COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The only College Football Playoff rankings which truly matter are scheduled to be announced Dec. 20. Those are the final rankings to determine the four teams in this year’s playoff.
Tuesday night, the first CFP rankings revealed some differences between the CFP committee and the Associated Press and Coaches Polls.
Ohio State (4-0) ranks 4th in the initial rankings, behind #1 Alabama, #2 Notre Dame, and #3 Clemson. The Tigers lost at Notre Dame this season, but the committee still rewarded the Tigers for the circumstances around that loss and their performance the rest of the season. QB Trevor Lawrence missed the game recovering from COVID-19.
OSU has played at least two fewer games than many of the other teams near the top of the rankings. The Buckeyes led Indiana 35-7 Saturday before suffering multiple defensive breakdowns and holding on for a 42-35 win. Indiana is ranked 12th in the first CFP rankings.
Undefeated Cincinnati comes in 7th, a significant sign of respect for a non-power 5 conference team. The Bearcats will still need help to make the final four, but it’s a sign the committee respects their resume.
Big Ten West Division leader Northwestern ranks 8th this week.
Ohio State is ranked third in the Associated Press Top 25 and the coaches poll this week. Both polls have the same top four: Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Clemson, with those same four teams making up the top of the CFP rankings.
The full first rankings are:
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Iowa State
- North Carolina
- Coastal Carolina
- Oklahoma State