Oklahoma is No. 3 in the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings, putting the Sooners safely in position to be in the final four with their season completed.

The Sooners locked up the Big 12 championship with a blowout victory at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Clemson is still No. 1 and Alabama remained No. 2. Both the Tigers (12-0) and Crimson Tide (11-1) head into their conference championship games Saturday needing just a victory to lock up a playoff spot.

“The committee debated long and hard about the No. 1 and No. 2 teams,” committee chairman Jeff Long said.

The top seed gets to play closest to home, so for Clemson a semifinal game at the Orange Bowl in Miami is also on the line against North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. The Tar Heels (11-1) are No. 10.

Iowa is No. 4 (12-0) and Michigan State (11-1) is No. 5, setting up a playoff play-in game in Saturday’s Big Ten title game.


Hoping for an upset by the Tar Heels against Clemson or Florida against Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game is No. 6 Ohio State (11-1) and No. 7 Stanford (10-2).

The Buckeyes’ season is over. The Cardinal can win the Pac-12 championship Saturday by beating Southern California for the second time this year.

MICHIGAN STATE: Coach Mark Dantonio said safety RJ Williamson is practicing again, but he probably won’t play in this weekend’s Big Ten championship game against Iowa.

Williamson hasn’t played since Oct. 3 and he needed surgery on a torn bicep. The fifth-ranked Spartans are hoping the senior will be back for a bowl or playoff game after this week’s showdown with Iowa.

Texas Tech: The school fired three defensive assistant coaches, all of them former players with the Red Raiders.

Mike Smith was co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, Kevin Curtis coached the secondary and Trey Haverty handled outside linebackers. All had been on the staff since Coach Kliff Kingsbury, a former Red Raiders quarterback, arrived in 2013.


Central Florida: The team has hired Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost as its new coach to take over a program that just finished an 0-12 season.

Frost, 40, played quarterback for Nebraska from 1995-97 and has been an assistant with Oregon since 2009. He became offensive coordinator in 2013.

MISSOURI: California Coach Sonny Dykes is interviewing for the vacancy following Gary Pinkel’s recent retirement, a person close to the situation confirmed.

Missouri has begun searching for Pinkel’s replacement after he announced his retirement last month. Pinkel has been diagnosed with lymphoma and said he wanted to get away from the grind of football.

Missouri Athletic Director Mack Rhoades interviewed Dykes last year when he was searching for a new coach at Houston and is now taking another look at him.

Dykes has two years remaining on his contract at Cal and the two sides have exchanged numbers on a possible extension. Cal is currently waiting for a response from Dykes’ camp to its last proposal.

Cal Athletic Director Michael Williams did not take over the full-time job until last spring and did not hire Dykes, who was brought on during Sandy Barbour’s tenure as athletic director.

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