College Football Playoff predictions: Clemson-Notre Dame, Alabama-Ohio State in semis


No chaos. No drama. No movement in the College Football Playoff selection committee's top five, as No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 Iowa maintained their grasps on their positions in the third official ranking of the season.

If this keeps up, Clemson and Notre Dame will have a rematch in the Capital One Orange Bowl (rematches are allowed in semifinal games).

At No. 6, undefeated Oklahoma State is the highest-ranked team from the Big 12, showing that in spite of how impressive Oklahoma looked in its win over Baylor, the Sooners still have some work to do to overcome their loss to Texas. The committee did value No. 7 Oklahoma enough, though, to rank it ahead of No. 8 Florida, the SEC East champ.

Pac-12 favorites Stanford and Utah, which both lost Saturday, dropped to No. 11 and No. 13, respectively. At No. 17, it looks as if North Carolina has a long way to go to be taken seriously by the selection committee as a playoff contender.

Here's what the bracket would look like today:

As for the other major bowls, here's a projection based on the current rankings:

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual still gets the Pac-12 champ, which would be No. 11 Stanford, and since Ohio State is in the semifinal, it would choose the next-best Big Ten team, which would be No. 5 Iowa. The Allstate Sugar Bowl is guaranteed the Big 12 champ, which would be No. 6 Oklahoma State, but since the SEC champ, Alabama, is in the semifinal, it would take the next highest-ranked SEC team, No. 8 Florida.

Because of geography, proximity and fan interest, the Fiesta Bowl probably would get a marquee matchup of No. 7 Oklahoma against No. 9 Michigan State. The highest-ranked conference champion from a Group of 5 conference is guaranteed a spot in a New Year's Six bowl, so No. 16 Navy probably would face No. 10 Baylor in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Here's what New Year's Eve and New Year's Day could look like, based on today's rankings:

Dec. 31
12 p.m. ET -- Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
: No. 10 Baylor vs. No. 16 Navy

4 p.m. ET or 8 p.m. ET -- Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Notre Dame (semifinal No. 1)

4 p.m. ET or 8 p.m. ET -- Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Ohio State (semifinal No. 2)

Jan. 1

1 p.m. ET -- Fiesta Bowl: No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Michigan State

5 p.m. ET -- Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 11 Stanford

8:30 p.m. ET -- Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 6 Oklahoma State vs. No. 8 Florida