The drama this week was not at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings, though Penn State and Wisconsin fans might beg to differ.
The selection committee's top four this week didn't change too much, with No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson staying in the top four, and previous No. 5 Washington moving into No. 4. Michigan fell to No. 5 after losing to the Buckeyes in double overtime this past weekend. The Big Ten's division winners, No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 7 Penn State, remain on the outside despite heading to the Big Ten title game.
That wasn't much of a surprise, though, considering Michigan has defeated them both and the Buckeyes just knocked off Michigan.
The shocker was at No. 12, where Florida State jumped No. 13 Louisville in spite of the head-to-head result -- an unforgettable 63-20 clobbering on Sept. 17. Not only did Louisville beat FSU soundly, the Cardinals went 7-1 in ACC play while the Seminoles were 5-3. It's an important change because having Clemson in the semifinals means Florida State -- and not Louisville -- would be headed to the Capital One Orange Bowl. Another change for the ACC was that Virginia Tech crept into the rankings at No. 23, which means Clemson will face a ranked opponent in the ACC title game.
At No. 17, undefeated Western Michigan is the front-runner to represent the Group of 5 in a New Year's Six bowl, but No. 19 Navy has closed the gap, moving up from No. 25 last week. Three-loss Houston remained in the rankings at No. 24 despite its loss to Memphis.
Nebraska and Washington State both fell out of the rankings this week.
Here's what the bracket would look like today:
As for the other New Year's Six bowls, here's a projection based on the current rankings:
The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual gets No. 8 Colorado from the Pac-12 since Washington would be in the playoff. The Rose Bowl also gets the Big Ten champion, and in this particular case, it's No. 6 Wisconsin because No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan did not win their division or play for the conference title.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl is guaranteed the Big 12 champ, assuming it doesn't make the playoff, which would be No. 9 Oklahoma, but because SEC champ Alabama is in the semifinal, it would take the next highest-ranked SEC team, No. 14 Auburn.
The Capital One Orange Bowl is guaranteed the ACC champion, but because Clemson is in a semifinal, it would take the next highest-ranked team, which would be No. 12 Florida State. The Orange Bowl then chooses the next highest-ranked team from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame. In this case, it would be No. 5 Michigan.
The highest-ranked Group of 5 champion is guaranteed a spot in a New Year's Six Bowl, so No. 17 Western Michigan would go to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The Cotton Bowl would then get the highest-ranked at-large team, which would be No. 7 Penn State.
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 Michigan vs. No. 12 Florida State
3 p.m. or 7 p.m. ET: College Football Playoff semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington
3 p.m. or 7 p.m. ET: College Football Playoff semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
1 p.m. ET:?Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 17 Western Michigan vs. No. 7 Penn State
5 p.m. ET:?Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Colorado
8:30 p.m. ET: Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Auburn