Notre Dame remains in the College Football Playoff in new rankings

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SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 14: Will Fuller #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rushes against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium on November 14, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 28-7. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

On Tuesday night, the third College Football Playoff rankings were released, but little changed at the top. For the second straight week, Notre Dame has held form at No. 4.

The top four teams, of course, reach the playoff and have the opportunity to win the National Championship. They are joined by:

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Ohio State

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, two for Notre Dame, there is still plenty to be decided. Notre Dame finishes the season playing Boston College at Fenway Park and on the road against Stanford.

As important as winning their remaining two games are for Notre Dame, they may need to focus more on the out-of-town scoreboard. Notre Dame would receive serious pressure from whichever Big XII team comes out with the least amount of damage.

The Big Ten is almost guaranteed one team in the playoff, whether it’s Ohio State, Iowa or Michigan State, as is the SEC, who seem to have lost any hope of getting in a second team. Clemson, or possibly North Carolina if they beat the Tigers in their championship game, will likely represent the ACC.

With the Pac-12 on the outside looking in, that leaves Notre Dame and the Big XII winner as the likely next option. There is still a chance, however unlikely, that an undefeated Houston team, a member of the “Group of Five,” could sneak into the fourth spot.

Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin were also ranked among the top 25.

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