College Football Playoff: Georgia leads first rankings, Cincinnati at No. 6

·3 min read

There was no surprise at the top of the first College Football Playoff rankings.

Georgia is the No. 1 team as of Tuesday night. The dominant Bulldogs were the obvious choice for the top spot and they lead Alabama, Michigan State and Oregon. Ohio State is at No. 5 and Cincinnati is at No. 6.

No. 6 is the highest a team from outside a Power Five conference has ever been in the College Football Playoff rankings — remember, no team outside a Power Five conference not-named Notre Dame has made the playoff. But no other teams from the American Athletic Conference are ranked in the initial top 25 and Michigan, Oklahoma and Wake Forest are right behind them. All three of those Power Five teams can win their conference titles and both Oklahoma and Wake Forest are also undefeated. 

Notre Dame is at No. 10 and that's a good sign for Cincinnati. That's Cincy's best win. But Notre Dame needs to finish the season at 11-1 and in the top 10 to help buoy Cincinnati's playoff hopes. If the Irish lose before the end of the season, Cincinnati's best win (in the committee's eyes, anyway) doesn't look as good. 

Alabama came in at No. 2 despite a loss to No. 14 Texas A&M. If Alabama wins its final four regular season games then the SEC championship game will likely be a matchup between the top two teams in the country. Georgia has already clinched the SEC East and is going to be a multi-touchdown favorite in each of its remaining games. 

Head-to-head matters

The first set of rankings showed how much the committee is relying on head-to-head results at the moment. Oregon is at No. 4 ahead of Ohio State after beating the Buckeyes in Columbus. Oklahoma State is ahead of Baylor at No. 11 after beating the Bears, and Mississippi State is ahead of Kentucky despite having one more loss than the Wildcats because they beat UK in Week 9. Wisconsin at 5-3 is also ahead of 6-2 Iowa because the Badgers beat the Hawkeyes on Saturday. 

What's at stake in Week 10

The only game between teams in the top 25 in Week 10 is No. 13 Auburn's visit to No. 14 Texas A&M. That game could be critical at the end of the season for a spot in a New Year's Six bowl game as the loser would have a head start on finishing second in the SEC West. 

Oklahoma is the only team in the top 10 that isn't playing in Week 10. The Sooners haven't had their off weekend yet and don't play on Saturday, ahead of games against Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State, along with a potential Big 12 championship game. While Oklahoma is four spots away from the top four right now, the Sooners could move up into the top four with three wins over ranked opponents in the next five weeks. 

First CFP rankings

1. Georgia (8-0)

2. Alabama (7-1)

3. Michigan State (8-0)

4. Oregon (7-1)

5. Ohio State (7-1)

6. Cincinnati (8-0)

7. Michigan (7-1)

8. Oklahoma (9-0)

9. Wake Forest (8-0)

10. Notre Dame (7-1)

11. Oklahoma State (7-1)

12. Baylor (7-1)

13. Auburn (6-2)

14. Texas A&M (6-2)

15. BYU (7-2)

16. Ole Miss (6-2)

17. Mississippi State (5-3)

18. Kentucky (6-2)

19. NC State (6-2)

20. Minnesota (6-2)

21. Wisconsin (5-3)

22. Iowa (6-2)

23. Fresno State (7-2)

24. San Diego State (7-1)

25. Pitt (6-2)

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