Previewing first College Football Playoff rankings

Previewing first College Football Playoff rankings

Previewing first College Football Playoff rankings

November's fare - think Virginia Tech-Miami, Notre Dame-Miami, Georgia-Auburn, Auburn-Alabama, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, TCU-Oklahoma, Michigan-Wisconsin and Ohio State-Michigan - and Championship Saturday on December 2 will tell all. But Ohio State does have a 15-point home loss to Oklahoma, who's a 1-loss team like the Buckeyes.

As for one-loss teams: in each of the past three years there have been between three and five such teams at the end of the regular season from the power-5 conferences (the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, and Big 12).

So, on a night that Saban should be celebrating, why would he sweat the College Football Playoff Rankings poll being released tonight?

The Tide's season-opening opponent, Florida State, is arguably having the most disappointing season of any FBS team in the country, falling to Boston College 35-3 on Friday night, giving the Seminoles back-to-back losses and bringing their season record to an abysmal 2-5.

Though the Southeastern Conference lacks depth, undefeated Alabama and Georgia merit their 1-2 status. A loss here and Memphis will be the team most likely in the Group of Five spot this time next week. Georgia came in second, followed by Ohio State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. The Big 12 and the Pacific-12 have run out of unbeaten teams.

Here's how Land of 10 projects the first Top 25 College Football Playoff rankings of the season. Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson, Penn State, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Washington.

I think Clemson could be ranked ahead of Notre Dame, but it depends on how good the committee thinks NC State is, as well.

All that said, Georgia could start No. 1 in the first Playoff rankings. Ohio State has the best win of the two teams with their recent comeback victory over Penn State. Even with marquee wins like the Irish, the loss to the Orange is a lot worse and likely leaves them behind the Irish. It's possible the committee slots Iowa State around the top-10 thanks to those impressive wins. However, the game was not very competitive. The Buckeyes had the most marquee win of Week 9, rallying to beat then-No.

One key note, this is the criteria the committee uses to compare teams to each other that are viewed as similar. None of the Badgers' eight opponents has sniffed the top 25 this season, and their best win is probably over 5-3 Northwestern, which lost by 24 at Duke. Their loss came to Syracuse in Carrier Dome with their starting Quarterback injured.

But is the Big Ten really in danger of not getting a team into the playoff, even if the eventual Big Ten champion wins out from here?

With a closing slate that including games at Miami and Stanford, Kiper believes the strength of schedule is in Notre Dame's favor. We all know Alabama is the best team in college football, but the data could be used against them by the selection committee.

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