Ryan Mayer

The college football season is set to begin the home stretch and, tonight, we found out which teams have the head start on being in one of the four playoff spots at the end of the season. The College Football Playoff committee has released its first set of official rankings for this season and to no one’s surprise, there is a familiar name at the top.

Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide landed the number one spot in the committee’s initial rankings thanks to an 8-0 start to the season during which they have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 38 points this season.

Coming in at No. 2 is the Clemson Tigers. Also undefeated on the season, Dabo Swinney’s crew doesn’t have quite the same margin of victory (31 points on average), but they’re holding opponent’s to fewer points than the Tide this season allowing just 13 points per game.

The third team in the initial rankings is the LSU Tigers, who despite a loss this season, have a couple of big wins over Miami, Auburn and Georgia so far this season.

In the final spot, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is also unblemished so far this season and are coming off a 44-22 win over Navy last weekend.

For those complaining that two SEC teams are in the Top 4 of the initial rankings, it’s worth noting that Alabama and LSU meet this weekend in Baton Rouge and one will almost surely drop out of a playoff spot after a loss.

The full rankings are as follows:

  1. Alabama (8-0)
  2. Clemson (8-0)
  3. LSU (7-1)
  4. Notre Dame (8-0)
  5. Michigan (7-1)
  6. Georgia (7-1)
  7. Oklahoma (7-1)
  8. Washington State (7-1)
  9. Kentucky (7-1)
  10. Ohio State (7-1)
  11. Florida (6-2)
  12. UCF (7-0)
  13. West Virginia (6-1)
  14. Penn State (6-2)
  15. Utah (6-2)
  16. Iowa (6-2)
  17. Texas (6-2)
  18. Mississippi State (5-3)
  19. Syracuse (6-2)
  20. Texas A&M (5-3)
  21. N.C. State (5-2)
  22. Boston College (6-2)
  23. Fresno State (7-1)
  24. Iowa State (4-3)
  25. Virginia (6-2)