The question every year now is, “Who’s In?” The College Football Playoff system released its first NCAA rankings of 2015 on Tuesday, and the top four shocked a number of people. It wasn’t just who the top four teams were, but the order in which they were seeded as well. Even though Clemson isn’t number one in either of the college football polls released this week, they are number one in the playoffs followed by LSU, Ohio State, and Alabama.
ESPN reported the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night and many were expecting Ohio State to be in first place, but they obviously haven’t been the most impressive. Clemson has been shocking a lot of people so far this season, and that was noticeable by the Tigers being in first.
They’re followed by the Tigers of LSU, then the first place (in the polls) Buckeyes, and then 7-1 Alabama.
The committee has spoken. Here’s the top 10 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. pic.twitter.com/5xkhuKoMOS
— ESPN (@espn) November 4, 2015
It’s obvious that being undefeated doesn’t always hold the most weight in how rankings come about. The Crimson Tide and Notre Dame Fighting Irish both have one loss yet are ahead of the undefeated schools of Baylor, Michigan State, TCU, and Iowa.
The full top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings are as follows.
3. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
7. Michigan State
14. Oklahoma State
16. Florida State
18. Ole Miss
19. Texas A&M
20. Mississippi State
After this weekend, the top four are going to change and there is no doubt about that. LSU and Alabama will be playing in a huge game in Tuscaloosa which could not only have implications on who wins the SEC West but the National Championship Game as well.
Leonard Fournette and the LSU Tigers had a bye this past week as did Alabama, and it’s setting up for the huge showdown. LSU is undefeated while Alabama does have one loss on its record thanks to a 43-37 defeat at the hands of Ole Miss. Two weeks ago, Tennessee came close, but the Tide held on to win 19-14.
Sitting at number three are the Ohio State Buckeyes who have been number one in the college football polls all season. Just because they’re number one though doesn’t mean they’ve impressed all the voters. They have not looked overly consistent or strong throughout this season so far and still have a lot to prove.
Now, they’re dealing with a lot of poor play from quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, but also the one-game suspension of Barrett. Some of their victories have not been overly huge or the expected blow-outs and it has some doubting their strength.
Clemson fans not only want their team to be in the playoffs and win the whole thing, but there’s even more riding on the line. ESPN reported that Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney has said he will buy pizza for everyone that can fit into Memorial Stadium if Clemson makes it into the College Football Playoff.
That would be a number that could peak over 80,000.
Swinney spoke on Tuesday about the Tigers who are currently 8-0 and can clinch the Atlantic Division title this weekend with a win over Florida States. Still, he said that only one poll matters.
“The only poll that we’re excited about is Dec. 6, and I promise you we’ll have the biggest poll party you’ve seen. We’ll open up Death Valley and serve pizza to everybody. That’ll be a time to celebrate a poll. Until then, it doesn’t matter.”
The first College Football Playoff rankings of 2015 have now been released and its the SEC leading the pack with six representatives in the Top 25. When it comes to the end of the season though, it’s the top four who count, and in right now are Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, and Alabama.
[Image via Getty Images – Tyler Smith]