How the CFB Playoff Will Look in December

With the first rankings released, we project the rest of the season and predict the final four...

Amidst much fanfare, Tuesday night saw the release of the first-ever College Football Playoff Rankings. The four in and first two out was heavy on the SEC, with four of the six calling the SEC home.

The top six:

1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Auburn
4. Ole Miss
5. Oregon
6. Alabama

If the rankings were to hold (they won't), then you'd have a rematch of the Egg Bowl in one game and a rematch of the final BCS Championship Game.

Despite losing to LSU on Saturday, Ole Miss came in fourth in the first ranking, while their Egg Bowl rivals, Mississippi State made history by being the first ever No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff Rankings.

Defending national champion Florida State was No. 2 and Auburn, whom the Seminoles beat in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl just 10 months ago, was No. 3.

On the outside looking in was Oregon, the top team in the Pac-12, and Alabama, winners of three of the last five national championships.

So how will the final rankings look in December, and who will be in?

Well, the season still has to play out. And it will look a LOT different than it did on Tuesday evening.

Mississippi State will play two of the three teams in the top six (Alabama and Ole Miss). Ole Miss will play two of the top three teams in the top six (Auburn and Ole Miss). Auburn will play two of the top three in the top six (Ole Miss and Alabama) and Alabama will play two of the three teams in the top six (Auburn and Mississippi State).

So things will certainly play out.

Florida State and Oregon still have some difficult games left on their schedule, but nowhere near the slate the four SEC teams have.

Both have conference championship games in sight.

And of course, you certainly expect some team not in the top six (Kansas State? TCU? Michigan State? Notre Dame?) to make some hay and get a seat at the table.

But based on the first rankings and projecting the rest of the season, since we can see in to the future, here is what will happen, come December.

Let the gnashing of teeth begin.

No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Mississippi State in New Orleans in the Sugar Bowl:

The Noles won't lose a game the rest of the year. They have an intriguing game with Louisville on Thursday night, still have to play Miami and Florida and would have the ACC Championship Game. But Notre Dame was their most difficult game, and they escaped. The Noles earn the top spot because no one on their schedule the rest of the way will rattle a team that's dealt with scrutiny all year.

Mississippi State will lose a game before the end of the season andit will be in Tuscaloosa in mid-November. It will be the only loss for the Bulldogs, and it will be a tight loss, but it will keep them from the SEC Championship Game. However, that will preserve just a one-loss season, and in the biggest Egg Bowl in the last 30 years, they will beat Ole Miss in Oxford (yes, Ole Miss' defense is very good, but it's offense is not).

No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oregon in Pasadena in the Rose Bowl:

The Tide still have a pretty tough road between now and the end of December, with a trip to LSU up after a bye weekend then home games with Mississippi State and Auburn. Plus, the SEC Championship Game. But they seem to be hitting their stride on offense (finally), and they will win out. They'll beat LSU in Baton Rouge, follow it up by beating Mississippi State to win the SEC West tiebreaker, then topping Georgia in a thriller in Atlanta (just like in 2012). In between there will be a win over Auburn, in which no field goals will be attempted by Alabama in the entire game.

Oregon has their biggest test this weekend when Stanford, who's ruined their season the last two years, comes to Eugene. They still have to visit surging Utah, in what could essentially be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game. But like the Tide, Oregon is really hitting their stride, since both teams lost that same fateful weekend. The Ducks win out, end their slide against Stanford, beat Utah in Salt Lake City, crush Oregon State in Corvallis, and beat Arizona State in Levi's Stadium and win the Pac-12 Championship and get in to the College Football Playoff, and play just a state down to the South.

National Championship Game in Arlington, Texas: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Alabama

The championship game we thought we would get a year ago finally happens. Mentor vs. Disciple. 2013 champs vs. 2012/2011 champs. Jameis vs. the World (and Alabama's defense).

Despite SEC dominance for nearly a decade, Florida State wins its second straight national title by beating the SEC champion, this time, Alabama.

In his final collegiate game before he goes to the NFL, Heisman Trophy runner-up Jameis Winston leads a final minute touchdown scoring drive (sound familiar, Auburn fans?) and the Noles leave Jerry's World with a trophy that America keeps giggling at when they look at it. The final BCS Champion becomes the first College Football Playoff Champion.


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