This Tuesday evening the College Football Playoff Committee released its first ever poll in what will be the first of six such polls prior to the December 7th Selection Sunday Show which will see the first 4-team playoff and corresponding semi-final matchups announced to the world. Yes, that means we are under 6 weeks until those lucky 4 teams are chosen by the Committee.
As to the initial poll here are the current rankings:
Let's talk about some of the story lines, controversies, and talking points with the first Playoff Poll.
Was Mississippi State Deemed the Top Team in the Country?
Yes, indeed. The Bulldogs are the top team in both the AP and Coaches Polls and remain so in the eyes of the Playoff Committee.
Who Rounds out the Top 4?
Florida State at No. 2 is no surprise as they are also there in the other polls, as well. Auburn at No. 3 is a little bit of a surprise. Ole Miss sitting at the No. 4 spot is probably one of the biggest shockers so far but probably only because they just suffered their first loss of the season this past weekend.
Alabama ahead of Ole Miss? Michigan State Ahead of Oregon?
Nope and nope. One of the big complaints so far this season was that these head-to-head matchups weren't being taken into account in the AP & Coaches polls.
How are the 1-Loss Teams Ranked?
Auburn, Ole Miss, Oregon, Alabama, TCU, Michigan State, Kansas State, and Notre Dame are the top 8 teams with at least 1 loss. It's mildly surprising that the Irish are behind MSU and two Big 12 teams.
How Much Does the SEC Dominate?
Quite a lot at the top of the poll with 3 teams currently in the semi-final matchups with Alabama sitting at No. 7 and Georgia laying in the weeds at No. 11 right now.
Should We be Outraged at Notre Dame's Ranking?
At this point in the season, no not really. The Florida State game bought a lot of respect but the cold truth is that our schedule to this point has been quite poor and we don't have much to go on in terms of good wins. You could argue the Irish should be ahead of Michigan State but the committee may be weighing the Spartans best win (Nebraska) over our best win (Stanford) and not finding enough in their loss to Oregon to jump Notre Dame ahead.
The interesting thing to see will be how much these rankings change in the coming weeks and how the committee jumps teams around according to the previous week of football. Notre Dame is going to have to put together some impressive wins on the resume down the stretch, which we already knew anyway, and there will be plenty of spots to open up in the Top 10 over the next month and change.