Tennessee tight end Princeton Fant (88) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

College Football Releases First Playoff Rankings: Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson Sit At The Top

The College Football Playoff selection committee released its first college football playoff rankings of the season Tuesday night, with Tennessee on top.

The Volunteers are sitting on top of the college football rankings at No. 1. This is the first time the Vols have made it inside the top four in school history.

They are followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Clemson. Michigan and Alabama sit just outside the top four.

Six teams are 8-0 and they take up six of the seven top spots.

There is still a lot of football left to be played. Tennessee will travel to Athens on Saturday for a No. 1 v. No. 3 matchup at 3:30 p.m.

No. 6 Alabama will play No. 10 LSU at 7 p.m.


Strength of schedule, strength of record

Strength of record/schedule is a factor the committee takes into big consideration when picking rankings.

  • No. 1 Tennesee

    • SOR: No. 1
    • SOS: No. 18
  • No. 2 Ohio State

    • SOR: No. 2
    • SOS: No. 51
  • No. 3 Georgia

    • SOR: No. 5
    • SOS: No. 75
  • No. 4 Clemson

    • SOR: No. 4
    • SOS: No. 72


Top four: Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson

  • Clemson

Clemson has the lowest strength of schedule out of the top four. Though it does have three wins over current Top 25 teams: Syracuse, Wake Forest and NC State.  The Tigers and No. 5 Michigan were in close comparison, but Michigan’s strength of schedule outside of its conference was not enough to jump ahead of Clemson.

The Tigers will travel to Notre Dame this weekend for a prime time game, coming out with a win for the Tigers will surely only help them.

There was no question who would be the top three teams, the order was the huge question mark.

  • Tennessee

The Vols arguably have the best resume so far in college football, which has helped their say in the CFP. Recording two wins over current top 10 teams in the playoff rankings, one being a 27-point road win against LSU and the field goal winning 52-49 win over Alabama.

Tennessee’s offense has continued to prove itself, averaging an FBS-best 49.4 points per game and 553.0 yards per game. Another huge game for its resume happens this weekend when it travels to Athens to face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

  • Ohio State/Georgia

Ohio State and Georgia both have not had too much of a test yet. Ohio State just beat Penn State on the road in one of the loudest environments in college football. But, Ohio State has one of the most explosive offense in the game with Heisman candidate C.J. Stroud at QB. It will play No. 6 Michigan at the end of November for a huge test.

Georgia penciling in at No. 3 has the majority to do with a couple games on its resume that were closer than they should have been, including Kent State and Missouri in back-to-back weekends. On the other hand, it does have a big 49-3 win against Oregon. It will be tested again this weekend when it hosts the No. 1 Tennessee Volunteers Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Within the top 10

There is still a lot of ball left to be played, but Michigan and Alabama are the first two teams out of the top four. Michigan doesn’t have much shove with where they stand because their strength of schedule doesn’t compete with teams like Tennessee, Ohio State and Georgia. The Wolverines will be able to prove themselves though when they travel to Ohio State at the end of the month.

TCU is a team that could argue where it stands. The Horn Frogs are 8-0, behind No. 1 loss Alabama. It had four top 25 wins in a row and then went on the road to West Virginia, winning that game. It still has to go at Baylor and at Texas, but so far, some might argue it deserves to be ranked higher. If it stays undefeated, it should find its way into the top four at the end of the season.

No. 9 USC’s only loss was a late two-point conversion against Utah. They remain 7-1 and don’t have a true test until they play UCLA and Notre Dame later this season. The Pac-12 championship game could easily be No. 9 USC v. No. 8 Oregon.

If No. 10 LSU wins its game this weekend in Alabama, they will be in the driver’s seat of the SEC West. It will be a huge weekend for LSU and Alabama.

Outside the top 10

No. 19 Tulane and No. 25 UCF are the only two schools in the CFP that are not in a power five conference

Teams like No. 17 UNC and No. 16 Illinois are a couple of teams having true shots at making their conference tournaments with an impressive run thus far in the season.

The highest ranked two loss big-12 team is Kansas State at No. 13.

If outside the top 10 has showed anything, it’s that the committee has shown respect to the depth and strength of the big-12. Especially with Texas at No. 24. These are factors that can fluctuate the rankings of the top four teams later on.


About Gabriela Vitale

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