As expected, defending national champion Clemson benefitted from losses by the top two teams, Alabama and Miami, last weekend to ascend to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings heading into the conference championship games.
Auburn, which upset the Crimson Tide, moved to No. 2. The other spots among the top four teams are Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
Clemson (11-1) faces Miami (10-1), which slipped five spots to No. 7, in the ACC Championship game at 7 p.m. CT Saturday in Charlotte.
Auburn (10-2) will face Georgia (11-1), which was ranked No. 1 until the Tigers routed the Bulldogs 40-17 three weeks ago, in the SEC Championship game at 3 p.m. CT Saturday.
Wisconsin 12-0), moving up to No. 4, will play No. 8 Ohio State (10-2) for the Big Ten Championship Game at 7 p.m. CT Saturday in Indianapolis.
The fact that each of the top four teams will face difficult opposition in conference championship games leaves open the possibility for more movement in the final poll next week. In the past two polls, half the top four teams have lost.
|3||University of Oklahoma||11-1|
|4||University of Wisconsin||12-0|
|5||University of Alabama||11-1|
|6||University of Georgia||11-1|
|7||University of Miami||10-1|
|8||Ohio State University||10-2|
|9||Penn State University||10-2|
|10||University of Southern California||10-2|
|11||Texas Christian University||10-2|
|13||University of Washington||10-2|
|14||University of Central Florida||11-0|
|15||University of Notre Dame||9-3|
|16||Michigan State University||9-3|
|17||Louisiana State University||9-3|
|18||Washington State University||9-3|
|19||Oklahoma State University||9-3|
|20||University of Memphis||10-1|
|23||Mississippi State University||8-4|
|24||North Carolina State University||8-4|