College Football Playoff ranking: Top four stay the same heading into final week

The top five of the final College Football Playoff committee's in-season rankings announced Tuesday look exactly like the first three reveals.

Alabama again leads Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State and Texas A&M heading into the last weekend of the regular season.

The Crimson Tide will face No. 7 Florida in the SEC championship game knowing that even a loss likely won't knock them completely out of the field. The Fighting Irish and the Tigers will renew acquaintances for the second time this season in the ACC title game. Notre Dame won the first meeting. A Clemson win this time could result in spots for both teams.

Notre Dame wide receiver Javon McKinley catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Syracuse cornerback Garett Williams during his game at Notre Dame Stadium. (Photo: Matt Cashore, USA TODAY Sports)

The Buckeyes face a win-or-out matchup against No. 14 Northwestern in the Big Ten title game, while the Aggies hope for some help ahead of them — a loss by Clemson or Ohio State — to get consideration.

Iowa State, the highest team from the Big 12, checks in at No. 6. The Cyclones face No. 10 Oklahoma in the conference title game. Both could get consideration if there are upsets ahead of them.

TOUGH CALL: If Notre Dame beats Clemson, committee faces difficult decision

Florida only dropped one spot after a loss to LSU at home as a three-touchdown favorite. Right behind the Gators is SEC rival Georgia.

Cincinnati falls one spot to No. 9  and leads the Group of Five schools in contention for the New Year's Six spot given to the conferences outside the Power Five. The Bearcats, who haven't played since Nov. 21, will face No. 23 Tulsa in the American Athletic championship game. 

"The committee has shown appreciation for Cincinnati from the beginning," playoff committee Gary Barta said. "The teams around them and ahead of them have played two or three games that we've been able to evaluate. One of the things that holds Cincinnati back … is they don't have a win against a Top 25."

One team that was in the top 10 last week fell out. No. 18 Miami was routed by North Carolina and tumbled eight places.

No. 12 Coastal Carolina remains in contention for the first at-large berth for a Group of Five school. The Chanticleers get one more opportunity to impress the committee against Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt championship game.

The top four teams in the final rankings released Dec. 20 will play in the semifinals. Those games will take place at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. The championship game will be played on Jan. 11 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

College Football Playoff committee Top 25

1. Alabama (10-0)

2. Notre Dame (10-0)

3. Clemson (9-1)

4. Ohio State (5-0)

5. Texas A&M (7-1)

6. Iowa State (8-2)

7. Florida (8-2)

8. Georgia (5-2)

9. Cincinnati (8-0)

10. Oklahoma (7-2)

11. Indiana (6-1)

12. Coastal Carolina (11-0)

13. Southern California (5-0)

14. Northwestern (6-1)

15. North Carolina (8-3) 

16. Iowa (6-2)

16. Brigham Young (10-1)

18. Miami (Fla.) (8-2)

19. Louisiana-Lafayette (9-1)

20. Texas (6-3)

21. Oklahoma State (7-3) 

22. North Carolina State (8-3)

23. Tulsa (6-1)

24. San Jose State (6-0)

25. Colorado (4-1)

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