The Southeastern Conference produced the top two teams Tuesday night in the first college football playoff rankings of the 2017 season, with Georgia being pegged No. 1 by the 13-member selection committee and Alabama No. 2.
Following Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson in Tuesday's initial rankings were Oklahoma at No. 5, Ohio State at No. 6, Penn State at No. 7, TCU at No. 8, Wisconsin at No. 9 and Miami at No. 10. At the outset, the committee is honoring Notre Dame's schedule, Clemson's victories against Auburn and Virginia Tech and the Sooners' head-to-head victory against Ohio State.
Although media and coaches' polls have been ranking teams since August, the selection committee's rankings are the ones that count in ultimately deciding which teams qualify for the four-team playoff that determines the national championship. That would leave room for the victor of a Clemson-Miami title game to get into the top four. Notre Dame 4. Clemson 5. The Crimson Tide won the four-team playoff over Clemson after the 2015 season and were the runners-up last season. UCF (7-0) and 7-1 Memphis (No. 23) were the only Group of Five teams in the top 25. This year will be the year that teams learn they need to play good teams.
Following their week two home loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, many people had already written off the Fighting Irish for this season.
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MI (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) wasn't a realistic shot to make the first CFP rankings, even though the Top 25 includes 10 teams with two losses.
The Sooners are ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 while the Cowboys are No. 11. The Crimson Tide, the only team who has made the College Football Playoff since the format's inception in 2014, is at No. 2.
Penn State and TCU are next on the list despite each having a loss, with undefeated Wisconsin and Miami round out the top 10. Both will have an opportunity to move up if they continue winning. You stop me when you see N.C. State's done that impresses you the way MSU's wins against LSU, Texas A&M and Kentucky did. Time will tell just how serious of a contender that the Miami Hurricanes are this season. Since then, Oklahoma has been anything but impressive in their wins and even lost to Iowa State for the first time since 1990.
Coincidentally, the final team in this top 10 is also the only team from the Pac-12.