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Poll Problems: Week 13

We take a look at the College Football Playoff poll each week to see what the committee got right and what it got terribly wrong.

Deshaun Watson and Clemson are in a win-and-you're-in situation on Saturday.
Deshaun Watson and Clemson are in a win-and-you're-in situation on Saturday.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

With just one week left in the season, we will examine ONLY teams that have a realistic shot to make the playoff.

1. Clemson (Last Week: 1)

It's obviously "win and you're in" for Clemson and a near certainty the Tigers would lock up the No. 1 seed with a 13-0 record.

2. Alabama (Last Week: 2)

Ditto for Alabama, and the Tide would likely stay put at No. 2 with a win over Florida.

3. Oklahoma (Last Week: 3)

You could certainly have made an argument for the Sooners to jump Alabama after a dominating road win against Oklahoma State, but this may be where Oklahoma belongs considering it was ranked a bit too high coming into the game. The Sooners are probably content to have locked up a spot in the four-team field, however.

4. Iowa (Last Week: 4)

Iowa did as Iowa does and strangled Nebraska to death, setting up a showdown with Michigan State to determine which Big Ten team will earn a spot the field.

5. Michigan State (Last Week: 5)

Sparty fought back after a disastrous loss at Nebraska and can now claim a playoff spot if it can hand Iowa its first loss of the season.

6. Ohio State (Last Week: 8)

Ohio State is positioned to backdoor its way into the playoff with just one quality win on the resume if it gets the right results elsewhere.

7. Stanford (Last Week: 9)

Stanford needs to take care of Southern Cal in the Pac 12 Champioship and have either Clemson or Alabama lose to find its way into the playoff. The Cardinal could arguably be ranked ahead of Ohio State, but I think that will take care of itself if they handle their business on Saturday.

8. Notre Dame (Last Week: 6)

Effectively out of contention after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Stanford on a last-second field goal.

9. Florida State (Last Week: 13)

A nice win over Florida ensures the Seminoles a top-10 finish, but that's as far as they can climb.

10. North Carolina (Last Week: 14)

The Tar Heels are in a precarious spot as the only potential one-loss P5 conference champion that doesn't control its own playoff fate. A win over Clemson would do wonders for North Carolina's resume, but it's still fair to wonder how the committee would view the Tar Heels (whether fairly or not) against a two-loss Pac-12 champ Stanford, a one-loss Ohio State, and even a one-loss Clemson team that it would have just beaten. If proper carnage were to ensue, North Carolina absolutely has a path to the playoff. But given where it sits in the rankings, it may not be as clear-cut as just beating Clemson.

11. TCU (Last Week: 19)


12. Baylor (Last Week: 7)


13. Ole Miss (Last Week: 18)


14. Northwestern (Last Week: 16)


15. Michigan (Last Week: 10)


16. Oregon (Last Week: 17)


17. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 11)


18. Florida (Last Week: 12)


19. Houston (Last Week: NR)


20. USC (Last Week: NR)


21. LSU (Last Week: NR)


22. Temple (Last Week: 25)


23. Navy (Last Week: 15)


24. Utah (Last Week: 23)


25. Tennessee (Last Week: NR)