The selection committee pretty much answered that Tuesday.
Clemson: Win and you're in 2. Oklahoma State (9-3), 20. Auburn: Win and you're in 4.
Jonathan Taylor #23 and A.J. Taylor #4 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrate a touchdown against the Minnesota Golden Gophers by Taylor during the fourth quarter of the game on November 25, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Big 12 and Big Ten championship games are responsible for potential chaos.
Georgia then dropped to No. 7, which is where it was until this week. Miami: Win and you're in 8.
Anyone in the top seven will make the playoff with a win.. Two-loss Big 12 champion TCU, if it beats Oklahoma this week? Southern California (10-2), 11. Wisconsin finished the regular season undefeated and checked in at No. 4.
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With that established, here's what we'll be talking about after Tuesday's reveal. Miami gets a shot at No. 1 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
The Pac-12 appears to be locked out of the playoff so it is a safe bet that the victor of its championship game between Stanford and Southern California (10-2) winds up in the Fiesta Bowl. The series was dominated by the SEC as the conference racked up nine National Championships in that time frame.
Auburn sits behind Clemson, which ascended to No. 1 this week. The committee can't go wrong either way. Auburn (10-2), 3. Oklahoma (11-1), 4. Then again, if both Ohio State and TCU win, perhaps the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide will both make the playoff.
This debate has stakes, too. That would set up a rematch of last year's Auburn-Oklahoma Sugar Bowl in a playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl.
We're getting into some very tall weeds that probably won't have to be whacked, but that's why we watch this silly sport. The victor will nearly assuredly clinch a spot in the playoff, while the loser will likely be left out. If Georgia downs Auburn in the SEC championship, would the Bulldogs jump over Alabama? A Tigers loss in the SEC title game makes things more hard, but doesn't automatically knock Alabama out of the running. Ohio State has a 15-point loss to Oklahoma and a 31-point loss to Iowa, but if it beats Wisconsin, it would be an 11-2 Big Ten champion with a win over Wisconsin, a win over No. 9 Penn State and a 45-point win over No. 16 Michigan State.
"I think this team deserves the opportunity to get in the playoff by what they've been able to accomplish and what they've been able to do", Saban said postgame. While Ohio State may have the better pure résumé after Saturday, Alabama will still only have one loss compared to Ohio State's two. Alabama is the only team in that group not playing in its conference championship game. They lost to Auburn rather handedly and, more importantly, late in the season.