From No. 5 a week ago to No. 1 this week. Alabama went from just outside the final four, to standing on top of the world.
The Tide's win over Mississippi State shuffled the rankings for the fourth straight week, but for the first time, someone other than the Bulldogs are at the top.
The top six:1. Alabama
3. Florida State
4. Mississippi State
6. Ohio State
For the complete rankings, Click Here.
The Bulldogs dropped from No. 1 to No. 4, but with the SEC West now a real challenge for them to win with the Tide having just one SEC game left, a home game against Auburn, while the Bulldogs have to play Vanderbilt then visit Ole Miss, their chances of staying in the top four without winning the SEC could be gone.
Oregon took the week off but stayed at No. 2.
Florida State rallied to beat Miami and stayed at No. 3, and despite being the lone power conference unbeaten, another rally and another bad loss by Florida State's best win (Notre Dame), kept them from climbing.
TCU squeaked past Kansas but dropped to No. 5 and out of the drivers seat.
As it stands, the top six have four teams that lead their conference or division standings (Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, TCU and Ohio State) and one more that is in the mix for their division title despite a loss (Mississippi State).
So how will the final rankings look in December, and who will be in?
None of our projected final four from a week ago are out of the mix. In fact, this is the first week of the four weeks that our projected final four, which hadn't changed, featured the same teams in the committee's final four.
But Ohio State's ascent plus whatever happens in the Big 12, could keep one conference from having multiple teams, and for the first time in four weeks, we have a different projected final four.
Here is how things will play out, given last weekend's games and the schedule left to be played.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State in New Orleans in the Sugar Bowl:
Urban against Saban. Four national championships against two national championships, in fact, over half of the last 11 championships being won by these two coaches.
The Tide beat Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa, play Western Carolina this week in a warmup for the Iron Bowl, which they'll win and then they'll exact revenge for their stunning loss to Auburn a year ago. That game cost the Tide a chance at the SEC West, which cost them a chance at the SEC title game, which ultimately cost them a chance from playing for the national championship, where they would have been the favorite to win it three years in a row. We've been saying since the first rankings were released, the Tide wouldn't lose again in the regular season or in the SEC Championship Game and we're standing behind that. They're heading to New Orleans.
The Buckeyes, on the other hand, beat Minnesota on the road, the same team that TCU beat at home. TCU's lone loss is to Baylor, who some think should be ahead of TCU because of that. And TCU still has to play an improving Texas while Baylor has to still play Kansas State. So we'll say Ohio State will win out (though Wisconsin will give them a test in the Big Ten Championship) and the Buckeyes, getting hot at the right time, will get more credit for their win at Michigan State and at Minnesota late, than TCU will for beating Minnesota at home early and the Buckeyes get the fourth spot.
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State in Pasadena in the Rose Bowl:
If Florida State isn't moving to No. 1 despite being the only power five unbeaten, they're not moving to No. 2 over Oregon, who had a bye and still stayed ahead of the Noles.
The Ducks will roll Colorado then beat Oregon State in the Civil War in Corvallis. Oregon has already wrapped up the Pac-12 North for the first time since 2011. They've already played at Levi's Stadium once this year, and beat Cal. They'll go back to Levi's Stadium for the second time this year and top UCLA but in a much closer game than their regular season blowout, to move in to the playoffs and go back to the Rose Bowl for the first time since they won the conference in 2011.
Florida State's still hasn't lost since 2012. Their last loss? To Florida in Tallahassee and Will Muschamp. The Noles visit Boston College, who's ruined national championship dreams before (and led, interestingly, to the Noles' first title in 1993), then they'll return home to face Florida and Will Muschamp. An already fired Will Muschamp. But the Noles roll and they take on Duke in the ACC Championship Game, again, then move on to the Rose Bowl, where they had a decent game back in January.
National Championship Game in Arlington, Texas: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Alabama
Last week we said Florida State would play Alabama in the national championship game and we said that the week before too and the week before that. So we're not changing that pick just yet.
The way Oregon has played the last couple of weeks, they could be a test for the Noles, who like to play from behind it seems.
But the Ducks, as good as they have been, won't get out to a big enough lead and the Noles won't need to rally as much, and beat the Ducks to go back and play for the title.
Alabama and Saban make life tough for the Buckeyes and their SEC struggles on the big, big, national title at stake stage, continue. And just like he did in 2009, Saban ends Meyer's run at a national title.
The Noles and Tide will meet in Jerry's World, and Florida State, behind Heisman Trophy runner-up Jameis Winston will beat the Tide for the first ever College Football Playoff title, fitting for the team that won the final BCS National Championship.