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Wayne Staats | | November 1, 2022

College Football Playoff rankings: Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson lead first top 25

Tennessee earns top spot in first College Football Playoff poll

The first College Football Playoff rankings are here. No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Clemson made up the top four spots as revealed Tuesday night. No. 5 Michigan and No. 6 Alabama came in next.

Before we dig into what to know in the poll, here's the top 25:

College Football Playoff rankings: Top 25 for Week 10




1 Tennessee 8-0
2 Ohio State 8-0
3 Georgia 8-0
4 Clemson 8-0
5 Michigan 8-0
6 Alabama 7-1
7 TCU 8-0
8 Oregon 7-1
9 Southern California 7-1
10 LSU 6-2
11 Ole Miss 8-1
12 UCLA 7-1
13 Kansas State 6-2
14 Utah 6-2
15 Penn State 6-2
16 Illinois 7-1
17 North Carolina 7-1
18 Oklahoma State 6-2
19 Tulane 7-1
20 Syracuse 6-2
21 Wake Forest 6-2
22 NC State 6-2
23 Oregon State 6-2
24 Texas 5-3
25 UCF 6-2

With the top 25 poll here, let's take a look at some of the storylines:

The debate over No. 1

Georgia? Ohio State? Tennessee? It seemed like those three teams had the best chance to grab the first No. 1 ranking in the CFP. In the end, the committee went with Tennessee and the Vols' collection of impressive wins over No. 10 LSU and No. 6 Alabama. Tennessee also just crushed Kentucky by 38 this past weekend. Meanwhile, Ohio State's stars dominated late to help the Buckeyes own the fourth quarter and beat Penn State by 13 on the road. No. 3 Georgia opened the season by crushing current No. 8 Oregon by 46. But OSU and UGA each have just that one win against a CFP-ranked team.

Tennessee will be tested right away as No. 1, however, as the Volunteers visit No. 3 Georgia on Saturday. So the order of Tennessee-Ohio State-Georgia may look very different next week.

WHAT'S NEXT: Here's the Week 10 TV schedule

Here's what the semifinals would look like

Of course, there are a lot — like, a lot — to be decided on the field, but if the season were to end today, these would be the semifinals:

  • No. 1 Tennessee vs. No. 4 Clemson
  • No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Georgia

Three of the four teams here have made the CFP previously and even won CFP national championships, with Georgia the defending national champion. The only one of the four that would be making its CFP semifinals debut is Tennessee — and the Vols are the season's first No. 1 in the CFP.

How the committee ranked the six undefeated teams

There are six FBS teams still dreaming of an unbeaten season. These six are all ranked in the first seven spots, with one-loss No. 6 Alabama ranking one spot higher than undefeated TCU. This is much different than last year when four of the last six undefeated teams in the first CFP poll were outside the top four: Cincinnati was No. 6, Oklahoma came in No. 8, Wake Forest was ninth and UTSA wasn't in the first poll.

Here's the undefeated list for 2022 and where they rank in the first CFP top 25:

  • No. 1 Tennessee
  • No. 2 Ohio State
  • No. 3 Georgia
  • No. 4 Clemson
  • No. 5 Michigan
  • No. 7 TCU

PERFECT: Here are the remaining undefeated FBS teams

The top teams with a defeats

This marks the ninth year of the College Football Playoff. Through the eight completed years, 32 teams have made the semifinals. Twenty of those had one loss. while 12 entered undefeated. That means the wait for a two-loss semifinalist remains. However, it's worth keeping track of the teams that have already taken a defeat, as winning out would see them rise high in the top 25 and threaten a top-four spot.

Alabama is the highest-ranked one-loss team at No. 6. LSU is the top two-loss team at No. 10 — and the Tigers and the Tide face off on Saturday.

When do College Football Playoff rankings come out?

Six top 25 rankings will be released by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for the 2023 season, including final CFP field selections on Dec. 3, 2023.

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