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

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) catches a pass over
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.

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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

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3. Louisiana State

4. Notre Dame

5. Michigan

6. Georgia

7. Oklahoma

8. Washington State

9. Kentucky

10. Ohio State

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11. Florida

12. Central Florida

13. West Virginia

14. Penn State

15. Utah

16. Iowa

17. Texas

18. Mississippi State

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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

eduardo.gonzalez@latimes.com


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