’Bama, ND, Clemson, OSU enter champ weekend in CFP position


Alabama punt returner DeVonta Smith (6) returns a punt for a touchdown against Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State will enter championship weekend in position to make the College Football Playoff with very little drama.

The top five teams were locked into their places Tuesday night for the fourth straight week, with the Crimson Tide (10-0) leading the way as it prepares to play Florida for the Southeastern Conference championship.

The Fighting Irish (10-0) are second and Clemson is third going into their Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Ohio State (5-0) is fourth going into the Big Ten title game against Northwestern, and Texas A&M is on deck at No. 5. The Aggies host Tennessee in their last regular-season game Saturday.

If all the favorites win — that includes Clemson (9-1) in the rematch with Notre Dame — the current top four likely would be reordered a bit and placed in the semifinals.

If the Irish beat the Tigers for the second time this season, the selection committee’s job becomes a little trickier.

After Texas A&M (7-1), Iowa State (8-2) is sixth heading into the Big 12 title game against No. 10 Oklahoma. No team with two losses has ever made the playoff.

Florida (8-2) dropped only one spot to seventh after losing as a big favorite to LSU. Georgia (7-2) is eighth and Cincinnati (8-0) is ninth after not playing for two weeks because of COVID-19 issues.

The unbeaten Bearcats host Tulsa, which is 23rd, in the American Athletic Conference title game.

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