Week 13 Power Rankings: Clemson earns a return to the top

It's not supposed to be easy this time of year. Not for the players. Not for the coaches. Not for the fans.

And not for the power rankers.

There's finally real debate over the top spot in the College Football Playoff after two of the three remaining Power 5 unbeatens, Alabama and Miami, suffered road losses. Good cases can be made for Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and even Auburn, which has two losses but also the best win combination (Alabama and Georgia) in the country. It ultimately came down to the total profile, heavily weighted by road wins and consistent quality of play.

A Clemson team that, other than a Friday night in upstate New York, has looked great on the road, gets back to No. 1. Oklahoma's road wins -- Ohio State, Oklahoma State -- stack up well, and Wisconsin has dominated regardless of location. Auburn looked championship-worthy against Georgia and Alabama, but both games were played on the Plains. Gus Malzahn's team is No. 4, for now.

Alabama is in unfamiliar territory just outside the top four. Miami tumbles to No. 7 after flirting with defeat one too many times. Notre Dame also takes a big drop, and Stanford and Washington rise after impressive wins. Fresno State enters the rankings for the first time.