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Post-Week Eleven College Football Playoff Power Rankings

Travis Entienne and Christian Wilkins, Clemson
The Four

1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0, 7-0 SEC)
Alabama got quite the challenge this Saturday, as 16th-ranked Mississippi State played some of their best football of the season, matching the Tide for the vast majority of their matchup. However, the Tide were able to pull away late and avoid a stunning upset. The victory kept Alabama flawless, and with Georgia losing to Auburn, likely means the Crimson Tide should rise to No. 1 in the new set of Playoff rankings set to come out on Tuesday. It should be a pretty relaxed week for the Tide this week as they meet FCS foe Mercer, but it should be an opportunity to figure some things out prior to a Iron Bowl battle that has huge SEC and Playoff implications. A victory there would likely lock in 'Bama into yet another Playoff bid, no matter what happens in the SEC Championship.

2 Miami Hurricanes (9-0, 6-0 ACC)
It is probably safe to say that "The U" is officially back following the Hurricanes dominant showing against Notre Dame in primetime on Saturday. Prior to the win over ND, Miami had been undefeated but their resume paled in comparison to many other serious Playoff contenders. Beating the Irish, who have one impressive resume themselves, certainly changed that, especially the way they did it. Miami came out with a chip on their shoulder and looked locked in from the moment the first quarter started. The key going forward is for them to keep their focus the rest of the regular season and not get caught looking ahead to the ACC Championship or beyond. Neither Virginia nor Pittsburgh are serious threats but both could be trap games, and then the 'Canes finish their season with what will be back-to-back games against Clemson, one in the regular season finale and another in that ACC Championship. If they are able to run the table, the 'Canes have a serious case for No. 1 in the country but even if they lose, they could still realistically get into the four-team field.

3 Clemson Tigers (9-1, 7-1 ACC)
Before the season began, Clemson-Florida State was not only supposed to decide the ACC race, but likely the Playoff chase. That was not the case in reality, as Clemson entered the game against 3-5 Florida State simply trying to not come in overconfident. The Seminoles were able to make it pretty competitive, but Clemson still rolled to their ninth win of the year. At this point, Clemson still has the best resume of any one-loss team in the country, even though Virginia Tech losing this weekend did hurt them. What really helps the Tigers is their early-season win over Auburn, which now looks like a huge victory, considering the way Auburn dismantled Georgia. However, because that one loss was to Syracuse, Clemson really has no room for error. Any loss, even to Miami, likely would eliminate their chances of making the Playoff and defending their National Championship.

4 Oklahoma Sooners (9-1, 6-1 Big 12)
It was a big weekend in the Big 12, with Oklahoma and TCU squaring off to become the prohibitive Big 12 favorite, and Oklahoma State-Iowa State meeting in essentially a Big 12 Championship elimination game. The Sooners managed to get the job done, rolling past the Horned Frogs behind the big play of Baker Mayfield and company. The victory not only puts Oklahoma in the drivers seat in the conference, but also pushes them into a good place in the Playoff chase. Oklahoma's non-conference win over Ohio State on the road is still incredibly impressive, and a resume that includes beating Oklahoma State and TCU is not bad either. What has also seriously helped the Sooners' hopes is the fact that Iowa State has put together a good season. When the Sooners lost to the Cyclones, it was threatening to be a bad loss, but the Cyclones play has made it look a lot better, which should only help OU going forward.

Next Four Out

5 Georgia Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1 SEC)
It obviously wasn't a great weekend for Georgia, who were pounded by Auburn 40-17 then saw their most impressive win of the year, Notre Dame, get beat even worse by Miami. With that being said, UGA's Playoff hopes are not dead. They will end the regular season with Kentucky and rival Georgia Tech, two dangerous, but beatable teams, before the SEC Championship. No matter whether it is Auburn or Alabama that they meet, a win there would likely guarantee a Playoff berth. Beating 'Bama might look better just because of what the Tide have done all season long, but getting vengeance against Auburn would be extremely satisfying and give this team a ton of momentum. Either way, Georgia will now definitely have to run the table to get into the Playoff, which makes them difficult, but not impossible.

6 Wisconsin Badgers (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten)
For the first time this season, Wisconsin came out and beat a team that was ranked when they played, as they ran past Iowa at home. It wasn't exactly a signature win, but it certainly strengthened Wisconsin's resume, which is much weaker than most in the Playoff hunt. What would really help the Badgers going forward is not only for them to keep winning, of course, but some of the teams they have beaten to keep rolling. Florida Atlantic and Northwestern are two teams that they beat that have played very well down the stretch. FAU looks like they might win the Conference USA and Northwestern is quietly 7-3 and now ranked. Wisconsin's biggest game of the year is on this Saturday, when they meet Michigan. These Wolverines aren't the 2016 edition, but they have looked reinvigorated with Brandon Peters at quarterback. Handling the Wolverines and winning the Big Ten Championship would have to get Wisconsin into the Playoff, especially with some of the chaos that ensued this weekend.

7 Auburn Tigers (8-2, 6-1 SEC)
If there is one remaining wild card in the Playoff race, it has to be Auburn, who cause some serious craziness depending on how they finish up the season. The Tigers obviously beat Georgia this week, and now has two more opportunities to prove themselves to the Committee. If they are able to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl and then beat Georgia once more in the SEC Championship, it'd be awfully hard to leave them out, even with their two losses. That is definitely easier said than done, but the way that QB Jarrett Stidham and this defense is currently playing, Auburn is incredibly scary and a team that could do serious damage.

8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-2)
Before this Saturday, Notre Dame was one of the hottest teams in the country, and a team that looked like a near Playoff lock. The Hurricanes were able to throw a serious wrench into that, and now the Irish will have to find a way to regroup. They will end the season with meetings with Navy and Stanford, who present interesting challenges. Neither is ranked currently, but the two have some of the best rushing offenses in the nation, and Stanford has stud running back Bryce Love, who is trying to make a last-ditch effort to overcome Mayfield and Saquon Barkley to win the Heisman. Beating those two may be enough to impress the Committee slightly, but Notre Dame will still probably need some chaos in front of them to have any shot at the Playoff now.

Others in the Mix
Ohio State Buckeyes
UCF Knights
Oklahoma State Cowboys
USC Trojans
Penn State Nittany Lions

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