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December 8, 2019
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College Football Playoff rankings — What the games would look like today

College Football Playoff rankings -- What the games would look like today
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There was no bigger beneficiary of Alabama’s loss to Auburn on Saturday in the Iron Bowl than No. 5 Utah.

With the top four (Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, Georgia) staying the same, as expected, the Utes were the story of the College Football Playoff selection committee’s fifth rankings, as they were promoted to the No. 5 spot while Alabama tumbled to No. 12 — behind three-loss rival Auburn.

It was an important jump for the Pac-12 heading into championship weekend, as the league still holds a slight edge over the Big 12’s top teams, No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Baylor. The order can change on Selection Day, but it’s an important distinction heading into the season’s final rankings on Dec. 8.

Should No. 2 LSU beat No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship on Saturday, the fourth spot will boil down to a debate between the winner of the Big 12 and Utah, if it can beat Oregon on Friday in the Pac-12 championship game. If No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Clemson all win their respective conferences — and Utah loses — it will be an easy decision for the committee to put the Big 12 champion in the fourth spot, regardless of whether it’s Oklahoma or Baylor.

Overshadowed by the news at the top was the fact that with this ranking, No. 12 Alabama isn’t going to be in a New Year’s Six Bowl this year. It was a far fall for the only team in the country that has been in the playoff each of the past five seasons.

Here’s what the bracket would look like if the playoff were today:

No. 1 Ohio State would face No. 4 Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. The selection committee makes sure the No. 1 seed is not at a geographic disadvantage, which it would be if it faced Georgia in nearby Atlanta, so No. 2 LSU will face No. 3 Clemson in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

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