The postseason is in play for the 10 biggest week of rivalry games beginning with the Iron Bowl.


With the exception of the change between No. 2 Miami and No. 3 Clemson, the top 12 teams on the college football playoff selection committee stayed exactly the same Tuesday. Do not get too comfortable, not with the week of rivalry on the deck.

Three of the last five meetings between Ohio State and Michigan have been one possession games. Nick Saban has never defeated an Auburn team that won nine games, winning 0-6 (Auburn is 9-2). Things are set to change in Week 13.

Here is a look at the 10 largest games that will shape the fifth of six committee rankings, listed in order of greatest potential impact:

1. No. 1 Alabama (11-0) at No. 6 Auburn (9-2)

(Saturday at 3:30 P.M. ET on CBS)

Entries in the tiebreaker : The winner wins SEC West and wins a match against No. 7 Georgia in the SEC championship game. A victory over the Bulldogs in Atlanta will likely seal a place in the top four for any team that wins the Iron Bowl. Certainly it would be for Tide, and the Tigers would have a very strong case to become the first team of two losses of the CFP.

If Alabama loses, it would end 11-1 and leave open the possibility of two SEC teams finishing in the first four. In that scenario, The Tide would expect Auburn to win the SEC since it would suit them better if their only loss was for the SEC champion and not for a three-defeat Auburn team. Remember, Ohio State finished in the top four positions of the commission last season despite not winning its division, so there is a precedent for an Alabama team that does not win the West or the SEC, especially if the Tide has been in the two best of the committee. five weeks prior.

Player to follow for Alabama : DB Minkah Fitzpatrick. He did not play against Mercer due to a hamstring strain, but he returned to practice this week. He should play an integral role in both the ground and pbading defense against an Auburn team that is one of the only three FBS teams to average more than 230 yards in the air and 230 yards on the ground. Tigres coach Gus Malzahn said Fitzpatrick is "one of the best or most talented players in all of football."

The junior, Todd McShay's third NFL draft prospect, has 44 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, six pbades eliminated, a forced fumble and a blocked kick this season.

Player to follow for Auburn : RB Kerryon Johnson. He leads the SEC with 18 total touchdowns and 130.2 rushing yards per game and is second on the FBS with an average of 12 points per game. With Kamryn Pettway not yet available, the Tigers will continue to rely on the youth.

External interests : Ohio State supporters should support Alabama, because the only way the Buckeyes with two losses could possibly stand would be for Alabama and Miami to win their respective conferences and eliminate the possibility of having two teams in a conference. Clemson fans should be applauding Auburn, because the more Auburn wins, the better Clemson's win will be without a conference on September 9.

2. No. 9 State of Ohio (9-2) in Michigan (8-3)

(Saturday at noon ET on FOX)

Participations in the tie-breaker : Ohio State has already secured the Big Ten East, but it would be disastrous if it entered the championship game of the conference with Wisconsin as a three-game losing team. If the Buckeyes win, their playoff hopes remain on life support as a possible Big Ten two-defeater, but they would still need others to stumble.

FiveThirtyEight will update its American Football Playoff projections after each game and new selection committee ranking. Projections »

The Traders were swept by the Buckeyes 59-0 in the Big Ten title game in 2014. A victory could be the boost they need to finally break the top four of the committee.

Player to follow for Ohio State : RB Mike Weber. In his last two games, Weber has raced 20 times for 270 yards and four touchdowns (13.5 yards per carry) with four of those carries for 20 yards or more. He overcame 50 yards on the ground in just two previous games.

Player to follow in Michigan : Field marshal, whoever. Brandon Peters went through the concussion protocol earlier this week, and it is not clear if Wilton Speight will be authorized for contact in practice. Fifth senior year John O'Korn replaced Peters in the Wolverines' loss to Wisconsin last week.

External interests : This game does not have much direct impact on other teams or conferences, but with No. 11 USC and TCU No. 12 still looking at the Buckeyes in the CFP ranking, and Still in contention for winning their respective conference championships, a defeat at Ohio State would at least eliminate a potential conference champion in front of them.

3. No. 5 Wisconsin (11-0) in Minnesota (5-6)

(Saturday at 3:30 P.M. ET in the ABC and ESPN application)

Participation in the postseason : the moment Wisconsin loses, its playoff hopes plummet. As the unbeaten conference champion, Wisconsin has a 99 percent chance of reaching the tiebreaker, according to FiveThirtyEight. At 12-1, with the weakest strength of any team's schedule in the top 25 CFP, Wisconsin's chances are reduced to 8 percent. Then, yes, the Badger must win.

Player to follow for Wisconsin : RB Jonathan Taylor. He leads the Big Ten and all FBS freshmen running with 150.6 yards per game, and is averaging 6.9 yards per carry. He needs 269 yards to break Adrian Peterson's rushing yards record in one season for a FBS freshman (1,925).

Player to follow for Minnesota : QB Demry Croft. He has started the last five games for the Gophers, who have 2-3 in that span. He has the ability to run, however. His 183 rushing yards in a win over Nebraska are the most accomplished by a Big Ten quarterback this season.

External interests : The ACC and the SEC. For any of those leagues to have two teams in the last four first, it would be helpful if Wisconsin is not, because then an Alabama with a loss or a loss with Miami would stack against a potential Big Ten champion of two losses. [19659002] 4. No. 7 Georgia (10-1) at Georgia Tech (5-5)

(Saturday at noon ET on ABC and ESPN application)

Playoff participation : Georgia has already secured the SEC East, so even if it loses, it still has the chance to win the SEC and fill out its resume with a victory over Auburn or Alabama. However, it is a risky bet, and no one should badume that a two-game SEC champion is guaranteed nothing, especially if there is an Alabama available for a loss or a Miami loss.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Georgia currently has a 32 percent chance of making the playoffs, and that takes into account a loss. If Georgia loses to Georgia Tech, their chances of reaching the postseason drops to 12 percent.

Player to follow for Georgia : LB Roquan Smith. Can the spread option of the Jackets be effective against the Georgia defense? Smith is the team's leading tackler with 91, the fourth highest in the SEC.

Player to follow for Georgia Tech : QB TaQuon Marshall. He has accumulated 1,963 yards of total offense (1,074 rushing yards, 889 pbades) and 26 responsible touchdowns (17 yards rushing, nine pbades).

Out of interest : Miami should take advantage of Georgia Tech. The triumph of A Jackets would help the Canes in two ways: first, it would give a little boost to their resume because Miami beat Georgia Tech and put to the Jackets at 6-5 and would make them an eligible opponent for the bowl.

Second, it would eliminate at least one scenario in which two SEC teams enter because the two-loss Bulldogs would likely be eliminated, even with a title win against Bama. If a two-game Georgia beats a two-game Auburn in the SEC title game, Alabama would be the league's best hope and Miami could have a better résumé than Tide.

5. No. 3 Clemson (10-1) in n. 24 South Carolina (8-3)

(Saturday at 7:30 P.M. ET on ESPN and ESPN)

Participations in the tiebreaker : the committee has already he gave Clemson a pbad for his loss to Syracuse. One more and the Tigers would probably come out of the top four, especially if an undefeated Wisconsin is still waiting on the wings. Clemson would need multiple conference champions of two defeats to return to the debate. (Imagine: Auburn with two losses wins the SEC, Ohio State with two losses wins the Big Ten, Clemson with two losses wins the ACC and Oklahoma the Big 12 with two losses)

Clemson currently has a 70 percent chance of go to the jump-off, according to FiveThirtyEight, but that number falls to 51 percent with a loss to South Carolina.

Player to watch for Clemson : QB Kelly Bryant. He has thrown only five interceptions in 299 pbad attempts this year, compared to 17 for Deshaun Watson last year. He is eighth in the nation with a completion percentage of 66.2, and has thrown for 2.154 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Player to follow for South Carolina : WR Bryan Edwards. He leads the Gamebads with 53 receptions and 635 receiving yards, and ranks third in the SEC in 4.8 game receptions.

External Interests : Wisconsin, Oklahoma and the SEC will all benefit from a Clemson loss. If the Tigers stumble, both the Sooners and the Badgers should move up in the next committee ranking. If Clemson loses, it also helps the SEC because it eliminates the possibility of both Clemson and Miami finishing in the top four.

6. West Virginia (7-4) in No. 4 Oklahoma (10-1)

(Saturday at 3:45 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN)

Participations in the tiebreaker ]: Oklahoma has already secured a place in the Big 12 championship game, but if the Sooners lose to WVU, the conference guarantees the production of a two-game champion. Whether or not that eliminates the Big 12 of the playoffs will depend on what happens in the other Power 5 championship games. If there is still an Alabama of a single loss and a Miami with a loss available, the committee could choose them for a semifinal , even if those teams do not win their respective conference titles.

If it is a debate between two OUs of loss and Ohio State of two losses, the committee would definitely consider Oklahoma's victory in Week 2 in Columbus.

Player to follow in Oklahoma : QB Baker Mayfield. The senior will not begin the final game at home of his career as a result of discipline for his actions during the Kansas game. How will the performance of Heisman's hope affect the off-field talk that has engulfed Mayfield all week?

Player to watch for WVU : QB Chris Chugunov. With starter Will Grier out of the game for the next four to six weeks due to a broken finger, Chugunov will have his first start to the race. The redshirt's sophomore was 14 of 26 for 189 yards and a touchdown after replacing Grier in a loss to Texas.

External interests : The chances of the SEC and ACC winning two teams in the top four would be aided by the prospect of a Big 12 champion of two losses.

7. No. 2 Miami (10-0) in Pittsburgh (4-7)

(Friday at noon ET in the ABC app and ESPN)

In the postseason : Well, Clemson he lost to Pitt last year, too. A loss certainly would not eliminate the Canes, but it would eliminate their margin of error in the ACC championship game.

Player to follow for Miami : DB Jaquan Johnson. He owns shares in Miami's rotation chain since Johnson is tied for the team lead with four interceptions, including a pick-six against Virginia, and leads the team with 75 tackles. He has been named the best DB in the league for three consecutive weeks.

Player to watch for Pitt : TB Darrin Hall. In the last four games, Hall is averaging 122.5 yards, totaling 490 yards and eight touchdowns on 87 carries (5.6 yards per carry)

Outside interests : Wisconsin, Oklahoma, SEC. Even if Miami loses, there is no guarantee that the Canes will fall out of the top four, but at least open the door for the Sooners to move and the Badgers to move into the top four. The SEC would benefit from the unlikelihood that ACC will win two teams in the top four, which would obviously increase the SEC's chances.

8. Baylor (1-10) in TCU No. 12 (9-2)

(Friday at noon ET in FS1)

Participations in the tie-breaker : TCU's hopes of TCU they are already a remote possibility, but while the Horned Frogs have the opportunity to play for the Big 12 title, they have the possibility of impacting the first four, even if it is eliminating the entire conference.

TCU currently has a 99.8 percent chance of reaching the championship game of the conference, according to FPI. If the Horned Frogs get a surprise against the Sooners in the Big 12 title game, it is likely that the conference will be out of the top four, although the sole purpose of instituting the championship this year was to better position the league for the CFP.

As a two-match conference champion, TCU currently has a 30 percent chance of reaching the CFP, behind Auburn and the state of Ohio, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Player to be watched by TCU : QB Kenny Hill. He missed last week's game against Texas Tech for an undisclosed injury, but head coach Gary Patterson told reporters that Hill was "closer than likely" by the end of the regular season.

If Hill is not available, freshman Shawn Robinson will receive his second career start. He rushed for a better 84-yard team on 10 carries, and went for 85 yards and a touchdown in a 27-3 victory over the Red Raiders.

Player to follow for Baylor : WR Denzel Mims. His 1,061 receiving yards are the ninth best in the nation, and he has received more than 100 yards in five of the last eight games.

Out of interest : Great 12 contenders for the title. A TCU loss would open the door to a number of teams depending on how the results go and the tie-break scenarios. But it is only possible if the horned frogs lose.

9. No. 8 Notre Dame (9-2) in n. ° 21 Stanford (8-3)

(Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on the ABC and ESPN application)

Participation in the postseason : Both teams are out of the CFP career , but it will still have an impact on the overall image of Power 5. Stanford has an 84 percent chance of winning the Pac-12 North, according to the ESPN FPI, which means that the Pac-12 can have a three-time champion. defeats, or possibly a four-defeater champion, if the Cardinal loses against Notre Dame. Stanford will get a place in the Pac-12 title game against USC if Washington beats Washington State in the Apple Cup.

Player to watch for Notre Dame : OL Quenton Nelson. The Irish offensive line clears the way for Josh Adams and the sixth best land offensive in the country. Nelson has pbaded 744 offensive plays without a sack or quarterback hit.

Player to follow for Stanford : RB Bryce Love. He missed most of the last quarter of Stanford's victory against Cal and his status for Notre Dame is uncertain as he rehabilitates an ankle injury. He ranks first among Power 5 conference runners in rushing yards (1,723), yards per game (172.3), yards per carry (8.8) and touchdowns (16). He has had six carries that have traveled at least 60 yards.

Outside of rooting interests : Miami and Georgia. Both beat Notre Dame, and both will only benefit even more from an Irish victory. It is the best victory in each of your playoff résumés.

10. USF (9-1) in No. 15 UCF (10-0)

(Friday at 3:30 pm ET in the ABC and ESPN application)

Participations in the jump-off : Selection Committee President Kirby Hocutt has made it clear that even though UCF is undefeated, its calendar strength will keep it from climbing much higher in the ranking, so a New Year's Six Bowl will be its ceiling.

There is a 59 percent chance the Knights will finish 12-0 according to FPI, but only a 3 percent chance of reaching the postseason if that happens, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Player to watch by USF : QB Flores Quinton. He is second in the nation in total QBR, behind Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, and is the seventh player in FBS history with 7,000 pbading yards and 3,000 yards rushing in a race.

Player to follow for UCF : QB McKenzie Milton. It ranks second in the nation in pbad efficiency (186.1), n. ° 5 in yards per advance (15.2), n. ° 13 in aerial yards per game (292.8) and n. ° 8 in total offense (330.1). [19659079] [ad_2]
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