The Top 5 Heading Into The Weekend

Monday, 13 Nov, 2017

Ohio State is No. 13 now. The Coastal leader No. 7 Miami has a nonconference game against No. 3 Notre Dame, but the Hurricanes can still the division if Virginia Tech (at Georgia Tech) and Virginia (at Louisville) lose. An undefeated Georgia team, led by the two-headed monster in the backfield of seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, who watched the Prayer at Jordan-Hare as high school seniors and recent Bulldog commits, will be looking to exact their revenge and prove something to the country in the process. Because look what's going to happen.

Miami and Clemson are now destined to meet in the ACC Championship game. The victor of this showdown will be sitting pretty in the eyes of the College Football Playoff Committee heading into the homestretch of the regular season, while the loser will be effectively eliminated from contention. The FPI also gives the Sooners a 59.3-percent chance of winning the Big 12, ahead of TCU (36.5 percent) and Oklahoma State (5.3 percent).

Oklahoma is in if it wins its final two regular-season games and prevails in the Big 12 Championship.

A victory by No. 1 Alabama against No. 18 Mississippi State, plus a loss by No. 10 Auburn to No. 2 Georgia, clinches the SEC West for the Tide.

The Trojans remain on the outside looking in on a playoff spot and have little chance to get there without a lot of insane help, but here they are, a chance to win the Pac-12 title, waiting for three or four more teams to bite it. And that's a best-case scenario for all those teams, assuming no unseen upsets. The Notre Dame versus Miami showdown starts at 8 p.m.

It took back-to-back wins against top-25 opponents to finally certify the statement, but Miami is back - and in the national title hunt. It would at least be a discussion.

Another ESPN measurement tool, the College Football Power Index, which is a prospective measure of a team's strength based on its projected performance going forward as opposed to past performance, now ranks Oklahoma No. 9 nationally. Wins against USC, Michigan State and N.C. State help counter losses to a pair of top-5 teams. We're putting the defending national champions here with the understanding that every game is an elimination game, and the Big Ten champion could get this last spot. They're susceptible, even more so than last year's team on defense, but are a tick better offensively when they put their heads down and run the football with Jalen Hurts and the best running back tandem in college football. But the Knights shouldn't be completely discounted because of their league brethren, especially since one of their wins in AAC play is against No. 18/17 Memphis (as well as Maryland of the Big Ten).

Don't assume that the Buckeyes control their own destiny, not with that 31-point loss to Iowa.