October 31, 2018 / 12:50 AM / 13 days ago

Alabama tops initial College Football Playoff rankings

To no one’s surprise, Alabama earned the top spot in the first College Football Playoff ranking, which was announced Tuesday night.

Oct 20, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Brian Robinson Jr. (24) breaks through the Tennessee Volunteers line in the fourth quarter of a game at Neyland Stadium. Alabama defeated the Vols 58-21. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide were followed by Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame in the top four of the initial rankings. The list is likely to change soon because Alabama will visit LSU this weekend in a battle of longtime SEC rivals.

At 7-1, LSU is the only one-loss team to earn a spot in the top four. A crowd of one-loss teams are ranked Nos. 5-10: Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington State, Kentucky and Ohio State.

“LSU’s resume: They have six wins against teams over .500, and quality wins against Georgia and Mississippi State,” Oregon State athletic director Rob Mullens, who chairs the 13-member selection committee, said in comments published by ESPN. “Just the close loss to Florida. We’re impressed. Overall, their body of work is strong.”

UCF, which is undefeated through seven games, is ranked No. 12. The program went 13-0 last season despite being left out of the title mix.

Mullens said UCF’s extended track record did not figure into the ranking.

“We only look at the games today, one through nine (in 2018),” he said to ESPN. “They’re 7-0. They are the only team that hasn’t played a team with a winning record through nine weeks.”

Seven teams from the SEC made the top 25, while the Atlantic Coast Conference features five teams. The Big Ten and Big 12 have four ranked teams apiece, while the Pac-12 includes two teams.

The CFP ranking system started in 2014. Four teams at the end of the season will compete in a bracket-style tournament for a chance to play in the national championship Jan. 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Here is a full list of the top-25 rankings:

1. Alabama (8-0)

2. Clemson (8-0)

3. LSU (7-1)

4. Notre Dame (8-0)

5. Michigan (7-1)

6. Georgia (7-1)

7. Oklahoma (7-1)

8. Washington State (7-1)

9. Kentucky (7-1)

10. Ohio State (7-1)

11. Florida (6-2)

12. UCF (7-0)

13. West Virginia (6-1)

14. Penn State (6-2)

15. Utah (6-2)

16. Iowa (6-2)

17. Texas (6-2)

18. Mississippi State (5-3)

19. Syracuse (6-2)

20. Texas A&M (5-3)

21. NC State (5-2)

22. Boston College (6-2)

23. Fresno State (7-1)

24. Iowa State (4-3)

25. Virginia (6-2)

—Field Level Media

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