What the fifth College Football Playoff rankings should look like

Alabama in the College Football Playoff? While not likely, it's too soon to count out the Tide entirely. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We haven't had a messy College Football Playoff selection in quite a while. The 2016 season gave us the awkwardness of a one-loss Ohio State team getting in over a Penn State team that had beaten the Buckeyes and won the Big Ten (but had two losses). In 2018, a case could have been made for a one-loss Ohio State over one-loss Oklahoma, but the Buckeyes had suffered a nasty blowout loss to Purdue, and the pollsters agreed with the Sooners' selection.

Aside from perhaps the 2020 season, for which everything was messy, things have been pretty clean and easy for the CFP committee when it comes to picking four teams after Championship Week. And if chalk holds over this coming weekend, that should remain the case.

We're just an upset or two away from a mess, however. And in a very college football-ish way, that mess would favor blue bloods.

Each week during this season's stretch run, I have laid out what the playoff rankings would look like using a BCS-like formula -- two-thirds derived from poll averages (the AP and coaches polls) and one-third from computer averages (FPI and SP+ to simulate "best," strength of record and résumé SP+ to simulate "most deserving"). While this wasn't the original intent, it has turned out to match the committee's own thinking pretty well. So let's see what it has to say before the season's penultimate playoff rankings are released Tuesday night.