Alabama, Clemson, LSU then Notre Dame?

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Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame earn the top 4 spots of the College Football Playoff rankings as MI and Georgia sit at No. 5 and No. 6.

But Notre Dame's placement behind LSU is a bit concerning because it reflects a slight lack of respect from the committee.

The CFP rankings don't include a list of other teams in consideration, such as Utah State, ranked No. 18 in this week's AP Top 25 as the top MountainWest team in that poll. UCF has yet to lose a game and they look to continue their impressive season as they close out their season playing against several good unranked teams.

Perhaps unexpectedly, one-loss LSU - which is in the same SEC division as Alabama and will play the Crimson Tide at home Saturday - opened at No. 3, while undefeated Notre Dame is at No. 4.

In 2015 and '16, two teams in the committee's first four made the playoff.

The Aggies face unranked Auburn this weekend, and will then travel home to face UAB, who is now first in Conference USA, and Ole Miss.

Unsurprisingly, the University of Central Florida Knights were left out of the College Football Playoff committee's top 10 rankings, released Tuesday.

Notre Dame is 8-0 and will make the playoff it if dodges defeat in its final four - at Northwestern, against Florida State, versus Syracuse at Yankee Stadium and at USC.

"Every committee, every group, and every year is unique, too, so even if you have the same members, it would be unique because it's a different data set and a different year", said Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens, a fourth-year committee member and new chairman.

The CFP committee rated the Irish one spot lower than most expected.

OK, now let's move on to more realistic scenarios - the unbeaten teams stay unbeaten, and the victor of Ohio State-Michigan gets in after winning the Big Ten title.

This is the 26th time an Alabama team has made an appearance in rankings since the formation of the playoff system in 2014.

LSU is ranked at #3 heading into its match-up with Alabama, which earned itself the #1 spot in the rankings.

In the below table, you'll find our betting power ratings, which you can use to create point spreads for a hypothetical matchup between any two teams. The last week of the regular season will be a big week not only for the Buckeyes but also the Wolverines as that game could decide who will get the final spot in the College Football Playoff.

Unfortunately, that flawless scenario would still likely leave them behind a combination of a 12-1 Big Ten champ, undefeated ACC champ Clemson and an undefeated Notre Dame squad. Why?

A 1-3 start to the season, including a loss to Iowa - which is ranked 16th - and Oklahoma, ISU rebounded for three-straight wins including an upset of then-No. "For example, Texas A&M is a strong 5-3 team because their losses were against No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson". It was also the first game of the season.

Former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall's Virginia team is No. 25 in the CFP rankings.

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