May 22, 2024

Tuesday night’s initial College Football Playoff rankings for the season were led by Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, and Florida State. Up next were unbeaten Washington and its Pac-12 rival, Oregon.

Alabama came in eighth, Texas seventh.

For the fourth time in the CFP’s ten-year history and the first time since 2019, the Buckeyes (8-0) are ranked #1.

The Associated Press has Georgia (8-0) and Michigan (8-0), the two-time defending champions, at the top of the poll since the preseason. However, their schedules, which have not included much major competition up to this point, have worked against them in the eyes of the 13-member selection committee.

The NCAA is looking into the Wolverines programme for a sign-stealing scheme that allegedly involved illegal in-person scouting as the team enters the final month of the season.

For the first time since 2014, Florida State (8-0) is among the CFP’s top four teams.

The top teams and their performances will be scrutinised for a month starting with the first of six rankings.

After the conference championship games on December 3, which determine the four-team playoff field, the final rankings will be announced. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl semifinals will take place before the national championship game, which will take place in Houston on January 8.

The four-team playoff format will end with this season, and the following season will see an expansion to 12 teams.

For now, four is the magic number. In the nine previous playoff seasons, only a few times have all four of the teams ranked first placed advanced to the round of sixteen.

The committee’s first No. 1 last year was Tennessee, who was followed by Ohio State, Georgia, and Clemson. In the postseason, only the Buckeyes and Bulldogs advanced.

29 teams from the top six started the nine-year playoff run out of the 36 teams that qualified.

In 2014, Ohio State underwent the longest ascent to the CFP, as the eventual national

Champion Buckeyes ranked sixteenth in the initial committee ranking. Oklahoma qualified for the playoffs and finished No. 15 in the initial rankings in 2015.

The final playoff field has only once been revealed by the CFP initial rankings. That was the pandemic season of 2020, which was abnormal in a lot of ways. The final four teams that year were Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, and Clemson.

 

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