College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State

Alabama was No. 1 in the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday-evening, followed by Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State.

Texas A&M was fifth and Florida sixth, giving the Southeastern Conference three of the top six teams, along with Alabama.

The undefeated Cincinnati of the American Athletic Conference in seventh place has the best ranking for a non-Power Five team in the selection committee’s seven-year history of the top 25.

No. 8 Northwestern, Georgia and Miami complete the top 10.

Another unbeaten team from outside the Power Five was not as highly regarded by the committee. BYU was placed 14th, behind No. 11 Oklahoma (6-2) and No. 13 Iowa State (6-2), among others.

The highest-ranked Pac-12 team was Oregon at 15, and Southern California was 18.

Much like this college football season in a pandemic, the rankings schedule has been slowed down and shortened this year.

The 13-member selection committee usually starts ranking teams around Halloween and produces six leaderboards for the latter that determine which 12 teams will play in the semifinals and major bowl games.

This is the first of four rankings leading to the only ones that really count, scheduled for release on December 20.

The pandemic did not stop the selection committee from meeting in person as usual at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine Texas, just outside of Dallas. And the playoff itself is scheduled to start as planned with the semifinals on January 1 at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl and the championship game on January 11 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

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