Five days.

In just five days, we’ll have no need for midweek TV ranking shows that ignite debate from coast-to-coast. We’ll miss it, but we’ll be a bit more productive for it. So here’s enjoying one of two more chances we get to yell about rankings!

I had 4 takeaways from the fifth installment of the Playoff poll:

1. Alabama should be rooting hard against Oklahoma, Wisconsin

As long as Alabama was at No. 4 or No. 5, it didn’t change the fact it needs some help on Saturday. Contrary to what Nick Saban said last year, he thinks his team should get in without a conference championship. Unfortunately for Saban, if the top 4 wins, that ain’t happening:

  1. Clemson
  2. Auburn
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Wisconsin

With Alabama at No. 5, this comes down to a few things. Georgia is getting in if it wins. Plain and simple. If I’m an Alabama fan, I need to see one of two things this weekend. Either Oklahoma or Wisconsin has to lose for the Tide to get in. That’s the only scenario in which the potential winner (TCU or Ohio State) doesn’t hurdle Alabama.

Let’s keep in mind that while some Alabama fans want to play the “we’re the better team” card, the selection committee values résumé more than anything else. This is more than Alabama having a better loss than Clemson or Oklahoma. Strength of losses is not the top criteria. It does, however, help Alabama that it didn’t get trucked by a mediocre team like Ohio State.

To me, Alabama is a lock if Oklahoma AND Wisconsin lose. The selection committee has made its voice clear about Alabama’s résumé. It didn’t have a loss to give to control its own destiny. It didn’t face as many top-25 teams as Clemson or Oklahoma, and it didn’t win its 1 game against a legitimate top-10 opponent.

But one interesting note was that the selection committee put Fresno State in at No. 25. That means Alabama currently has three wins against current top-25 teams. That’s as many as Ohio State would have if it won the B1G Championship, for what that’s worth.

So yes, get your remotes (clickers?) ready, Tide fans.

2. Wisconsin finally in top 4 with chance to rise even more

Yes, Wisconsin’s path has always been simple. Win out, get in. Simple as that. Contrary to what some people said, that’s always been the path.

My question now is how high can the Badgers rise with a convincing win? An undefeated Power 5 team with a conference title and a dominant win over the Buckeyes would at the very least belong in that 2-3 matchup. I don’t think the selection committee would put a 13-0 Wisconsin team at the No. 4 spot.

By the way, no Power 5 team has ever gone 13-0 with a 9-game conference schedule in the Playoff era. Wisconsin can be the first with a win on Saturday.

Credit: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

With a lot of theses résumés seemingly so tight, there’s some room for movement within the top seven. Blowing out a team in a conference championship says a lot for the teams who are still alive.

And by still alive, I mean teams 1-7.

3. Can Auburn now get the one-seed?

Apparently one writer once said repeatedly that Auburn wasn’t a lock to make the Playoff as a two-loss team. That writer was an idiot.

That writer was me.

In my defense, I did fall on my sword Saturday night and admit I was wrong about dismissing the Tigers’ Playoff chances. I said definitively that if Auburn beats Georgia, it’s in and there’s no doubt. After Tuesday night, I’m taking it a step further.

If Auburn beats Georgia and Miami (FL) beats Clemson, who gets the No. 1 seed? Auburn. You know, the team with 2 losses. In case you forgot, a two-loss team has never made the field before.

And now it could get the top seed??? What a time to be alive. Perhaps the selection committee was sick of getting ripped for looking too much at quantity of losses instead of quality of wins.

Auburn did beat No. 1 twice, both of whom are still ranked in the top 6. A third win against a top-six team in a matter of 4 weeks would be the most impressive regular-season accomplishment of the Playoff era.

4. The selection committee actually did this right

I credit the selection committee for not making too many unnecessary definitive statements ahead of Saturday. How great it’ll be that we can let this thing shake out in conference championships. That’s exactly the way the selection committee wants it to be.

There’s no question this year that if the top four teams win their respective conference championships, they’re all in. That’s how it should be. It’s brutal when we have scenarios like last year where Ohio State is sitting there at No. 2 and it isn’t even in the conference championship.

Saturday is going to be all sorts of electric. We’re going to have Playoff bids on the line in every conference championship game without anyone having truly clinched a spot. That’s great theater.

Get your popcorn ready, folks.