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Rivalry week and the conference title games remain, but until then there's no reason for the committee to budge from their standing-Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and MI have separated themselves from the rest.

Penn State football checked in at the No. 12 spot in this week's College Football Playoff top 25 poll. So does the point spread, which is often inflated towards the stronger teams at this time of year and those teams with more to play for.

Even if the Sooners manage to beat back-to-back ranked opponents in the final two weeks of the season they will still need help above them to have a chance to be one of the final four teams, likely meaning a Notre Dame loss to USC and/or a MI loss to Ohio State or in the Big 10 Championship game. But with no hope at a playoff, it's a bit of an empty achievement. If Texas wins, it will face the victor of No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 13 West Virginia.

That leaves two spots and four of the five Power Five conference champions have at least three losses. We have a really hard time seeing Alabama fall all the way to No. 5 no matter what Clemson, Notre Dame or MI do down the stretch. Ohio State is slightly above the FBS average in defensive efficiency (48th at 61.2 entering Saturday), while Oklahoma is 90th at 42.1.

NCAA Rivalry games Thanksgiving weekend
BamaInsider.com - Alabama remains No. 1 in fourth College Football Playoff Rankings of 2018

On Dec. 1 the Knights will host the American Athletic Conference Championship game at home, playing either Memphis or Houston. Georgia 6. Oklahoma 7. Notre Dame 4. MI 5.

Until Saturday, there wasn't much if any comparison between Ohio State and Oklahoma.

LSU surprisingly still sits at No. 7 ahead of Washington State as the highest-ranked two-loss team, but the Cougars can pass the Tigers with an Apple Cup win this week over Washington, which is also slotted in the top-15. Kentucky 16. Washington 17. Utah State 22. Texas A&M 23.


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