The top 10 spots were unchanged in the third edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings, and the teams that are just outside the coveted four spots, are running out of time to get help from the those in front, and impress the selection committee with their own performance.

Alabama football
No. 1 Alabama coach Nick Saban has his team ready to take home another national championship. (Image: AP)

If the CFP was held now, Alabama would face Michigan, while Clemson and Notre Dame would battle it out. The winners would then compete for the National Championship.

Three of those four teams are undefeated. Michigan lost its season opener to Notre Dame, but has since won nine consecutive games, three of those to teams ranked in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said his team has played well no matter who they have faced this year.

“Players get to make the decision on what level they play at. How smart they play. How strong. How tough. How precise they play,” Harbaugh said. “Nobody gets to make that decision for them. I was excited to see what level they were going to play (at Rutgers). I thought they played at the highest level they could. Expect that to be the case next week, as well. Will be excited to see how they respond.”

Who is Vulnerable in Top 4?

That doesn’t mean the Wolverines couldn’t lose one of their last two games, but this weekend’s contest against 5-5 Indiana probably won’t be the one. The Hoosiers are 26.5-point underdogs.

The game Michigan has to worry about is the following week against Ohio State. The Buckeyes are No. 10 in the CFP, and hosting Michigan is probably not going to bump them enough to get in playoffs, but preventing the Wolverines from making it for the first time would be extremely satisfying to coach Urban Meyer and his team.

Notre Dame is the other team that could falter down the stretch. The Fighting Irish hosts No. 12 Syracuse and then travels to Southern California to face USC. They are a 10-point favorite against Syracuse.

Don’t Count on No. 1 or No. 2 Slipping

Alabama and Clemson seemed the least vulnerable. The two have been dominate this year, and the remainder of their schedule doesn’t have too many obstacles.

The Crimson Tide plays the Citadel this Saturday and is a 51-point pick. They take on Auburn and then have a strong test against Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

Clemson faces Duke and is giving away 28 points. They take on South Carolina the following week, followed by an undetermined opponent in the ACC Championship game.

Rob Mullens, chairman of the CFP selection committee, said the Crimson Tide and Tigers have distinguished themselves as the two best in the country.

“These are complete teams,” Mullens said when asked about the gap between Alabama and Clemson. “We spent a lot of time talking about it. They are both top-10 offenses, top-10 defenses, but at this point, everyone has Alabama one, Clemson two.”

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