Ohio State No. 1, Clemson No. 5 in CFP

The College Football Playoff’s first rankings of the season were notable Tuesday for the team that didn’t make it into the all-important top four: undefeated and defending national champion Clemson.

The Tigers (9-0) were slotted fifth. The top four, in order, consists of Ohio State (8-0), LSU (8-0), Alabama (8-0) and Penn State (8-0).

The CFP committee didn’t agree with the Associated Press poll, which has LSU at No. 1 and Clemson at No. 4, nor the coaches poll, which has Alabama at No. 1 and Clemson at No. 3.

Regarding the choice of Ohio State instead of LSU as the No. 1 team, committee chairman Rob Mullens, the athletic director at Oregon, said, “Two outstanding teams. We obviously recognized LSU’s marquee wins against Florida and Auburn. Outstanding offense with Joe Burrow and the new offensive coordinator at LSU, but when you watch Ohio State, they have performed at a very consistent level.

“Really good on both sides of the ball; explosive playmakers and (defensive end) Chase Young is probably as disruptive a defensive player as there is in the country. When you look at their resume, they perform at a consistently high level every week.”

The top four teams in the final CFP rankings will head to the nationals semifinals, to be played Dec. 29 at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

The national final is scheduled for Jan. 13 at the Superdome in New Orleans.

One of the current top four will take its first loss of the season on Saturday when LSU visits Alabama. That possibly could open space for Clemson or one of the teams that follow the Tigers in the CFP rankings: No. 6 Georgia (7-1), No. 7 Oregon (8-1), No. 8 Utah (8-1), No. 9 Oklahoma (7-1) and No. 10 Florida (7-2).

Two unbeaten teams didn’t crack the top 10: No. 12 Baylor (8-0) and No. 17 Minnesota (8-0).

Notre Dame (6-2) is rated 15th. The top-rated team from the Group of Five conferences (American Athletics, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt) is 7-1 Cincinnati at No. 20.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)