Georgia, Alabama headline 2017’s first Playoff rankings; MSU No. 24

Behind a 8-0 record that includes wins at Notre Dame and blowouts of Mississippi State and Missouri, the Georgia Bulldogs were named the top team in the nation in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee in their initial rankings. Both of last year’s finalists, Alabama and Clemson, are in the top four despite Clemson’s loss to Syracuse on Nov. 13.

The Tigers still hold a solid grasp on the ACC Atlantic division, and face their toughest remaining opponent, NC State, this weekend. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide managed to snag the No. 2 ranking despite claims that their schedule, which features zero top-25 wins, was not of requisite quality. Notre Dame is ranked third, despite their loss at home to Georgia, 20-19, on Sept. 9.

The Big Ten is not represented in the top four, but there are three schools in the top nine: Ohio State (No. 6), Penn State (No. 7) and Wisconsin (No. 9). Many believed that the Buckeyes had a chance to jump into the top four following their win over AP No. 2 Penn State last weekend. However, OSU is ranked below the team it lost to on Sept. 9, Oklahoma. The Sooners also have lost once on the year, falling at home to No. 15 Iowa State. The Cyclones defeated No. 8 TCU last weekend, but have two losses on the season already.

Michigan State fell to No. 24 in the AP poll on Sunday, and the Playoff voters agreed, putting the 6-2 Spartans deep in the rankings. Penn State and Ohio State are the two remaining ranked teams on MSU’s schedule. MSU faces the Nittany Lions on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for noon on FOX.

A full list of the top 25, according to the Playoff committee:

  1. Georgia (8-0)
  2. Alabama (8-0)
  3. Notre Dame (7-1)
  4. Clemson (7-1)
  5. Oklahoma (7-1)
  6. Ohio State (7-1)
  7. Penn State (7-1)
  8. TCU (7-1)
  9. Wisconsin (8-0)
  10. Miami (7-0)
  11. Oklahoma State (7-1)
  12. Washington (7-1)
  13. Virginia Tech (7-1)
  14. Auburn (6-2)
  15. Iowa State (6-2)
  16. Mississippi State (6-2)
  17. USC (7-2)
  18. UCF (7-0)
  19. LSU (6-2)
  20. NC State (6-2)
  21. Stanford (6-2)
  22. Arizona (6-2)
  23. Memphis (7-1)
  24. Michigan State (6-2)
  25. Washington State (7-2)