Break Out the Brackets

The First College Football Playoff Standings Released This Week

by Brandon D. Rush | @BrandonRush |

Tuesday night on ESPN, the seasons first College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled, as 23 zero and one loss teams jockey for position for the right to play for a title. There are five subsequent polls to be revealed as the year winds down, don’t lose hope if your team doesn’t make this list, there is a lot to be settled over the next month and change.

Remember 2015?

Dak Prescott and the undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs took the top ranking in the initial poll.

CFP 2014 Standings

MSU ended up losing two of their final three games, and missed the playoff altogether. Auburn lost three of their final four, and ended up in the Outback Bowl, which they also lost. Ole Miss? Lost three of four before Thanksgiving and ended up getting DRUBBED by TCU in the Peach Bowl.

Eventual National Champion Ohio State was saddled in 16th place in the first poll. 16th!!!

Point being, there is a lot we can learn from the first poll, but not being included is by no means a death sentence.


This is not what we think the committee will release Tuesday night, but rather a poll of our staff and who we would choose, if the season ended today.

6. Michigan State Spartans – That win against Oregon looked great a month ago, but if not for the Big House Miracle, they would not be a part of this conversation.

5. Baylor Bears – Undefeated against a garbage schedule (to this point), but now without starting quarterback Seth Russell, how far can the Bears go with the meat of their schedule remaining?

4. TCU Horned Frogs – My preseason champion (they’ve survived the curse so far) has battled very uncharacteristic defensive lapses, and pulled out a couple late wins in heart stopping fashion. Has a gauntlet ahead of them, at Oklahoma State, at Oklahoma, then home for Baylor.¬†

3. Ohio State Buckeyes – Undefeated, yes, but suspensions, injuries, and unimpressive wins have not helped the Buckeyes cause. Maybe we are expecting too much out of the defending champs, but should they get thru Michigan State, Michigan, and potentially Iowa in the Big Ten title game, the Buckeyes would have three straight wins over top 15 teams. To this point, Ohio State has not played one ranked team.

2. Clemson Tigers – Dabo Swinney has danced his Tigers to an undefeated mark thus far, with a rain flooded win over Notre Dame as their signature win to this point. According to, the Tigers have faced the 52nd toughest schedule thus far, with only one ranked opponent the rest of the way (versus Florida State November 7th).

1. LSU Tigers – Scoring 34+ points in six straight games and toting the presumed Heisman Trophy winner in Leonard Fournette, the Tigers take our top spot in the initial poll, but three ranked teams await LSU in November. This weekend at Alabama, a trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss, then the season finale against Texas A&M in Death Valley. Should the Tigers survive that stretch, Florida awaits in the SEC Championship game.

If last year taught us anything, these rankings will be irrelevant in about a month, and if #16 can win not only get in it, but win it, we are in for a wild ride the next five weeks.

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