College Football Playoff Rankings: Georgia takes over at No. 1 as Michigan and TCU climb to top 25

College Football Playoff Rankings: Georgia takes over at No. 1 as Michigan and TCU climb to top 25

The second edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night with defending national champion Georgia taking the No. 1 spot after their decisive victory over previously ranked No. 1 Tennessee last Saturday. After a dominating start to the 2022 season, the Bulldogs are allowing just 10.8 points per game with double-digit wins in eight of nine games.

But all is not lost for the Volunteers. Slipping into fifth place, Tennessee still has a chance to make the four-team group given the strength of their wins at this point and the best loss in the nation. Reminder: All but one of the teams ranked No. 1 in the first CFP rankings of a season eventually reached the playoffs (Mississippi State, 2014).

The undefeated teams round out the rest of the top four with Ohio State, Michigan and TCU taking the next three spots in order. However, even if the Buckeyes and Wolverines go through the next two weeks unscathed, an undefeated will fall on November 26 when the Big Ten rivals meet. The Horned Frogs finished in the top four for the second time in program history (2014).

Despite a 46-point loss to new No. 1 Georgia in Week 1, Oregon edges out USC and UCLA as the highest-ranked team in the Pac-12, with the league looking to enter the the CFP for the first time since 2016. LSU is notably the highest-ranked two-game losing team at No. 7. The Bayou Bengals have an inside track to meet the Dawgs in the SEC Championship Game, and if LSU wins , it will have a case to become the first two-game losing team to earn a CFP bid.

Playoff stalwarts Alabama and Clemson fell notably after respective losses to LSU and Notre Dame last week. This is the first time in the history of the CFP rankings that no program has been among the top six ranked teams in a top 25.

The Crimson Tide fell three spots to No. 9, effectively knocking them out of the playoffs with two losses, while the Tigers fell six spots to No. 10. Clemson to a loss still has the chance to get back into the field at four teams, however, given a potential meeting with North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game, it could give the late ratings a boost. But he may need help getting there.

Let’s take a look at the entire top 25 of the CFP rankings. Check out bowls expert Jerry Palm’s analysis below.

College football playoff standings, Nov. 8

  1. Georgia (9-0)
  2. Ohio State (9-0)
  3. Michigan (9-0)
  4. TCU (9-0)
  5. Tennessee (8-1)
  6. Oregon (8-1)
  7. USL (7-2)
  8. USC (8-1)
  9. Alabama (7-2)
  10. Clemson (8-1)
  11. Ole Miss (8-1)
  12. UCLA (8-1)
  13. Utah (7-2)
  14. Penn State (7-2)
  15. North Carolina (8-1)
  16. NC status (7-2)
  17. Tulane (8-1)
  18. Texas (6-3)
  19. Kansas State (6-3)
  20. Our Lady (6-3)
  21. Illinois (7-2)
  22. UCF (7-2)
  23. Florida State (6-3)
  24. Kentucky (6-3)
  25. Washington (7-2)

Analysis by bowl expert Jerry Palm

The Tennessee fall is a bit harsh. He lost on the road to the best team in the country, which frankly the CFP selection committee should have seen last week. The Vols are the only team in this week’s leaderboard with three wins over the other teams in the leaderboard. Two of them came against teams currently in the top 10. Their 27-point win at LSU is the second-best victory by anyone this season behind Georgia’s 46-point victory over Oregon.

TCU, meanwhile, is finally getting the respect the Horned Frogs feel they deserve. The Big 12 have quality depth at the top of the conference this season, which helps the Frogs’ schedule strength. TCU, however, struggled to dominate games as the committee likes to see them, with an average scoring margin in FBS games less than half the scoring margins for Georgia, Ohio State, and Michigan.

It’s weird to see Alabama and Clemson so far down the list. It’s the first time the committee has released a top 25 that didn’t include at least one of those teams in the top four. Tide has appeared in seven of eight playoff series so far, while the Tigers have appeared in six. No other team has been in more than four.

Clemson still has hopes of getting back into the top four at the end. The Tigers should win to finish 12-1. As the conference champion, Clemson would certainly be seriously considered for a top-four spot at that point.

The road is more difficult for Alabama. The Tide don’t control their own destiny in SEC West, so they have to win and make LSU lose twice. Then, if Alabama beats Georgia to win the SEC Championship, even at 11-2, it would revert to CFP. Ole Miss is in a better position as Alabama because the Rebels only have one loss, so they would only need LSU to lose once to take the division.

As it stands, LSU is in the best position to become the first two-game losing team to make an appearance in the CFP. The Tigers are through the meat of their schedule, although I wouldn’t blindly score wins at Arkansas or Texas A&M. The big hurdle is Georgia, of course.

The highest-ranked team with no path to the CFP is Utah at No. 13. The Utes could still win the Pac-12, but their 11-2 record wouldn’t carry the same weight as that same record for LSU or Alabama. .

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