Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Penn State top 1st CFP rankings

Clemson - also undefeated - is ranked No. 5.

"Penn State's been very consistent", CFP chair Rob Mullens said on ESPN while highlighting the Lions' marquee wins over Iowa and MI while praising the team's defense. "If they win, they're in", Dinich said.

The Buckeyes are followed by fellow undefeateds LSU, Alabama and Penn State in the top four. At least two of the teams now ahead of Clemson will end up with a loss, so if Clemson goes unbeaten, they will make the playoff. "We're going to keep scrapping and clawing seeing if we can try and win games". With the exception of a one-point win over North Carolina, Clemson's pretty much had it easy with its competition - mainly because the competition hasn't been that strong.

Alabama (8-0) is in the right spot at No. 3. It's feasible three teams could finish undefeated, leaving a scramble one-loss teams vying for the final spot. The Tigers have three victories against teams ranked (at the time) in the top 10.

No. 4 Penn State (8-0, 5-0) - The Nittany Lions have played great on defense this season, allowing only 9.6 points per game.

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Penn State came into the game with the second-best rush defense in the FBS, allowing fewer than 70 yards per game. The Nittany Lions have a 21-1 record against the Hoosiers, with the only loss on the road 2013.


Even with Clemson now outside of the top four, as long as the Tigers continue to take care of business they should be fine.

Beneath the highest 5, a logjam of one-loss groups sorted out this fashion: Georgia (7-1) at No. 6, Oregon (Eight-1) at No. 7, Utah (Eight-1) at No. It doesn't help that Syracuse has had a awful season one year after winning 10 games.

Interestingly enough, Texas A&M's fate may help the case of both Alabama and Clemson. Can LSU extend history and join that No. 2 club? Considering Clemson won the National Championship last season, some find it shocking they aren't cracking a berth right now. Averaging 46.8 points-per-game, Joe Burrow and the Tiger offense is lighting up scoreboards across the southeast.

Well, that's not entirely true: the rankings will serve as an excellent motivator for Swinney and his Tigers; a unsafe weapon that they will use during the rest of the regular season, the ACC championship game and, yes, the Playoff.

Remember, No. 10 Florida will host Vanderbilt at noon Saturday, Nov. 9 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Not surprising that Penn State was ahead of them because of those wins that Penn State had. There appears to be little that Clemson could have done to avoid this scenario, except beat North Carolina by 30. As defending national champions, it is safe to assume that if they win, they're in.

  • Lawrence Cooper