CFP volunteers the NCAA football season's first rankings
The GIST: After nine glorious weeks of college gridiron competition, the CFP selection committee’s 13 members finally released their first public rankings last night. These rankings will be released weekly from now on, with the sixth (and final) slated for Sunday, December 4th, aka Selection Day.
The contenders: While the committee ranks 25 teams, it’s ultimately only December 4th’s top four who battle for the natty. In a shock to Georgia, the top SEC squad who rests easy at No. 1 on the AP rankings, Tennessee was announced at the (Rocky) top of the CFP’s list last night. Hear that? It’s the goalposts cheering from the river.
- Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson followed the Vols in second, third and fourth, respectively. Perhaps most shocking was Georgia’s absence from the top two slots, but their strength of schedule pales next to Tennessee’s.
In the hunt: Not to be overlooked, fifth-ranked Michigan and sixth-ranked Alabama are hot on the Top Four’s heels. Bama’s record is marred by their single loss to the Vols, which is why it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that they clocked in ahead of seventh-ranked (and undefeated) TCU.
The implications: We now have some cursory insight into how the committee weighs certain metrics, like strength of schedule and strength of record.