Ranking potential College Football Playoff matchups by entertainment value

  • College football reporter
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2007
  • Graduate of Indiana University

When the College Football Playoff selection committee ranks its top four teams, it doesn’t worry about the possibility of rematches in the semifinals (though that’s something it does consider when filling out the rest of the New Year’s Six bowls).

So yes, if Notre Dame and Clemson ultimately wind up in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, they would play each other for a third time in the same season.

Yay? Or … nay?

There are certainly some more entertaining options, and here they are, starting with the best potential semifinal and national title game matchups based on realistic scenarios. Check them out before the committee unveils its latest set of rankings tonight (7 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App).

1. Alabama vs. Clemson

Did you see what Alabama did to defending national champion LSU last week? Steamrollered. The Tide are on a revenge tour, and Nick Saban could have one more shot at Clemson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who outplayed the Tide in every facet to win the 2018 national title 44-16. Lawrence, then a true freshman, was named the game’s most outstanding offensive player, as he finished with 347 yards, three touchdowns and zero turnovers. If only the matchup between Lawrence and Mac Jones could happen before Heisman votes are due on Dec. 21.

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