No surprise as Alabama and Clemson earn top spots in initial College Football Playoff rankings

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) catches a pass over Missouri defensive back Christian Holmes (21) during the second half on Oct. 13 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

The first ranking of the College Football Playoff was released Tuesday and it’s no surprise that the committee felt that Alabama is the No. 1 team. The Crimson Tide are the defending national champions. Clemson, Louisiana State and Notre Dame rounded out the top four.

Michigan and Georgia were ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

Alabama is ranked in the top four for the 22nd time while Clemson earned its 19th such ranking.


Central Florida is the highest-ranked team within the Group of 5 coming in at No. 12, which is the highest initial ranking for any Group of 5 team. Memphis debuted at No. 13 in 2015.

Washington State was the highest-ranked team from the Pac-12, coming in at No. 8. Utah is No. 15.

The Southeastern Conference has seven teams ranked, the Atlantic Coast Conference five.

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Louisiana State

4. Notre Dame

5. Michigan

6. Georgia

7. Oklahoma

8. Washington State

9. Kentucky

10. Ohio State

11. Florida

12. Central Florida

13. West Virginia

14. Penn State

15. Utah

16. Iowa

17. Texas

18. Mississippi State

19. Syracuse

20. Texas A&M

21. North Carolina State

22. Boston College

23. Fresno State

24. Iowa State

25. Virginia

If the season ended today, this would be the projected New Year’s Six Bowls:

Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas (College Football Playoff semifinal game)

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Notre Dame

Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla. (College Football Playoff semifinal game)


No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Louisiana State

Rose Bowl in Pasadena

No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 8 Washington State

Sugar Bowl in New Orleans

No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 7 Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

No. 9 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Central Florida

Peach Bowl in Atlanta

No. 10 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Florida

The second College Football Playoff Rankings will be released next Tuesday.

Twitter: @edmgonzalez