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College Football Playoff Rankings: Week 1

Written by Casimir Moninghoff

November 25, 2020

Finally! It has been a long road to get here, and at times we did not think we would get here, but we have reached the first official College Football Playoff rankings. Here are the rankings and the records for each team:

  1. Alabama (7-0)
  2. Notre Dame (8-0)
  3. Clemson (7-1)
  4. Ohio State (4-0)
  5. Texas A&M (5-1)
  6. Florida (6-1)
  7. Cincinnati (8-0)
  8. Northwestern (5-0)
  9. Georgia (5-2)
  10. Miami (7-1)
  11. Oklahoma (6-2)
  12. Indiana (4-1)
  13. Iowa State (6-2)
  14. BYU (9-0)
  15. Oregon (3-0)
  16. Wisconsin (2-1)
  17. Texas (5-2)
  18. USC (3-0)
  19. North Carolina (6-2)
  20. Coastal Carolina (8-0)
  21. Marshall (7-0)
  22. Auburn (5-2)
  23. Oklahoma State (5-2)
  24. Iowa (3-2)
  25. Tulsa (5-1)

Gary Barta, Iowa Athletic Director and Chairman of the College Football Playoff Committee, provided some insight as to how the committee came to these rankings.

ESPN College Football Playoff Top 25 Rankings Show

As he states, it is unfortunate for BYU, but the pandemic took their schedule and made it weaker in terms of opponents. It also does not help that their season is about to end. As for having Clemson ahead of Ohio State, Clemson has played more games and their only loss is to the #2 team in the country, who they have a rematch with. Ohio State has an opportunity to move past the Tigers, but we will see how that plays out after the Buckeyes play a top-10 Indiana team and possibly an undefeated and top-10 Northwestern team to end the season. Finally, the Pac-12 has started late, and their top teams, USC and Oregon, have not looked dominant or impressive in their games thus far, and the rankings show that they may be, once again, on the outside looking in.

So what does this mean? Right now, the committee clearly established that the teams who have played a full season are benefiting from that, and rightfully so. The American Athletic Conference (AAC) is being taken seriously as Cincinnati has an opportunity to make the playoff this year based on their position. The two factors it seems that the committee is holding higher than the rest this year is strength of schedule (SOS) and the eye test. Based on the games that they have watched, there is nothing to really complain about when it comes to the top-15. Personally, I would have Georgia and Indiana flipped. Indiana has a high-powered offense and a decent defense, while Georgia has struggled on offense and when they face a good offense, their defense has struggled. Other than that, I agree with the rankings and I believe that we have a framework that we will see moving forward over the next month.

In terms of betting, no team ranked #3 in the initial rankings has ever made the CFP, and the only teams to win multiple championships in the playoff are the #4 and #2 teams. Will this change this year, or will we see this trend continue? Let us know your thoughts!

Featured Image Via: College Football Playoff

Follow me on Twitter: @CaseyMoninghoff

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