Clemson, the defending national champion, is back on top in the College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday night on ESPN.
Auburn is ranked No. 2, followed by Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
Miami, Clemson’s opponent in the ACC title game Saturday night in Charlotte, is ranked No. 7.
If Clemson defeats Miami in the ACC title game, the Tigers likely will play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1.
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The final rankings that will determine the participants in the College Football Playoff semifinals come out Dec. 3.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday that he doesn’t care where Clemson is ranked entering the playoff as long as it is in the top 4.
“It don’t matter if you’re No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4. You’re talking about elite, elite level of teams and talent. So it doesn’t matter as far as that goes. We were No. 1 that first year and got beat. … We were No. 3 and won it all. It matters not,” Swinney said. “It’s just location. I think, I guess if we were fortunate enough to win and we were No. 1, I guess we’d get to go to the Sugar Bowl, which would probably be easier for our fans and things like that, although the Rose Bowl would be amazing.”
Clemson, the defending national champion, is trying to make the playoff for the third consecutive year.
The Tigers entered the playoff as the No. 1 team in 2015 before losing in the national title game and were No. 2 last year before defeating Alabama to win the championship.
The rest of the top 10 includes Alabama at No. 5, followed by Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State and Southern Cal.