Alabama Mississippi St Football

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) rears back to pass downfield as a Mississippi State defender pursues during the second half in Starkville, Miss., on Nov. 16. Alabama won 38-7.

TUSCALOOSA – Alabama’s road back to the College Football Playoffs got a little clearer entering the final week of the regular season, even as it watched one of its biggest challengers drop out of contention for the coveted Top-4 seeds.

The Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC) held firm to the No. 5 spot, still within striking distance given next week’s upcoming SEC Championship matchup between new No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Georgia, when the latest CFP rankings were released Tuesday night.

Alabama isn’t out of the woods yet, though, with an Iron Bowl date against No. 15 Auburn (8-3, 4-3 SEC) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Jordan Hare Stadium.

Oregon dropped out of Playoff contention when it fell eight spots from No. 6 to No. 14 after losing to Arizona State, 31-28, last Saturday.

Fellow Pac-12 contender Utah (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12) and Big 12-leading Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) moved up to No. 6 and 7, respectively, with a chance to feasibly leapfrog an idle Crimson Tide for the final playoff spot a week from Sunday with a win in their respective conference championship games next Saturday.

Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) overtook LSU for the No. 1 spot on Tuesday after its 28-17 win over former No. 8 Penn State, which dropped to No. 10 with the loss.

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