While the first playoff rankings won't be released until Tuesday night, a look at this week's rankings show the conference is on the outside looking in, as Clemson now sits at No. 5 and Miami - the only unbeaten team left in the ACC - comes in at No. 6.
The rankings were released early Tuesday evening.
By ranking Notre Dame third with two more future opponents on the schedule ranked in the top 20 (Miami #10 and Stanford #20), it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the Irish would be left out of the playoff mix if they won out. "So I'm focused on our next four games and I could care less about the poll". Wake Forest is 5-3 and Navy is 5-2. The committee put the Badgers at No. 9, which is far more reasonable given their resume. Georgia won 20-19 at No. 24 Notre Dame on September 9, while Alabama opened September 2 with a 24-7 dumping of No. 3 Florida State in Atlanta, but those two nonconference foes have been heading in opposite directions since. The best thing going for Penn State is that they still have arguably the best running back in the nation on their side in Saquon Barkley.
The top four teams in final rankings on December 3 will play in the semifinals.
Notre Dame is not totally safe though.
The Sooners are ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 while the Cowboys are No. 11. Alabama (8-0) 3. Notre Dame (7-1) 4. Wisconsin also misses Penn State and Ohio State in this year's Big Ten regular-season rotation.More news: Non-smokers are winning extra holiday days
Wisconsin still has MI and another chance against a Big Ten East powerhouse if it gets back to Indianapolis.
Another point for possible chaos: The Big Ten and ACC both have the possibility of staging conference title games between two legitimate playoff contenders. USC sits at #17 now, but if they win out, they will easily be in the top 10.
The first College Football Playoff rankings are out.
Defending national champion Clemson got the fourth spot in the inaugural rankings, with the Tigers followed by Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, TCU, Wisconsin and Miami.
That is, if both teams get past this weekend. Many people, including myself, believe there are two teams that are better. A repeat performance like we saw in 2015 when Notre Dame looked lethargic at home against Wake and the Irish open themselves up to some reseeding next week already. If the Irish keep winning like they've been, other games might not matter.