It’s no sur­prise, Tide on the top

But Texas A&M at No. 4, ahead of 8-0 Wash­ing­ton

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Matt Murschel News ser­vices con­trib­uted.

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.

KEVIN C. COX/GETTY

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