By Michael Hanich |
It’s the beginning of the College Football Playoff season with the release of the inaugural playoff rankings for the 2018 season last week. The rankings were determined by 13 members of a committee that will decide multiple bowl games and the final College Football Playoff seedings at the end of the season. The Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) were voted in as No. 1, which comes at a surprise to no one. The Tide were voted in due to their top-rated offensive efficiency, second-rated defensive efficiency, a huge weekly margin of victory, and an early Heisman Trophy favorite in QB Tua Tagovailoa.
The Clemson Tigers (8-0) were voted in at No. 2, thus continuing the dominance of the Tide and Tigers against the rest of the college football nation. At a surprise, the LSU Tigers (7-1) are ranked No. 3 ahead of the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-0) at No. 4. Even though the Fighting Irish are undefeated including a win over No. 14 Michigan Wolverines in week 1 (now ranked No. 5), the committee felt that the 36-16 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs (now No. 6) a few weeks ago was more convincing for the third spot.
The No. 5 Michigan Wolverines (7-1) and the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs (7-1) are the first two out of the top four playoff spots. The No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners (7-1), No. 8 Washington State Cougars (7-1), No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats (7-1), and the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) finish out the top 10 rankings. The UCF Knights are ranked at a low No. 12 despite a 20-win streak.
The SEC has seven ranked teams in the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings for the 2018 season. Outside of Alabama, LSU and Georgia in the top six, Kentucky is No. 9, Florida is No. 11, Mississippi State is No. 18, and Texas A&M is No. 20. Outside of the No. 12 UCF Golden Knights, the No. 23 Fresno State Bulldogs are the only team that is ranked outside of a major power 5 conference.
This College Football Playoff ranking sets up a huge matchup this Saturday between the No. 3 LSU Tigers and the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in Death Valley.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist and analyst in Gulf Shores, Ala., who writes for multiple outlets, in print and online. Hanich is a student at the University of South Alabama seeking a master’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism.