College Football Playoff Rankings 2017: Official Committee Poll Ahead of Week 14

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 29, 2017

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 25:  Carlton Davis #6 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after making a tackle during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Big changes took place in the penultimate 2017 College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday with Clemson moving into the top spot. 

Alabama and Miami, the top two teams in last week's standings, both suffered their first losses of the season Saturday. With the 26-14 defeat at Auburn, the Crimson Tide also missed out on the opportunity to play for the SEC championship. 

Here are the latest playoff rankings heading into conference championship weekend:

1. Clemson (11-1)

2. Auburn (10-2)

3. Oklahoma (11-1)

4. Wisconsin (12-0)

5. Alabama (11-1)

6. Georgia (11-1)

7. Miami (10-1)

8. Ohio State (10-2)

9. Penn State (10-2)

10. USC (10-2)

11. TCU (10-2)

12. Stanford (9-3)

13. Washington (10-2)

14. Central Florida (11-0)

15. Notre Dame (9-3)

16. Michigan State (9-3)

17. LSU (9-3)

18. Washington State (9-3)

19. Oklahoma State (9-3)

20. Memphis (10-1)

21. Northwestern (9-3)

22. Virginia Tech (9-3)

23. Mississippi State (8-4)

24. North Carolina State (8-4) 

25. Fresno State (9-3)

Unlike Alabama, Miami does have the ability to make a lasting impression on the selection committee with a showdown against Clemson for the ACC title. 

The Hurricanes have struggled the past two weeks, despite only having one loss. They trailed 28-14 against Virginia early in the third quarter before scoring 30 unanswered points. 

Miami's offense had 232 yards against Pittsburgh and will try to bounce back against a Clemson squad that ranks sixth in total defense. 

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Miami's five-spot drop from last week to this week was the first of its kind since the playoff format began in 2014:

Auburn is set up nicely to become the first two-loss team to make the playoff. The selection committee validated the Tigers' success against Georgia and Alabama by jumping them all the way up to the No. 2 spot, despite those two losses. 

The Tigers will play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Two weeks before disposing of Alabama, Auburn put itself on the playoff map with a 40-17 win over the Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Saturday's matchup will be closer to home for Georgia at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

The Big Ten Championship Game also figures to play a role in the final playoff standings that will be released Sunday.

Wisconsin is the only remaining undefeated Power Five team and was rewarded for a 12-0 start by moving into the fourth spot in the rankings. Saturday's game against No. 8 Ohio State will be its first against a currently ranked opponent since Sept. 30 when it played Northwestern.

Since a 55-24 loss against Iowa on Nov. 4, the Buckeyes have clawed their way back into the playoff picture with three straight wins. If they defeat Wisconsin, the committee will have a tough decision on its hands regarding Ohio State's fate. 

Three years ago, TCU dropped three spots from No. 3 in the penultimate rankings to No. 6 in the final standings despite having an 11-1 record and coming off a 55-3 win over Iowa State.

That was the year when TCU and Baylor tied for the Big 12 title and Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 59-0 behind Cardale Jones in the Big Ten Championship Game. 

Ohio State has a lot of ground to make up, but Saturday's schedule does make it possible for a four-spot jump because No. 5 Alabama doesn't play this weekend and the losers of the SEC Championship Game (No. 2 Auburn or No. 6 Georgia) and the ACC Championship Game (No. 1 Clemson or No. 7 Miami) figure to fall. 

TCU has a chance to be a playoff spoiler this year if it can avenge a Nov. 11 loss against Oklahoma in the first Big 12 Championship Game since 2010. 

With all the conference title games this weekend, it's not out of the question the Top Four will be completely different by Sunday afternoon.