COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — Ohio State is No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff top 25 rankings.
The Buckeyes are followed by LSU, Alabama and Penn State, which are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the CFP rankings released Tuesday night.
Next up were defending national champion Clemson, Georgia and Oregon. The 13-member committee will produce four more sets of rankings each Tuesday before the only ones that really count come out on selection Sunday, Dec. 8.
The semifinals will be held this season at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, and the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 28. The national championship game is Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
The top four in the selection committee’s initial rankings have never all reached the semifinals in the playoff’s five-year history. Eleven of the 20 teams that started in the top four of the CFP rankings have reached the playoff, but, oddly, never the team ranked third.
Utah was eighth and Oklahoma, the highest-ranked team from the Big 12, was ninth. Florida gave the Southeastern Conference four of the top 10 teams.
It was hard to call anything a surprise or all that important in the first rankings, but undefeated Clemson being out of the top four was somewhat unexpected.
The good news for the Tigers is the teams in front of them have to play one another. LSU is at Alabama on Saturday. The teams are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the AP Top 25 but are second and third in the CFP rankings.
Ohio State and Penn State face off on Nov. 30. The Nittany Lions also face a challenge this week when they visit unbeaten Minnesota, which was ranked 17th by the committee.
As long as Clemson keeps winning, the Tigers should be OK.
The highest-ranked team among Group of Five conference schools was Cincinnati out of the American Athletic Conference at No. 20. The top team from outside the Power Five conferences gets a New Year’s Six bowl bid.
College Football Playoff Top 25
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Wake Forest
- Boise State
- Oklahoma State
Ohio State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) has been ranked No. 3 for the past three weeks in the AP Top 25 poll.
The Buckeyes have had impressive wins against Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes overcame an inauspicious start and rolled to a 34-10 win over Michigan State Oct. 5.
A week later, the Buckeyes pounded Northwestern 52-3.
Wisconsin was supposed to be the biggest challenge of the season for Ohio State, instead, Ohio State rolled past the Badgers with a 38-7 win in a steady rain Oct. 26.
Ohio State plays Maryland on Saturday.
The selection committee will provide weekly updated rankings until Dec. 3, culminating in the College Football Playoff selection show, which is scheduled for Dec. 8.
- Tuesday, Nov. 5 — 9-9:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
- Tuesday, Nov. 12 — 7-8 p.m. (ESPN)
- Tuesday, Nov. 19 — 7-8 p.m. (ESPN)
- Tuesday, Nov. 26 — 7-8 p.m. (ESPN)
- Tuesday, Dec. 3 — 7-7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
- Sunday, Dec. 8 (selection day) – Noon-4 p.m. (ESPN)
A 13-member College Football selection committee made up of people with experience as coaches, players, college administrators, athletic directors and journalists, according to the NCAA. Here is a list of the members:
- Rob Mullens (chair) (Oregon athletic director)
- Gary Barta (Iowa athletic director)
- Frank Beamer (former Virginia Tech head coach)
- Paola Boivin (Arizona State professor)
- Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma athletic director)
- Ken Hatfield (former head coach at three FBS schools)
- Chris Howard (Robert Morris president)
- Ronnie Lott (Former Southern California All-American)
- Terry Mohajir (Arkansas State athletic director)
- Ray Odierno (Former United States Army Chief of Staff)
- R.C. Slocum (former Texas A&M head coach)
- Todd Stansbury (Georgia Tech athletic director)
- Scott Stricklin (Florida athletic director)