Championship Week has come and gone, which means there are no more what-ifs left for the College Football Playoff selection committee to consider.
All this season, our writers have picked their top four to make the CFP after each week’s games. Since the conference championship games held to form with the favorites winning, so did the CFP top three — unbeatens Ohio State, LSU and Clemson, in various order — among our writers. No. 4 has been up for grabs for weeks, and LSU’s SEC title game rout assured it won’t go to the Georgia Bulldogs.
No. 4-ranked Georgia’s loss, as well as No. 5 Utah’s loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship on Friday night, opened the door for No. 6 Oklahoma, our writers’ pick to take over the final spot in the CFP.
Oklahoma finished 12-1 after beating No. 7 Baylor, 30-23 in overtime, in the Big 12 title game Saturday. Rhamondre Stevenson had a 5-yard touchdown run in overtime for the Sooners, and Oklahoma’s defense put the pressure on Baylor true freshman quarterback Jacob Zeno, who failed to get the Bears into the end zone on their overtime possession.
Ohio State, No. 1 in the most recent CFP ranking by the selection committee, had its hands full with Wisconsin in the first half of the Big Ten championship game. The Buckeyes trailed 21-7 at halftime, but regrouped and dominated the second half for the 34-21 win. Will the Buckeyes’ early struggles cost them the top spot?
LSU’s convincing win over Georgia could catapult the Tigers into the No. 1 playoff slot. Heisman candidate Joe Burrow threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns for the Tigers, who led 34-3 after three quarters.
Clemson had little trouble against Virginia in winning the ACC championship game 62-17. Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, then took a seat on the bench for much of the fourth quarter.
Here’s how our writers see the playoff field after Championship Week. (Note: These are not their projections for how the season will end.)
Andrea Adelson: 1. LSU; 2. Clemson; 3. Ohio State; 4. Oklahoma
Edward Aschoff: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Kyle Bonagura: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Bill Connelly: 1. Ohio State; 2. LSU; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Heather Dinich: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Sam Khan Jr.: 1. Ohio State; 2. LSU; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Chris Low: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Ivan Maisel: 1. Ohio State; 2. LSU; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Ryan McGee: 1. LSU; 2. Clemson; 3. Ohio State; 4. Oklahoma
Adam Rittenberg: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Alex Scarborough: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Mark Schlabach: 1. LSU; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Ohio State; 2. LSU; 3. Clemson; 4. Oklahoma