College Football Playoffs Rankings: Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson open 1-4 in Top 25


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The first edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night with unbeaten Tennessee winning first place in the four-team field. A dominant start to the 2022 season with a win over Alabama already on their resume, the Volunteers sit at number one as they make their debut in the CFP Rankings as the playoff opens its ninth season of existence.

All but one of the teams ranked first in the season’s preliminary CFP rankings and eventually reached the four-team playoff (Mississippi State, 2014).

The undefeated teams complete the rest of the top four with Ohio State, where National Champion Georgia and Clemson fill in the next three. The Bulldogs, who are on a quest to become the first back-to-back champions in a decade, face the Vols in a #1 vs. #3 match at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at SEC on CBS Game of the Week.

CFP Select Committee Chairman Boo Corrigan, NC State athletic director, cited the “explosive nature of their crime” as the reason Ohio ranked second before Georgia.

Behind those four, the first two off the field, Michigan was unbeaten and one loss in Alabama.

The primary surprise to most of the standings is Crimson Tide, whose signature victory in eight games was a one-point win over the current 24th in Texas. They’re ahead of the undefeated TCU, who has wins over No. 13 Kansas State and No. 18 Oklahoma State without losing on his resume. The Tigers’ lead over Wolverine was similarly unexpected, although Michigan’s poor no-conference list is a possible reason for their position.

“We are looking for a balanced team, attack and defense, and [TCU] I fell behind in some games. They were able to come back and win those matches. But when you look at Alabama — in wins against Mississippi State, in Arkansas, in Texas, and obviously the three-point loss in Tennessee — as a commission, we decided to go to Alabama No. 6 and TCU No. 7,” Corrigan explained.

Unlike last season when Cincinnati opened 6th in the CFP Rankings and eventually became the first Group of Five team to reach the playoff, the highest group Five program in these rankings is Tulane at 19. This would not create a scenario where the Green Wave could advance To the playoff, but in an expanded 12-team field that will soon be introduced, Tolen will be in pole position to earn an offer as a potential best-of-five champion.

Let’s take a look at the entire top 25 CFP rankings. Check out the analysis by dish expert Jerry Palm, which will be added below soon.

College Football Playoff Rankings, November 1

  1. Tennessee (8-0)
  2. Ohio State (8-0)
  3. Georgia (8-0)
  4. Clemson (8-0)
  5. Michigan (8-0)
  6. Alabama (7-1)
  7. TCU (8-0)
  8. Oregon (7-1)
  9. USC (7-1)
  10. LSU (6-2)
  11. Ole Miss (8-1)
  12. University of California (7-1)
  13. Kansas State (6-2)
  14. Utah (6-2)
  15. Pennsylvania state (6-2)
  16. Illinois (7-1)
  17. North Carolina (7-1)
  18. Oklahoma (6-2)
  19. Tolen (7-1)
  20. Syracuse (6-2)
  21. Wake Forest (6-2)
  22. North Carolina (6-2)
  23. Oregon (6-2)
  24. Texas (5-3)
  25. UCF (6-2)

Analysis by gourmet expert Jerry Palm

While it doesn’t match our expectations for the top seven teams in the CFP rankings, it’s hard to dispute the order under which the committee chose to rank these teams. It felt like these seven teams were grouped into two tiers, the top three (Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia) and the next four (Clemson, Michigan, Alabama, UCLA). Any order within those groups was justified.

Tennessee State was rewarded for having more wins against teams in the world rankings than Ohio or Georgia.

As such, I’m not surprised to see Alabama ahead of the undefeated TCU, especially since Texas ended up in the rankings as well. That gave Crimson Tide a win over a ranked team, and their loss is the best anyone can suffer right now.

One has to go down more on the list before there can be a real surprise. LSU appears to be at No. 10 extended. The Tigers beat the Ole Miss soundly at home, but were dug up by Tennessee (also at home) and lost to unranked Florida. It wasn’t until #14 in Utah before there were other teams with losses to opponents not in these rankings.

Do you need more college football in your life? Listen below and subscribe to the Cover 3 Podcast as we detail the preliminary College Football Playoff rankings for the 2022 season.

Regardless of the teams’ standings this week, keep in mind that change is coming. These ratings do not act like the AP Top 25 or Coaches Poll. It is possible to win and move down or lose and advance (although the latter is less likely).

Take Illinois, for example. Team Illini starts at 16th but has a much clearer path to the playoff than the four teams they lost to. To get there, Illinois needs a win, which will include a win in Michigan on November 19 and another potentially against Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game. I didn’t say it was an easier path, but how could the committee deny the 12-1 Big Ten champion these victories? They couldn’t and probably won’t.

Everything I just said about Illinois would be absolutely true if it weren’t rated now – which is why it wouldn’t make much sense to get caught up in the early CFP ratings.

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