Clemson wasn’t shown much respect by the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee in its first rankings of the 2019-20 season. The Tigers were ranked No. 5, the first team out of the four-team playoff.
Clemson will certainly move into the top four when the CFP rankings are released Tuesday night. The Tigers went to 10-0 after another easy win – this time against North Carolina State to win the ACC Atlantic Division.
No. 1 Ohio State made easy work of Maryland to remain unbeaten at 9-0. No. 2 LSU edged out No. 3 Alabama in a 46-41 thriller in Tuscaloosa, and No. 4 Penn State was upset on the road against No. 17 Minnesota.
PSU will drop out of the top four. The rankings will include Ohio State, LSU, (9-0) and Clemson. The fourth spot is likely to be Alabama, but one-loss Georgia and Oregon teams, as well as undefeated Minnesota, could sneak in.
Alabama is ranked No. 4 in the newest AP Top 25 poll. The Crimson Tide have now been ranked inside the top five for a record 66 weeks. The second-longest streak is held by Miami, which was in the top five for 55 weeks in the early 2000s.
With LSU past its most difficult test of the season, the Tigers have the third-shortest odds of winning the College Football Playoff National Championship at +450.
Clemson has the easiest path to the playoff, their remaining schedule being Wake Forest, South Carolina, and, presumably, Virginia in the ACC title game. That’s why FanDuel has the Tigers with the shortest championship odds at +200. Ohio State shares that line.
The Buckeyes play at Rutgers, host Penn State, and then travel to Michigan. If they win out, they’ll likely play Minnesota in the Big Ten Championship.
Alabama is at +1200, Georgia and Oklahoma +2500, and Oregon +4000. Minnesota is at +10000.
Of course, much can still happen over the next four weeks that keeps paths open for numerous teams to snag one of the four playoff spots. Five games this week will pit AP ranked vs. ranked teams.
No. 5 Georgia plays at No. 13 Auburn. The Bulldogs are favored by a field goal.
No. 7 Minnesota takes its undefeated act on the road to No. 23 Iowa. The Hawkeyes are favored by three points.
No. 24 Indiana travels to Happy Valley for No. 9 Penn State. The Nittany Lions look to bounce back and are favored by two touchdowns.
No. 10 Oklahoma plays at undefeated No. 12 Baylor. The visiting Sooners are favored by 10 points.
No. 21 Navy plays at No. 16 Notre Dame. The Midshipmen are 9.5-point underdogs against the Fighting Irish.
The predicted CFP top four – Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, and Alabama – all should have easy goes. They’re respectively favored against their opponents by point spreads of 51, 21, 33.5, and 21.