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Some thoughts about the first set of rankings from the College Football Playoff selection committee that were released Tuesday night:

**--Georgia had to be the biggest no-brainer at No. 1 that the committee has ever had. The Bulldogs, who lead the nation in almost every defensive category, have already clinched the SEC East and a berth in the conference championship game for the fourth time in the past five seasons. If Georgia reaches the playoffs, where they last appeared in 2017, the Bulldogs would be going for their first national championship since 1980, Herschel Walker’s freshman season.

In Atlanta we expect Georgia to play:

**--No. 2 Alabama (7-1). The path for Alabama, whose only loss is to Texas A&M, is simple. The Crimson Tide have to run the table and beat Georgia in the SEC championship game in order to make the playoffs. If they lose anywhere along the way they are out. I had Alabama at No. 2 but was surprised the committee put them there. But chairman Gary Bata told ESPN there was a strong consensus in the room that the Crimson Tide deserved to be No. 2.

**--Cincinnati (8-0) at No. 6 was a shocker. I had the Bearcats at No. 3 and the human polls had them at No. 2. The Bearcats have a win over No. 10 Notre Dame and a Power Five win over Indiana. But Barta said the rest of Cincinnati’s schedule pushed the Bearcats down to No. 6. The Bearcats can still get there but they need some help. All five teams ranked ahead of them play losable games down the stretch.

The conventional wisdom said this would finally be the year that a Group of Five team would make the playoffs. And Cincinnati’s No. 6 ranking is the highest Group of Five team has had in the opening rankings.

The fact that Cincinnati will likely miss the playoffs will increase the momentum for expanding the playoffs to eight or 12 teams.

**--Michigan State (8-0) earned the No. 3 spot after a 37-33 win over No. 7 Michigan at East Lansing last Saturday. The Spartans, in their second year under head coach Mel Tucker, still have to play No. 5 Ohio State and Penn State. But if Sparty runs the table and wins the Big Ten championship they are in.

**--Oregon (7-1) at No. 4 was a little bit of a surprise but it shouldn’t have been. The Ducks won at Ohio State 35-28 and that head-to-head win was big for the committee.

**--Since the loss to Oregon in September, No. 5 Ohio State (7-1) has only gotten better. The Buckeyes play Michigan State and Michigan in their final two regular season games. Should they run the table and win the Big Ten championship game, it’s hard to see them being left out.

**--Undefeated Oklahoma (8-0) was also a surprise at No. 8 but the Sooners, despite the emergence of quarterback Caleb Williams, have been very inconsistent this season. They almost lost to lowly Kansas on Oct. 23 and still have to play at Baylor, Iowa State, and at Oklahoma State.

Here is the Top Ten of the first CPF Rankings and the games they have remaining:

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Team…………….….Games remaining

1—Georgia (8-0): Missouri, at Tennessee, Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech

2—Alabama (7-1): LSU, New Mexico State, Arkansas, at Auburn

3—Michigan State (8-0): at Purdue, Maryland, at Ohio State, Penn St.

4—Oregon (7-1): at Washington, Washington State, at Utah, Oregon State

5—Ohio State (7-1): at Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State, at Michigan

6—Cincinnati (8-0): Tulsa, at USF, SMU, at East Carolina

7—Michigan (7-1): Indiana, at Penn State, at Maryland, Ohio State

8—Oklahoma (9-0): at Baylor, Iowa State, at Oklahoma.

9—Wake Forest (8-0): at North Carolina, N.C. State, at Clemson, at Boston College

10—Notre Dame (7-1): Navy, at Virginia, Georgia Tech, at Stanford