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“There’s a lot of football left.”

We say it every year when folks flip out over where teams are ranked early in the season. We say it in the middle of season. Heck, we even say it in the final couple of weeks.

But man, it really should be something we remind ourselves of more regularly considering what the final week of the regular season provided. It gave us the first loss of the season for both Alabama and Miami, two teams that were in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings and the Nos. 1 and 3 teams in my Associated Press rankings.

Needless to say, that changes things a bit.

What’s interesting, however, is it doesn’t exactly provide chaos.

For Miami, it still seems like a win over Clemson in next week’s ACC championship game will get the Hurricanes in the top four. Obviously, Clemson would be in if it wins.

Oklahoma seems a lock, assuming it wins the Big 12 title game, and the same goes for the SEC champion, either Georgia or Auburn.

It’s Alabama’s loss that creates some intrigue. Do the Crimson Tide get in over an undefeated Wisconsin team? Do they get in over a two-loss Ohio State team?

The general narrative in college football that tends to reward the brand over performance would say Alabama would be in. The fact Alabama hasn’t really beaten anyone of note says otherwise.

It’s up to the committee now, and judging by my AP ballot this week, you know where I stand.

More: Clemson takes over No. 1 in polls; Michigan State 19th

MATT CHARBONEAU’S AP BALLOT

1. Oklahoma (last week: 2)

2. Clemson (5)

3. Auburn (6)

4. Wisconsin (4)

5. Ohio State (7)

6. Georgia (8)

7. Alabama (1)

8. Miami (3)

9. Southern Cal (9)

10. Washington (11)

11. Penn State (12)

12. TCU (14)

13. UCF (15)

14. Memphis (16)

15. LSU (17)

16. Stanford (23)

17. Notre Dame (10)

18. Oklahoma State (18)

19. Northwestern (21)

20. Michigan State (22)

21. Virginia Tech (19)

22. Washington State (13)

23. San Diego State (NR)

24. South Florida (20)

25. Fresno State (NR)

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