It’s no surprise, Tide on the top
But Texas A&M at No. 4, ahead of 8-0 Washington
Defending national champion Alabama grabbed the top spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday.
Clemson, the runner-up to the Crimson Tide last season, was in the No. 2 spot, followed by Michigan, which never had been ranked higher than 10 in the playoff rankings.
The biggest surprise came next. Texas A&M(7-1) earned the No. 4 ranking over undefeated Washington (8-0).
“Simply stated, the committee believes that Texas A&M has played a stronger schedule at this point over Washington,” selection committee Chairman Kirby Hocutt said.
Washington is t he Pac-12’s only real hope, and the Big 12 is all but dead. Its highest entrant is No. 14 Oklahoma.
The committee released the first of six rankings. The final poll will be revealed Dec. 4.
The top four teams will play in the College Football Playoff semifinals Dec. 31 in the Fiesta and Peach bowls. The winners will meet in the championship game Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The remaining New Year’s Six bowl games — Rose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton — will select the highest ranked remaining teams that fill their criteria. The highest-ranked conference champion from the Group of Five conferences — American, Conference USA, Mid- American, Mountain West and Sun Belt — also receives a spot.
The 12-member selection Nick Saban and Alabama are atop the first College Football Playoff rankings.
CFP Top 25
1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Michigan 4. Texas A&M 5. Washington 6. Ohio State 7. Louisville 8. Wisconsin 9. Auburn 10. Nebraska 11. Florida 12. Penn State 13. LSU 14. Oklahoma 15. Colorado 16. Utah 17. Baylor 18. Oklahoma State 19. Virginia Tech 20. West Virginia 21. North Carolina 22. Florida State 23. Western Michigan 24. Boise State 25. Washington State 8-0 8-0 8-0
7-1 8-0 7-1 7-1 6-2 6-2 7-1 6-1 6-2 5-2 6-2 6-2 7-2 6-1 6-2 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-3 8-0
7-1 6-2 committee includes Hocutt, Barry Alvarez, Jeff Bower, Herb Deromedi, Tom Jernstedt, Bobby Johnson, Jeff Long, Rob Mullens, Dan Radakovich, Condoleezza Rice, Steve Wieberg and Tyrone Willingham.