College football fans should prepare for rankings mayhem at end of 2018

The First 2019 College Football Playoff Poll Is Out And You’ll Never Guess Who’s No. 1! (It’s Alabama)

The First 2019 College Football Playoff Poll Is Out And You’ll Never Guess Who’s No. 1! (It’s Alabama)

Defending national champion Alabama earned the No. 1 spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night. The Pac-12, meanwhile, was represented by just two teams - Washington State and No. 15 Utah - and seems likely to miss out on the playoff for the third time in four years barring a number of unpredictable results. Alas, LSU got the No. 3 spot instead of Notre Dame.

The SEC once again dominated the rankings with seven teams - five of which were in the top 12 - while the ACC was second with five teams followed by the Big 12 (4), Big 10 (4), Pac-12 (2), AAC (1), MWC (1) and Independent (1).

The Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl, both of which will take place on December 29, will serve as this season's semifinal games.

The rest of the top group consisted of Alabama at No. 1, Clemson at No. 2, LSU at No. 3 and Notre Dame at No. 4.

In the first four years of the CFP, the committee has never had the same four teams in its first rankings and its final ones.

The initial College Football Playoff Rankings are somewhat of a depressing release for Texas football now after the Week 9 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Tigers find themselves in a similar spot, but the team ahead of them gave the committee good reasoning to keep them right up top. Everything is pointing to chaos, mayhem, berzerk and tons of "are you kidding me?" as we approach the end of this season. So now, the Fighting Irish's three wins over teams with a +.500 record (Michigan, Virginia Tech and Stanford) don't mean as much as LSU's six (Miami, Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss, Georgia and Mississippi State).

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MI was fifth, followed by Georgia and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Alabama wins out after its loss to LSU.

It marks the first time the Aggies (5-3, 3-2 SEC) have been in the Playoff rankings since the Aggies came in at the No. 25 spot on November 15, 2016. The teams have traded blowout wins the last two meetings. United Kingdom plays No. 6 Georgia on Saturday and a win would make Kentucky a top-10 team.

Michigan played no other teams of note in its non-conference games (Western Michigan and SMU), so the committee is basing the ranking on its Big Ten victories - dominant wins over Nebraska, Maryland and Wisconsin, a squeaker past Northwestern and a two-touchdown defeat of Michigan State.

A positive note in the initial rankings is Iowa State coming in at No. 24.

No. 14 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan - This isn't a must-lose for the Wolverines, but the earlier Michigan could go down, the better for the Sooners. Four teams, and only one Power-5 conference in the playoff. That changes Thursday when the Knights host 5-3 Temple, and UCF closes its season against 7-1 Cincinnati and 7-1 USF. In explaining Central Florida's ranking, Mullens said it is the only team in the top 25 without a win against a team over.500.

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