-3) 33 at Stanford Washington State
18 (22) Ole Miss (8-3) 8 at Alabama at Memphis
19 (18) TCU (9-2) 18 West Virginia at Oklahoma State
20 (NR) Washington State (8-3) 60 at UCLA Portland State
21 (NR) Mississippi State (8-3) 23 at Arkansas at Texas A&M
22 (NR) UCLA (8-3) 17 at Utah Arizona State
23 (13) Utah (8-3) 32 Michigan at Arizona
24 (NR) Toledo (9-1) 21 Arkansas Northern Illinois
25 (NR) Temple (9-2) 39 Penn State at South Florida

And here's the SB Nation Selection Committee's top four:

Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame and Iowa.


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