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The Big 12 is down, Washington is up ahead of first playoff rankings

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Oklahoma becomes Big 12 focal point (0:56)

ESPN's Heather Dinich details the fallout in the Big 12 caused by Baylor's and West Virginia's losses and how those results propel Oklahoma. (0:56)

College football is making it easy on the 12 judges of the sport -- again.

When the College Football Playoff selection committee releases its first of six rankings on Tuesday, Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Washington -- all still undefeated -- should comprise their top four.

The biggest question is in what order, following No. 1 Alabama.

Week 9 was the final chance for teams to impress the selection committee before their first meeting of the season, which begins on Monday at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas. Here's a look at five lasting impressions from Saturday which could influence the committee's top 25:

1. The Big 12 is in big trouble
After nine weeks, the Big 12 looks like the Power 5 conference most likely to be left out of the top four. Baylor and West Virginia both joined the one-loss club on Saturday, and neither of them has a win over a ranked opponent on its résumé. That will be a problem when the committee compares them against other one-loss teams, like Texas A&M, that have played tougher schedules. Baylor's nonconference schedule is ranked 127th out of 128, according to ESPN's Football Power Index, and it doesn't have any wins over teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. A loss to an unranked 4-4 Texas team will be nearly impossible to overcome. West Virginia had separated itself by playing defense in wins over Texas Tech and TCU, but the Mountaineers had three turnovers that led to 17 points for Oklahoma State. That leaves two-loss Oklahoma in the conference lead -- and that's not good for the Big 12's playoff hopes.

2. Washington earned its first statement road win
Still undefeated after travelling to No. 17 Utah, Washington further legitimized its case to be in the committee's top four. The Huskies had dominated lesser competition -- including nonconference wins over Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State -- but their timing couldn't have been better for knocking off their first ranked opponent on the road. Washington doesn't have any more currently ranked opponents on its schedule -- which made the win over Utah all the more imperative. An undefeated Pac-12 champ would likely finish in the top four, and the Huskies just cleared their toughest remaining regular-season hurdle.

3. Louisville is officially a long shot
It's one thing to struggle against Duke. It's another to barely squeak by Duke and Virginia, the two worst teams in the ACC's Coastal Division. They are a combined 5-11, and Louisville was fortunate to beat both. The Cardinals simply didn't look like a top-four team on Saturday at UVA (seven penalties, two turnovers and dropped passes), and they need to be more than just Lamar Jackson to sneak into the playoff without winning a conference title. Louisville has just one win against a ranked opponent -- Florida State -- and it doesn't have any more ranked teams on the schedule. It's a one-loss résumé that doesn't stack up to Texas A&M's right now.

4. Ohio State has work to do
The Buckeyes rebounded from their loss at Penn State with a win over Northwestern, but they didn't look like a top-four contender in the process. The good news for the Buckeyes is they still have about a month to improve before hosting Michigan in the regular-season finale which will likely determine the Big Ten East winner. The problem is, if they continue to struggle offensively the way they have the past two weeks, they might not beat Nebraska at home on Saturday.

5. Florida tightened its grip on the SEC East
This was supposed to be the easy part for Tennessee -- starting on Saturday against a South Carolina team that had lost three of its last four. Instead, the Vols dropped their third straight game, looking up at the Gators and -- gasp! -- Kentucky in the SEC standings. Florida took care of business against Georgia but still has to play at Arkansas and LSU and would have to lose both of those games for Tennessee to win the tiebreaker.