The biggest impact to our writers’ picks this week actually came off the field.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, who had been a unanimous selection in each week since the Big Ten announced its return, had their game against Illinois canceled. This puts the Buckeyes at risk to miss the six games needed to qualify for the Big Ten title game, which would hurt their College Football Playoff chances. Ohio State will have to get its next two games in to hit the six-game threshold set forth by the Big Ten at the start of the condensed season. Head coach Ryan Day recently tested positive for COVID-19, so the team might be pressed to complete its schedule over the final two weeks.

Due to these circumstances, multiple teams that were on the cusp have climbed into the picks this week. The Cincinnati Bearcats grabbed three votes during their bye, and Florida and Texas A&M both jumped into the ranks after big wins on Saturday.

There were only two unanimous selections in Week 13, and both teams impressed during the holiday weekend. Alabama turned the Iron Bowl into a rout as Mac Jones threw five touchdown passes in a 42-13 win. Notre Dame also proved worthy of its rank by holding No. 19 North Carolina and Sam Howell to only 58 yards in the second half of a 31-17 victory at Chapel Hill.

Trevor Lawrence returned for Clemson and delivered a convincing 52-17 win over Pittsburgh. The Tigers land in 13 lists, while Ohio State still has the confidence of 10 of our writers.


Andrea Adelson: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State
Bill Connelly: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Ohio State, 4. Cincinnati
Heather Dinich: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State
David M. Hale: 1. Notre Dame, 2. Alabama, 3. Clemson, 4. Cincinnati
Sam Khan Jr.: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Texas A&M
Chris Low: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State
Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Ohio State, 4. Clemson
Ryan McGee: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Cincinnati
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State
Alex Scarborough: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Ohio State, 4. Clemson
Mark Schlabach: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Florida
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State
Dave Wilson: 1. Alabama, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Clemson, 4. Ohio State



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