Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Ohio State make the first set of college football playoff rankings

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Clemson is 3rd in the first college football playoff rankings of 2020.

The first edition of this season’s College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night, and the main portion of the top 25 went almost exactly as expected. Alabama opened the late-season rankings in the No. 1 spot, followed by No. 2 Notre Dame. After those two undefeateds, one-loss Clemson checked in at No. 3 with Ohio State in at No. 4 likely due to the Buckeyes only having played four games to this point.

CFP Selection Committee chairman Gary Barta explained that Clemson’s dominance over every team it faced other than Notre Dame, coupled with the Tigers being down numerous starters against the Fighting Irish, led the committee to give them the nod for the No. 3 spot.

If the top four was to hold, no matter the order, it would mark the first time that two playoff teams would come out of the ACC as Notre Dame is considered part of the league this season. However, right on the heels of that top four is two more SEC teams, giving the conference three of the top six in the initial CFP Rankings.

No. 5 Texas A&M is the first team out with its lone loss to the top-ranked Crimson Tide, while No. 6 Florida‘s only defeat is at the hands of the Aggies. With the SEC Championship Game still to come, the Gators likely control their own destiny as long as they are able to win out.

Cincinnati opens the CFP Rankings as the top-rated Group of Five team at No. 7, the highest point reached by any non-Power Five team the history of this top 25. The Bearcats’ high ranking is due in large part to their strong schedule, the manner by which they have defeated opponents and the fact that the Big Ten and Pac-12 got off to late starts.

Independent BYU is not getting much respect for its 9-0 record (against a relatively weak schedule) at No. 14, while Oregon is the highest Pac-12 team at No. 15 as it has only played three games thus far in 2020.

Let’s take a look at the entire CFP Rankings top 25. Keep on reading for analysis from CBS Sports bowls expert Jerry Palm.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 24

  1. Alabama (7-0)
  2. Notre Dame (8-0)
  3. Clemson (7-1)
  4. Ohio State (4-0)
  5. Texas A&M (5-1)
  6. Florida (6-1)
  7. Cincinnati (8-0)
  8. Northwestern (5-0)
  9. Georgia (5-2)
  10. Miami (FL) (7-1)
  11. Oklahoma (6-2)
  12. Indiana (4-1)
  13. Iowa State (6-2)
  14. BYU (9-0)
  15. Oregon (3-0)
  16. Wisconsin (2-1)
  17. Texas (5-2)
  18. USC (3-0)
  19. North Carolina (6-2)
  20. Coastal Carolina (8-0)
  21. Marshall (7-0)
  22. Auburn (5-2)
  23. Oklahoma State (5-2)
  24. Iowa (3-2)
  25. Tulsa (5-1)

Courtesy – CBS Sports

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