College Football Playoff Committee’s First Rankings Put Ohio State At No. 1, Clemson At No. 5

Top-ranking college football teams The folks who assemble the field for the four-team College Football Playoff are not bound by any poll or any previous ballot. They’re not tied...

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Top-ranking college football teams

The folks who assemble the field for the four-team College Football Playoff are not bound by any poll or any previous ballot. They’re not tied to any preseason conceptions, only what they see now.

The first rankings, released Tuesday night, show that thinking. They also take a little luster off Saturday’s upcoming game between LSU and Alabama, which matches the Associated Press poll’s top two teams.

The top team in the rankings that matter is Ohio State. The Buckeyes (8-0) proved their merit when they pounded previously unbeaten Wisconsin, but still have tough tests ahead against Penn State (8-0, No. 4 by CFP) and Michigan (7-2, No. 14).
LSU and Alabama, both 8-0, are 2-3. That will change after one absorbs its first defeat Saturday. Penn State still has Ohio State and unbeaten Minnesota ahead.

And what of Clemson? The Tigers are defending national champions and 9-0 and they opened the season atop the AP poll. The only real test left for them is a stubborn Wake Forest team. The Tigers are 9-0 and will benefit as the Big Ten teams ahead of them knock each other off.

The CFP committee will issue rankings five more times, the last on Dec. 6, to set the playoff field and the teams for the six New Year’s bowls (which begin Dec. 28 – the Fiesta Bowl and the Peach Bowl are semifinal playoffs). The championship game is Jan. 13.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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