College Football Playoff Rankings 2018: Official Committee List Ahead of Week 11

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 03: Chase Winovich #15 of the Michigan Wolverines rushes the quarterback as Will Fries #71 of the Penn State Nittany Lions makes the block during the first quarter of the game against at Michigan Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan defeated Penn State 42-7. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

After a weekend of Top 10 clashes in the SEC, the College Football Playoff selection committee has unveiled its second batch of official rankings, with a few usual suspects headlining the top of the list.

Below, we'll take a look at those rankings and analyze the results that got us here.

               

Rankings

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Notre Dame

4. Michigan

5. Georgia

6. Oklahoma

7. LSU

8. Washington State

9. West Virginia

10. Ohio State

11. Kentucky

12. UCF

13. Syracuse

14. NC State

15. Florida

16. Mississippi State

17. Boston College

18. Michigan State

19. Texas

20. Penn State

21. Iowa

22. Iowa State

23. Fresno State

24. Auburn

25. Washington

              

Analysis

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 03:  Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide battles for yards while being tackled by Devin White #40 of the LSU Tigers during a second half run at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alabama won th
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The top of the rankings shouldn't come as any surprise, as Alabama was ranked No. 1 last week and beat LSU, previously the No. 3 team in the nation, last weekend. And Clemson put 77 points on Louisville, so it was locked in place at No. 2. 

LSU was always likely to drop after losing 29-0 at home to the Crimson Tide, leaving questions as to which teams would round out the Top Four. 

Notre Dame was No. 4 last week, though Northwestern gave the Fighting Irish all they could handle in a 31-21 Notre Dame victory. Nonetheless, a road win is a road win, so it was unlikely they would drop out of the Top Four and in fact gained a spot

Michigan was No. 5 last week and responded with a 42-7 shellacking of then-No. 14 Penn State, making the team a prime candidate to round out the Top Four selections, as it did. Given that the Wolverines lost to Notre Dame to start the season, however, they weren't going to jump the Irish despite their impressive win. 

Georgia entered the week ranked sixth and made a case to be among the Top Four with an impressive 34-17 road win over Kentucky, which was No. 9 in the first rankings. That left a fascinating choice for voters, though ultimately Georgia was just left on the outside looking in.

The Bulldogs' best chance to sneak back in, without relying on a loss from the teams ahead of them, will come in the SEC title game Dec. 1, when they will face Alabama. A one-loss Georgia team with a victory over the Crimson Tide would be a lock for the College Football Playoff. It would be fascinating to see where such a result would leave Alabama, though that scenario remains a hypothetical for another day.

Indeed, several contenders remain in contention below Alabama and Clemson.

Ohio State is a threat to ascend to the Top Four, though the Buckeyes will have to beat Michigan State and Michigan down the stretch. Oklahoma will close the season with a matchup against West Virginia in three weeks, and a victory there could propel the Sooners up the rankings. Washington State may garner some consideration if it wins the Pac-12, though the Cougars probably need a few schools ahead of them to drop games.

A lot is left to be decided. But for now—and as usual—everyone is looking up at Alabama and Clemson.

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