Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After three-plus months of chaos, championship weekend brought clarity to the top of college football, and delivered two semifinal matchups that are, at least stylistically, about as good as it gets.

The playoffs: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (+9.5): The Tigers and Sooners have the top two offenses in the country. No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (-2.5): The Buckeyes and Tigers have the top two defenses in the country.

The debate: With no other one-loss teams in the top 10, this year's picks feel immune to controversy. In fact, the only thing truly worth debating is whether the committee got the No. 1 seed right, which matters more than usual because of the clear drop-off from the top three teams to No. 4 Oklahoma.

  • LSU reclaimed the top spot after steamrolling Georgia in the SEC title game, 37-10. They emerged undefeated from the country's toughest division and beat five AP top-10 teams, tied for the most ever in the AP Poll era (1936-present).
  • Ohio State overcame a slow start to beat Wisconsin, 34-21, in the Big Ten title game. While LSU has a more impressive resume, basically every well-known computer ranking favors the Buckeyes (top team in SP+, Sagarin ratings, Massey ratings, Colley matrix, etc.)

What to watch:

  • The year of the transfer: In addition to being the top three Heisman contenders, LSU's Joe Burrow, Ohio State's Justin Fields and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts are also all transfers, with Burrow having transferred from Ohio State. Pretty nuts storyline if he beats them in the title game.
  • The next two No. 1's: In the Ohio State-Clemson game, we could see the potential top pick in the 2020 draft (Buckeyes DE Chase Young) trying to chase down the potential top pick in the 2021 draft (Tigers QB Trevor Lawrence).
  • The curse of the top seed: The Sooners may be underdogs, but the No. 4 seed has more titles in the past five years (two) than the No. 1 seeds (0).
  • Prepare for points: All four playoff teams rank in the top seven in the country in scoring offense.

Go deeper: 42 protesters charged over Harvard-Yale football game sit-in

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.