The College Football Playoff committee released its first initial rankings on Tuesday, November 5th. Ohio State came in number one followed by LSU in the number two spot. The top four was filled out by Alabama coming in at number three and Penn State coming in at number four. The biggest surprise of the top four was the fact that the defending national champion Clemson Tigers fell out of the top four and landed in the number five spot.
The top ten was filled out with teams from the SEC, Big 10 and the Pac-12. Clemson holds down the five spot after coming off of a not so great performance a few weeks ago against UNC. The top ten is rounded out with Georgia, Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma, and Florida. The SEC is well represented with four teams rounding out the top ten. The Big Ten and Pac-12 were also well represented with multiple teams in the top ten.
While these rankings mean little in the grand scheme of things, they do give fans some information to go on looking ahead. One thing we can tell from the current rankings is the committee is valuing strength of schedule very highly when ranking teams. Undefeated teams Baylor and Minnesota have yet to crack the top ten in either the CFP rankings or the AP poll. Meanwhile a two-loss Florida Gator team finds themselves ranked higher than both Minnesota and Baylor. These rankings tell college football fans that Florida’s losses to Georgia and LSU carries more weight than any win Minnesota or Baylor has on their resume up to this point. The committee has made the statement that playing quality teams and losing is better than playing lower level teams and winning.
A lot is still to be determined in the month of November with many big time games still ahead. This week #2 LSU travels to Tuscaloosa to take on #3 Alabama to determine who will most likely represent the SEC West in Atlanta. The #4 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions will also be traveling to Columbus in a few weeks for a showdown with the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Let’s see how it all plays itself out.