The college football playoff picture was again thrown into turmoil last week when Auburn upset then-number one Alabama while Pitt stunned then-number two Miami, thereby paving the way for Clemson to ascend to the top spot in the rankings following their 34-10 defeat of the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Wisconsin Badgers now stand alone as the only undefeated team with a title shot (apologies to the fine people of the University of Central Florida, who know in their hearts that not all undefeated teams are created equal).
So the new playoff rankings look like this:
- Clemson 11-1
- Auburn 10-2
- Oklahoma 11-1
- Wisconsin 12-0
- Alabama 11-1
- Georgia 11-1
- Miami 10-1
- Ohio State 10-2
Championship Week brings us seven of these teams squaring off in four conference title games:
TCU vs Oklahoma – Big 12, Saturday at 12:30pm ET on FOX
Georgia vs Auburn – SEC
Miami vs Clemson – ACC, Saturday at 8pm ET on ABC
Ohio State vs Wisconsin – Big Ten, Saturday at 8pm ET on FOX
Sitting on the sidelines, powerless to help their own cause, is the Crimson Tide. For Alabama to get in, they’ll likely need two of Clemson, Oklahoma, Auburn, and Wisconsin to lose. Play around with FiveThirtyEifght’s 2017 College Football Predictions to get a sense of the different ways things could shake out.
Chip Kelly Is Back, Greg Schiano Fired Before He’s Hired
Kelly was hired Saturday to take over as coach of the UCLA Bruins, filling the void left by the firing of Jim Mora after six seasons at the helm. Kelly had enjoyed a great four-year run at Oregon from 2009 to 2012, never finishing lower than 11th in the rankings. That success earned him the head coaching job for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he went 10-6 his first two seasons, before going 6-9, whereupon he shipped out to San Francisco, where he led the Niners to an ugly 2-14 season. Greg Schiano was about to be hired to lead the Tennessee Volunteers after Butch Jones (4-6) and Brady Hoke (0-2) led the team to their first losing season since Jones’ first year with the team in 2013. But before it could become official, there was a wave of backlash citing Schiano’s time at Penn State, that overlapped with the Sandusky scandal. It has been alleged that Schiano witnessed abuse, something Schiano denies, and his name never appeared in the Freeh Report on the incident. Schiano remains outside the college coaching ranks.
And, A Bunch of Other Dudes Got Canned
Texas A&M gave Todd Sumlin his walking papers after the team went 7-5; Todd Graham is out at Arizona State after a 7-5 season that ended with a win over cross-state rivals Arizona; Bret Bielema of Arkansas was told that 4-8 wasn’t good enough. Some poor soul at The Sporting News has been tasked with keeping track of all the changes, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Check out Sling’s full slate of College Football action here.