Georgia tops the first College Football Playoff ranking, with Alabama, Notre Dame, and Clemson joining the Bulldogs in position to qualify for the four-team playoff.
The first two teams out are No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Ohio State.
Alabama has been No. 1 in both the AP and USA TODAY Coaches' poll since the preseason, but the committee rewarded Georgia with the No. 1 spot, as the Bulldogs boast impressive wins over No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 16 Mississippi State. Meanwhile, Alabama has zero wins over ranked teams, with its top resume-building victory coming against Texas A&M.
Ohio State was soundly defeated at home by Oklahoma, 31-16, in Week 2, but have since beaten No. 7 Penn State this past week in an impressive fourth-quarter comeback.
Penn State checks in at No. 7 after blowing a lead to No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday. Critically, Ohio State now owns the tiebreaker in the Big Ten East, giving the Buckeyes the inside track to the Big Ten championship game.
No. 8 TCU could well have debuted in playoff position had the Horned Frogs not lost to No. 15 Iowa State. The Cyclones are the only team with two top-ten wins, as they also topped No. 5 Oklahoma on the road.
Wisconsin and Miami are both undefeated but are ranked at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively, as both teams have played relatively easy schedules. Miami hosts No. 13 Virginia Tech and No. 3 Notre Dame in the next two weeks and will surely move up significantly if it can win both of those contests. Wisconsin has not team that is ranked, and none of the four teams left on the Badgers' schedule is ranked. Should Wisconsin win out, it will get its chance to post an impressive victory in the Big Ten championship game.
While the Pac-12 and SEC each have the most teams in the ranking with five, the Pac-12's path to the Playoff is a difficult one—the conference's highest-ranked team is No. 12 Washington.
No. 18 Central Florida from the AAC is the top-ranked team from the "Group of Five" conferences. The highest-ranked conference winner from a Group of Five conference earns a berth in a New Years Six bowl. No. 22 Memphis is also from the AAC, meaning that conference's championship game could determine who gets the New Years Six bowl.
The full ranking is as follows:
1. Georgia (8-0, SEC)
2. Alabama (8-0, SEC)
3. Notre Dame (7-1, Independent)
4. Clemson (7-1, ACC)
5. Oklahoma (7-1, Big 12)
6. Ohio State (7-1, Big Ten)
7. Penn State (7-1, Big Ten)
8. TCU (7-1, Big 12)
9. Wisconsin (8-0, Big Ten)
10. Miami (7-0, ACC)
11. Oklahoma State (7-1, Big 12)
12. Washington (7-1, Pac-12)
13. Virginia Tech (7-1, ACC)
14. Auburn (6-2, SEC)
15. Iowa State (6-2, Big 12)
16. Mississippi State (6-2, SEC)
17. USC (7-2, Pac-12)
18. Central Florida (7-0, AAC)
19. LSU (6-2, SEC)
20. North Carolina State (6-2, ACC)
21. Stanford (6-2, Pac-12)
22. Arizona (6-2, Pac-12)
23. Memphis (7-1, AAC)
24. Michigan State (6-2, Big Ten)
25. Washington State (7-2, Pac-12)