Rivalry week and the conference title games remain, but until then there's no reason for the committee to budge from their standing-Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and MI have separated themselves from the rest. So does the point spread, which is often inflated towards the stronger teams at this time of year and those teams with more to play for. While the Knights still have no real shot at making the four-team playoff given the number of teams ahead of them, simply moving ahead of Ohio State is a big step for those who believe that UCF has been disrespected compared to brand-name programs like Ohio State. But with no hope at a playoff, it's a bit of an empty achievement.
That leaves two spots and four of the five Power Five conference champions have at least three losses.
After a 36-3 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium, Syracuse (8-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 20 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Beat Michigan and Northwestern to finish 12-1 and Big Ten champs: Only in if Oklahoma doesn't finish 12-1 and/or Georgia doesn't win the SEC while Alabama only ends up with one loss. The example often give is Houston of the American Athletic Conference in 2016. Notre Dame 4. MI 5.More news: Trump's asylum restrictions blocked by federal judge
The first two teams on the outside looking in continue to be No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 Oklahoma. They are extremely close in ESPN's strength-of-record metric, as the average Top 25 team would have just an 8 percent chance of going 11-1 or better against Ohio State's opponents and a 10.8 percent chance to do the same with the Sooners' schedule. "We understand Ohio State has a quality road win over Penn State". Kentucky 16. Washington 17.
The final week of the regular season has spelled disaster for Alabama in 2013, Baylor in 2015 and Mississippi State in 2014 when it seemed like their national championship hopes were stripped away in the final weekend of the season. Utah State 22. Texas A&M 23.
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.