Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, December 1, 2015

The last College Football Playoff rankings before the league championship games comes out tonight. And, there is still a chance the Big Ten could get two teams in the playoffs. Really.

[ MORE: Big Ten Mailbag: How will Rose Bowl participant be decided? ]

How will this week?s College Football Playoff rankings look?

Probably just like last week?s, when it looked like this:

  • No. 1 Clemson
  • No. 2  Alabama
  • No. 3 Oklahoma
  • No. 4 Iowa

But there is still lots of potential drama left-along with a couple of certainties.

The 11-1 Sooners are finished, as the Big 12 has no league title game. They look to be a playoff lock. And the winner of the Big Ten title game between Iowa and No. 5 Michigan State figures to be a playoff lock, too.

That leaves Clemson and Alabama. Clemson plays North Carolina in the ACC title game; Alabama takes on Florida in the SEC championship tilt. If the Tigers and Tide win, they are in the playoffs. Things would get interesting, however, if they get upset. A Bama loss to the Gators would be monumental. But, it?s not crazy to think UNC could dump Clemson.

While a Florida win wouldn?t get it into the playoffs, North Carolina may get in if it beats Clemson. Yes, the 11-1 Tar Heels? lack an awesome resume. They have two wins over FCS clubs and lost to 3-9 South Carolina. But it would be difficult to ignore a win over the nation?s No. 1 team. And it would be the Heels? 12th victory in a row. But could North Carolina really jump from No. 14 in last week?s poll to a top-four spot?

Ohio State would figure to be a better bet than even a 12-1 ACC champion North Carolina club to make the playoffs. The 11-1 Buckeyes were No. 8 in last week?s poll-with highest-quality loss (to Michigan State) of any one-loss team in contention.

Stanford also may be able to slip into the playoff if it beats USC in the Pac-12 title game to finish 10-2. The Cardinal was No. 9 in last week?s poll. Still, Ohio State would seemingly have an edge over Stanford, which lost at Northwestern and to Oregon.


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