The College Football Playoff Committee released their first rankings of the season on Tuesday.
Undefeated schools TCU, Michigan State and Baylor saw the fourth spot go to a team with one loss, but a stronger strength of schedule.
Clemson is 8–0 and has the best strength of schedule among the AP Poll's top six teams, at 18th best in the country. The Tigers’ biggest win came at home over Notre Dame, and their next challenge awaits on Saturday against No. 17 Florida State. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has thrown for 1,936 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season and run for 386 yards and four scores. Clemson also ranks fifth in total defense.
The 7–0 LSU Tigers are No. 4 in the country according to the latest AP poll, led by Leonard Fournette’s FBS-best 1,352 yards rushing. Their passing offense has also surged as of late, with quarterback Brandon Harris throwing for a combined 716 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions over the last three weeks.
The Buckeyes saw their grasp on the top spot weaken a few weeks ago, but the team has outscored Penn State and Rutgers by a combined 87–17 the past two weeks. Ohio State's strength of schedule ranks No. 72 in college football, with just three wins over teams with a record of .500 or better. They have sat atop the AP Top 25 poll every week this season.
Alabama has a loss on its resume, falling to Ole Miss 43–37 in its third game of the season, but its strength of schedule is third in the country, with wins over Wisconsin, Georgia, and Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide have leaned on running back Derrick Henry, who’s totaled 1,044 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
Here are the full rankings:
3. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
7. Michigan State
14. Oklahoma State
16. Florida State
19. Texas A&M
20. Mississippi State
- Kenny Ducey