Badgers climb into College Football Playoff field

Jan 7 2014 Newport Beach CA USA General view of the crystal football on the Coaches Trophy at 2014 BCS National Championship press conference at Newport Beach Marriott. Mandatory Credit Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It is the highest ranking for Clemson in the poll that will determine the Final Four teams for the College Football Playoff since the last ranking of the 2015 season.

Also keep in mind that Clemson beat Auburn on September 9, too, and they would have the same records if Clemson lost to Miami and Auburn beat Georgia. Last year, Clemson was never No. 1 in the CFP Poll, then defeated No. 1 Alabama in the National Championship game. If Oklahoma defeats No. 11 TCU in the Big 12 title game and Wisconsin beats No. 8 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, the Sooners and Badgers look like locks to round out the field.

OU is searching for its 11th Big 12 championship and first under coach Lincoln Riley at 11:30 a.m. Saturday against TCU at AT&T Stadium.

"Losing to Auburn, as bitter as that is for Alabama fans, is not fatal when looking at the playoff picture". The Bulldogs moved up after Miami lost to Pittsburgh and Alabama stayed ahead of Georgia after its 26-14 loss to Auburn.

Clemson is the committee's No. 1 team, and Auburn and Wisconsin round out the top four. One of the reasons the Buckeyes made the field previous year but Big Ten-champion Penn State did not was a blowout loss for the Nittany Lions. Those two losses hold Ohio State back against Alabama even though the Buckeyes would have two wins against top 10 teams while Alabama's best win will be against an LSU team hovering in the middle of the top 25 at best.

If Ohio State and/or TCU win, then the final spot - or spots - gets tricky. Alabama is the only team in that group not playing in its conference championship game. There are not enough earths in the multiverse to comprehend a world in which an undefeated Big Ten champion would not be included in a four-team College Football Playoff, no matter what you think about Wisconsin (and by the way, they're pretty good). A win over Stanford would give USC two wins over the Cardinal.

The national semifinals are set for January 1, at 4 the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and at 7:45 the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Clemson (11-1), the defending national champion, moves up to No. 1 in this week's rankings.

"The Selection Committee had questions as to are they as balanced of a team as some others that are ranked just above them, and we analyzed their schedule, have they really been tested on the defensive side of the ball this year, and if so, by who, and based on that conversation, we ranked them in that 14th spot this week", Hocutt said.

"They've won 11 games".

No. 2 Oklahoma (minus 7) vs. Notre Dame (9-3), 16.

Peach Bowl: No. 6 Georgia vs. Given its location, UCF's most likely destination seems to be the Peach Bowl.

Penn State appears to be safely in the New Year's Six at No. 9.

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