With its third ranking, the College Football Playoff selection committee reminded everyone that it isn't influenced by other polls.
On the heels of the biggest weekend of upsets in 31 years, in which three undefeated, top-four teams lost, the committee kept two of those teams -- Michigan and Clemson -- in its top four. Ohio State claimed the fourth spot, as it rose from No. 5 to No. 2, one spot behind No. 1 Alabama and ahead of the No. 3 Wolverines and No. 4 Tigers.
The committee stayed consistent with its regard for head-to-head wins by keeping Clemson a notch above No. 5 Louisville in spite of the Tigers' home loss to an unranked Pitt team. The committee went against the grain from both the Associated Press Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll, which ranked Louisville No. 3 and Clemson No. 5, stirring the debate of the week.
Strength of schedule -- or lack thereof -- was likely a major factor in Washington's drop from No. 4 to No. 6 this week. The Huskies lost to a surging No. 13 USC, which magnified a schedule that is the third-easiest in the Power 5, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The biggest surprises were not in the top four. They were at No. 19, where 7-3 Tennessee landed, and at No. 24, where 7-3 Stanford appeared for the first time this season. In the Group of 5, one-loss Boise State jumped undefeated Western Michigan to take the lead for a New Year's Six Bowl, but the Broncos need Wyoming to lose again to win their division and have a chance to win the Mountain West.
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 gets the Pac-12 champ, which in this case would be No. 6 Washington. Because the Big Ten champ (assuming it's either Ohio State or Michigan in this case) is in a semifinal, the Rose Bowl would choose the next-highest ranked Big Ten team, which would be No. 7 Wisconsin.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl is guaranteed the Big 12 champ, which would be No. 9 Oklahoma, but because SEC champ Alabama is in the semifinal, it would take the next-highest SEC team, No. 15 Auburn.
The Capital One Orange Bowl is guaranteed the ACC champion, but because Clemson is in a semifinal, it would take the next team, which would be No. 5 Louisville. The Orange Bowl then chooses the next-highest ranked team from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame. In this case, that would be No. 8 Penn State.
The highest-ranked Group of 5 champion is guaranteed a spot in a New Year's Six Bowl, so No. 20 Boise State would go to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The Cotton Bowl would then get the highest-ranked at-large team, which would be No. 10 Colorado.
Here's what the New Year's Six could look like, based on today's rankings:
8 p.m. ET: Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 8 Penn State
3 p.m. or 7 p.m.: College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Clemson
3 p.m. or 7 p.m.: College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Michigan
1 p.m. ET: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 20 Boise State
5 p.m. ET: Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual: No. 7 Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Washington
8:30 p.m. ET: Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Auburn