Here is the fourth College Football Playoff poll for the 2015 season.
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Iowa
Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
For now, the Clemson Tigers would take their enormous athletic advantage against Iowa in the semi-finals and Alabama would be looking at a rematch of the Sugar Bowl from a couple seasons ago.
Projected New Year's Six Bowls:
Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford
Sugar Bowl: Baylor vs. Florida
Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Peach Bowl: Michigan vs. Navy
Doomsday Scenario Unlocked: Pretty much the last thing Notre Dame needed was for Oklahoma to be ranked above the Irish. Not only did the committee do so but now the Sooners are a cavernous 3 spots ahead of Notre Dame. Unleash all of your conspiracy theories!
So now, Notre Dame needs help beginning with Oklahoma State beating Oklahoma on Saturday.
Committee chairman Jeff Long said that while Notre Dame has not played well recently and the Boston College game didn't add a whole lot to our resume it was more about Oklahoma and Michigan State adding big wins which ultimately dropped the Irish down.
One small positive heading into the last weekend of the regular season is that Stanford (9th) is ahead of Oklahoma State (11th). In the event that Notre Dame beats Stanford by 40 points and the Sooners scrape past the Cowboys that might be enough to push the Irish back into the playoffs ahead of Oklahoma. It's still not likely, but you never know.
WASHINGTON STATE OUT OF NOWHERE.
Having 4 Big Ten teams inside the Top 10 is going to shake itself out. Either Ohio State or Michigan are going to drop after a loss this weekend and presumably out of the New York 6 Bowls. Barring upsets this weekend I'd imagine both Iowa and Michigan State will be in a NY6 bowl at worst. If Notre Dame lands in one of the NY6 bowls odds are it'll be against Iowa, Michigan State, or the Michigan/Ohio State winner.
Temple moved back into the Top 25 but Pitt still hasn't cracked the rankings. That leaves Notre Dame with just Navy and the Owls as our best wins.
I'll say it again...Notre Dame will never get into the 4-team playoff with 1-loss unless there's massive once-in-a-decade type of carnage and/or we play a schedule similar to 1989 when we lost to No. 1 Miami but beat No. 18 Virginia, No. 7 Michigan, No. 16 Michigan State, No. 8 USC, No. 17 Pittsburgh, and No. 15 Penn State. Okay, 1989 was straight up ridiculous but it'll have to be a season closer to that where we've beaten at least 4 teams in the rankings and without a doubt proven we're an elite team. That hasn't happened this year.