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Evaluating the Final College Football Playoff Top 25 Rankings

The committee released its final top 25 rankings on Sunday.

The committee released the final Top 25 rankings ahead of this year's college football playoff and the results looked mostly how we expected them to after how "Championship Saturday" shook out.

Rather unsurprisingly, Alabama has taken the No. 1 spot after getting a 41-24 win over a formerly top-ranked Georgia team, while Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati follow the Crimson Tide in that order.

Here's a look at the complete list of the final Top 25 and three takeaways from the final release:

1. Alabama 

2. Michigan

3. Georgia

4. Cincinnati

5. Notre Dame

6. Ohio State

7. Baylor 

8. Ole Miss

9. Oklahoma State

10. Michigan State

11. Utah

12. Pitt

13. BYU

14. Oregon

15. Iowa

16. Oklahoma

17. Wake Forest

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18. NC State

19. Clemson

20. Houston

21. Arkansas

22. Kentucky

23. Louisiana

24. San Diego State

25. Texas A&M

*Please check back for the remainder of the Top 25 when it is released.

1. Should Alabama have jumped this high?

It's easy to get the sense that Alabama would have somehow found a place in the playoff even if it had lost to Georgia over the weekend. This is the best that one of the worst Alabama teams to take the field in recent history has looked all season, and the Crimson Tide certainly picked the right time to turn on the jets, defeating Georgia 41-24. The offensive line, which has been one of Alabama's most inconsistent units, looked like a new group against Georgia as it allowed quarterback Bryce Young ample time to throw the football in most situations. Young was sacked just 

Alabama came to play on Saturday, and there's no denying the win it recorded over Georgia (who largely beat itself) was by a significant margin that doesn't leave much room for controversy. But, even still, it's easy to question this given the loss to Texas A&M that Alabama had earlier in the season and the way it just barely slid past a largely underwhelming Auburn team in quadruple overtime off of Young's efforts. As of right now, looking at Saturday alone, Alabama does look like the best team currently in the playoff.

But it still begs one question that many people are wondering -- if the tables had been turned and it was Georgia that came in with that same Texas A&M loss and shaky wins over competition like Auburn, would the Bulldogs get the same treatment, jumping to No. 1 as Alabama fell to No. 3 after a 41-24 Georgia win?

2. Should Georgia have fallen this low?

It obviously doesn't do the No. 1 team in the nation any favors to suffer its first loss of the season in the SEC Championship, but Georgia has played quality football on both sides of the ball all season and has defeated several of its opponents by a large margin. 

With the loss to this Crimson Tide, the Bulldogs move down not one, but two spots below another one-loss team -- the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines beat the doors off of the Iowa Hawkeyes (who headed into this one as perhaps the worst 10-2 team in the nation), winning 42-3 on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship.

Both Georgia and Michigan have looked lackluster at times on offense -- more so in the passing game during certain points of the season. Georgia seems to have the edge as the more complete and dominant overall team heading into the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31. Getting a win over Georgia wouldn't be the first time Michigan has pulled off what many thought it couldn't, though, as the Wolverines got a huge 42-27 win over Ohio State on Nov. 27. This was a team that wasn't expected to make it into the playoff at all, and they've still got plenty they want to prove.

3. What does this mean for Cincinnati?

One of the most polarizing teams in the playoff picture this season has been the Cincinnati Bearcats. Many have been split over whether or not Cincinnatti truly has the resume and the ability to hang with the big dogs, despite getting it done day in and day out on the field to finish out the season with an undefeated record.

The Bearcats became the first Group of Five team to get the opportunity to play in the playoff after being perfect this year -- 13-0 with a 35-20 win over the Houston Cougars in the AAC Championship.

Despite the history that Luke Fickell's team has made, several are still skeptical the Bearcats will be able to get a victory on the big stage -- we'll get our answer as they take on Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31.