How Ohio State Can Jump Alabama To Get Into College Football Playoffs

If the University of Miami beats Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game on Saturday in Charlotte, the Hurricanes likely would be in the four-team College Football Playoff, for reasons we explain here.

As for Auburn, one has to think if Gus Malzahn's team win the SEC Championship, it will be higher than the No. 4 seed.

So who has a better case for the playoff?

However, the more realistic championship opponent for Dabo Swinney and the other SEC West team that resides in Alabama, the one that controls its playoff fate. Its last set of rankings will follow on Sunday, with the top four teams at that point reaching the playoff.

Clemson and Oklahoma, the No. 3 and No. 4 teams last week, appear poised to claim the top two spots in one order or the other after commanding wins over SC and West Virginia, respectively.

For starters, Gary Patterson's team will need to produce a convincing win over No. 3 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. Any loss by any of the aforementioned teams will put the playoff rankings in flux. And if Alabama doesn't make the field, it would mark the first time the event has been held without the Crimson Tide.

On one hand, there would be 11-2 Ohio State, fresh off a Big Ten championship.

If the scenario arises that the Buckeyes win the Big Ten, there's an argument for and against Urban Meyer's team. They have only beat one opponent that is now ranked in the AP top 25. Its detractors would use its two losses against it and throw Alabama into the mix as a more deserving team.

Also looming large is the Buckeyes' Week 2 loss to Oklahoma.

These rankings will provide some idea about how the committee views Alabama in comparison to Ohio State, though the Buckeyes can change who they are.

Both Clemson and Oklahoma are 11-1 with resume-building non-conference wins over division champs - Clemson's over SEC West victor Auburn and Oklahoma's over Big Ten East victor Ohio State.