For the first nine weeks of the college football season, fans were forced to rely on the Amway Coaches Poll and Associated Press Top 25 for their team’s rankings — both of which mean virtually nothing.
That changed on Tuesday.
The first College Football Playoff rankings of 2016 were released Tuesday night, and fans now have a definitive sense of where their team projects compared the nation’s elite.
In the inaugural 2016 rankings, five SEC teams found themselves ranked in the Top 25.
As expected, Alabama came in as the nation’s top-ranked team with a perfect 8-0 mark. The coveted top four spots were rounded out by Clemson (No. 2), Michigan (No. 3) and Texas A&M (No. 4). Should the College Football Playoff occur on Tuesday, those four teams would make up the NCAA’s third College Football Playoff, and Alabama would take on Texas A&M.
The Aggies have played to a 7-1 mark this season with their only loss coming to Alabama. The Aggies still have an outside shot of making the Final Four with remaining games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas-San Antonio and LSU.
Auburn received a No. 9 ranking as it’s in the midst of a five-game winning streak. The Tigers started the season 1-2 with losses against Clemson and Texas A&M, but have since secured victories over LSU, Louisana-Monroe, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Florida was the SEC East’s lone representative coming off a 24-10 victory over Georgia. The Gators hold on to the East lead, and earned a No. 11 ranking for their efforts. It won’t be an easy road ahead for Jim McElwain and Co., which still holds contests against Arkansas, South Carolina, LSU and Florida State.
LSU, who is 3-0 under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, came in at No. 13. The Tigers will take on No. 1 Alabama this weekend in a pivotal SEC West matchup.
Here’s a look at the complete College Football Playoff rankings:
|12||Penn State|| |
|18||Oklahoma State|| |
|19||Virginia Tech|| |
|20||West Virginia|| |
|21||North Carolina|| |
|22||Florida State|| |
|23||Western Michigan|| |
|25||Washington State|| |