USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.


Alabama has done nothing to loosen its grasp on No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide’s 42-13 win in the Iron Bowl against Auburn was in the bag well before halftime, continuing a run of dominance that began in the second half of a 41-24 win against Georgia on Oct. 17.

Only Notre Dame’s high level of play during the same span has created a sliver of doubt when it comes to projecting how the playoff selection committee will address the very top of this week’s rankings, set to be released Tuesday evening.

Both teams will have two wins against teams in the playoff rankings. Alabama will own wins against Texas A&M and Georgia. (No. 22 in the debut rankings, Auburn should fall out after dropping to 5-3.) The Irish have topped Clemson and North Carolina, with that victory against Clemson the best win of any team in the Bowl Subdivision.

Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams (23) reacts after scoring a touchdown against North Carolina at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. (Photo: Robert Willett, Pool)

The way Alabama has decimated its past four opponents — beating Tennessee, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Auburn by a combined score of 174-33 — is mirrored by Notre Dame’s own gains since late October. Behind an seemingly impenetrable run defense and the improved play of quarterback Ian Book, the Irish have overcome an uneven start to the regular season to mold an argument for No. 1.

That’s not the only decision on the committee’s plate heading out of Week 13.

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There’s also the debate between Texas A&M and Florida, which may again be settled by the Aggies’ head-to-head win in October but might require more deliberation after a scuffling, ugly victory against LSU.

That 20-7 win was a reversal of last year’s 50-7 loss, illustrating the program’s growth since the end of last season. (And the Tigers’ plummeting fall from grace.) But it also saw A&M fail to move the ball effectively on offense and included by far the worst game of quarterback Kellen Mond’s otherwise successful senior year.

Meanwhile, Florida continued to pour it on against SEC competition with a 34-10 win against Kentucky, the Gators’ fifth win in a row by 16 or more points. 

In the end, look for the Aggies to remain ahead in the rankings and stay in strong position to claim a second playoff berth for the SEC should there be room in the top four.

Here’s how the top four would look today, followed by the four teams just on the outside:

1. Alabama: The 53 offensive plays run against Auburn were the Tide’s fewest in a game against a Bowl Subdivision opponent since running