College Football Playoff: Who’s in, Who’s out

Alabama head coach Nick Saban strolls the sideline during the Crimson Tide’s 52-3 blowout of Arkansas. Alabama has embarrassed most of the teams on their schedule this year however, Alabama will face better competition in the CFP.

Photo taken from WholeHogSports.com

Alabama head coach Nick Saban strolls the sideline during the Crimson Tide’s 52-3 blowout of Arkansas. Alabama has embarrassed most of the teams on their schedule this year however, Alabama will face better competition in the CFP.

The fourth round of College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings was released on Tuesday, with the top four teams remaining unchanged. Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Ohio State continue to occupy the top four spots. 

The top four teams will play in two semifinal games, and the winner of each semifinal game will advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship game which will be held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

The top four teams:

Notre Dame’s offense showed improvement during their 45-21 win over Syracuse. Quarterback Ian Book has proved since the Clemson game he is more than a “game manager”.

No. 1 Alabama

Alabama, under head coach Nick Saban, has been great; so great that Saban needs one more national championship at Alabama to equal Paul “Bear” Bryant’s six national championships with the Crimson Tide. Quarterback Mac Jones leads a fourth-ranked Alabama offense, and while Alabama’s defense is ranked 35, they have been improving. Against LSU, Alabama allowed only 17 points and against Arkansas, they allowed three. Alabama will play seventh-ranked Florida this Saturday in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Running back Lyn-J Dixon rushes for a first down against Virginia Tech during Clemson’s 45-10 win. The Tigers will have a chance to avenge their loss to Notre Dame on Saturday in the ACC Championship game. (Photo taken from CBSSports.com)

No. 2 Notre Dame

Notre Dame earned the number two spot in the CFP rankings when they defeated Clemson in overtime. The Fighting Irish defense is the strength of the team, ranked 12. Their offense, led by quarterback Ian Book, is ranked 20. Notre Dame will play third-ranked Clemson this Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

No. 3 Clemson

Quarterback Justin Fields scrambles outside of the pocket during Ohio State’s 52-12 win over Michigan State. The Buckeyes remained ahead of Texas A&M in the fourth round of CFP rankings, although not without controversy. (Photo taken from Detroit Free Press)

Clemson began the 2020 season ranked first, but dropped to third after losing to Notre Dame. Clemson arguably has the best quarterback out of the top four teams in Trevor Lawrence, who is predicted to be drafted first overall in the NFL Draft. The Tigers offense, led by Lawrence is ranked 11. Their defense is ranked seventh, the highest of any top-four team. Clemson will play second-ranked Notre Dame this Saturday in the ACC

Championship game.

 

 

No. 4 Ohio State

Ohio State remained ahead of fifth-ranked Texas A&M after their convincing win over Michigan State. According to CFP chairman, Gary Barta, “there was discussion about putting Ohio State [or] Texas A&M in that fourth slot.” The Buckeyes offense, led by quarterback Justin Fields, is ranked sixth. Their defense, ranked 41, struggled early in the season, giving up 27 points to Rutgers and 35 to Indiana. Ohio State will play 14 ranked Northwestern this Saturday in the Big Ten Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.