Georgia earned the No. 1 ranking ahead of Alabama in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season released on Tuesday.
Alabama has all but three of the first-place votes in this week’s AP Top 25 poll, but the CFP committee viewed Georgia’s resume as slightly more impressive in its first rankings this season. If both teams remain undefeated, they will meet in the SEC title game on Dec. 2.
The next six teams in the CFP each have one loss: No. 3 Notre Dame’s only defeat this season was a narrow one to Georgia – 20-19 on Sept. 9. The Irish are followed by defending champion Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Clemson lost on the road to Syracuse earlier this season, while Oklahoma was upset at home by Iowa State. However, the Sooners did win 31-16 at Ohio State on Sept. 9 and both teams are 7-1.
Penn State came in at No. 7 following its first loss of the season to Ohio State last Saturday, with TCU No. 8 despite also losing last week. Those teams are ahead of a pair of undefeated teams from Power 5 conferences – Wisconsin and Miami – that so far lack a signature victory on their resumes.
Oklahoma State is No. 11, followed by Washington, the highest-ranked Pac-12 team at No. 12. Virginia Tech, Auburn and Iowa State round out the top 15.
Mississippi State is No. 17 and Southern Cal No. 17, one spot ahead of Central Florida, the highest-ranked school outside of the Power 5. LSU is No. 19, followed by NC State, Stanford and Arizona, all two-loss teams.
Memphis is the only other team outside of the Group of 5 at No. 23, followed by Michigan State and Washington State.
The rankings will fluctuate significantly next week with seven games pitting 14 of the top 25 teams in the rankings.