AUBURN, Ala. — Teams hoping to present a College Football Playoff case have had their opportunities.
Questions that have lingered for weeks have been answered after a week of conference championship games.
For starters, Clemson is the top team in the nation — at least on my AP ballot. Many thought Dabo Swinney’s team would be tested by the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC title game. Instead Clemson handed the Hurricanes a 38-3 loss and solidified its spot as the best team in the nation again.
Oklahoma landed at No. 2 after defeating TCU in the Big 12 championship game. Baker Mayfield is likely going to run away with the Heisman Trophy and his team looks back to being one of the best in the country.
Georgia flipped the script on Auburn and handed the Tigers a lopsided loss in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Though Gus Malzahn’s team had looked like one of the best in the nation during the month of November — hence the No. 2 ranking by the CFB Playoff committee — it was clear that wins over No. 1 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama took a toll — at least physically, on Auburn. When healthy, Auburn is easily one of the best four teams in the country, but without its healthy offensive standouts including Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway, it’s a very different group.
Now here’s where things get a little tricky. After a long back-and-forth, Alabama is No. 4 in my AP ballot. Of course, Alabama’s schedule is lacking a championship game, but I believe the Crimson Tide to be a better team than Ohio State. Ohio State won the Big Ten title, but I don’t believe the conference as a whole to be as tough as the SEC.
Here’s how the rest of my AP Top 25 looked after Week 14:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State
- Oklahoma State
- Washington State
- Virginia Tech
- Mississippi St.
- North Carolina State
- Boise State