With the regular season complete, the USA TODAY Sports college football Re-Rank will go on hiatus until after the national champion is crowned on Jan. 7. But not before diving into the sport’s greatest debate: Who’s No. 4?
The first three are simple enough. Alabama sticks at No. 1 after its comeback win in the SEC championship game. No. 2 Clemson cruised against Pittsburgh to win the ACC and remains unbeaten heading into the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame comes in third.
The Re-Rank has Oklahoma at No. 4 after the Sooners avenged an earlier loss to Texas to win another Big 12 title. Keyed by quarterback Kyler Murray, who may have leaped into the lead for the Heisman Trophy, the Sooners’ offense is one of the most prolific in college football history. And while spotty, the Oklahoma defense stepped up to provide the game-changing moment in the win against the Longhorns.
No. 5 Central Florida remained unbeaten by pulling away from Memphis in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s conference title game. There was an argument to be made for No. 6 Ohio State after the Buckeyes put together another strong win, this time against Northwestern. And even No. 7 Georgia had a case after giving the Tide all they could handle before sputtering in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
But the answer was Oklahoma — for now. The re-rank will return with one final breakdown of the Football Bowl Subdivision after all bowl games are complete.