"I will be prepared and able to answer that question next Sunday", Hocutt said when asked about whether Ohio State and Alabama were close enough so that a conference title could be the difference.
With the top two teams of last week having lost - Alabama at Auburn, and Miami at Pittsburgh - Clemson figures to rise from No. 3 to No. 1. The next best result for the Tide would be a Wisconsin loss to Ohio State. 1 team in a span of three weeks as well as the conference championship.
Clemson (11-1) was the No. 1 team Tuesday, up two spots from last week.
"If all goes as planned with Clemson and Oklahoma winning, you take the victor of the SEC over Alabama and then if Wisconsin wins you have to take a conference champion". Oklahoma and Wisconsin round out the top four. The committee can not pass over a team ranked, let's say, 11th to take a team ranked 13th because the 13th-ranked team is a more appealing draw with a bigger fanbase. Auburn would become the first two-loss team to play in the playoff but that would be because they beat two teams ranked No. 1 by the committee in November, and a second win against a Georgia team the committee rightfully respects as much as they do is a nice final push into the playoff should Auburn win.
The Miami Hurricanes have dropped out of the top four in the penultimate College Football Playoff poll.
The Tigers (11-1) are coming off a 34-10 win over rival SC.
Georgia would make it as a one-loss SEC champ. A win by TCU may not have a similar outcome, however, and the Horned Frogs may be lined up for a spot in the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12 champion to take on the Pac-12 champion. From there, an ironclad top seven fills with Alabama (11-1), Georgia (11-1) and Miami (Fla.) (10-1). Penn State (10-2), 10.
The third-ranked Sooners will be locked in a rematch for their conference title game as Oklahoma will face TCU for the Big 12 championship. The Buckeyes' two losses would be against playoff-bound Oklahoma and an embarrassing, inexplicable dud at Iowa, compared with wins over bowl teams Army, Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Three quick steals, one by Mahoney and two by Jonathan Dalton led to an Isaiah Gable layup, a Justin Carpenter dunk and a Daniel Simmons three-point play and Southeast Missouri State was up 61-46 with 10 minutes left. The Tigers won't get in over the Hurricanes, but if Wisconsin or Oklahoma loses, Clemson could be part of the conversation with Alabama and/or Ohio State. Georgia checked in at No. 6. Oklahoma State (9-3), 20.
"They just worry about the next game". The Badgers have played through the criticism and set the stage for their entry to the playoff under one simple condition; win and they're in.