Tennessee, OSU, UGA, Clemson CFP’s first four

Tennessee, OSU, UGA, Clemson CFP’s first four

7: 17 PM ET

  • dinich heather

    Heather DinichESPN Senior Writer


    • College football reporter
    • Joined ESPN.com in 2007
    • Graduate of Indiana University

GRAPEVINE, Texas — Undefeated Tennessee earned the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff’s initial Top 25 ranking Tuesday night, marking the first time in the program’s history it cracked the top four, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Clemson.

The 13-member committee ranked undefeated Michigan No. 5, and one-loss Alabama was No. 6 ahead of undefeated No. 7 TCU. Alabama was ranked in the top three initial rankings for six years. It has never been lower than No. 6 in the committee’s first ranking, as it earned the same spot in 2014.

” “We discussed this earlier in the week but we didn’t know where it would rank,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel stated on the ESPN telecast. “At the end, one thing we tried to do is enjoy the journey. “

Tennessee, which is averaging 49 points per game and leads the FBS in total offense, became the seventh different program to earn the top spot at any point in the playoff era. Heupel stated that they have continued to build their roster and believe in the direction they are going. “We are improving every day throughout the season. “

The Vols entered Tuesday’s first ranking ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s Strength of Record metric, with the best win against No. 6 Alabama.

” “When you look at the [top] 3 teams, the two wins at LSU and Alabama really sealed the day” said Boo Corrigan (the athletic director at NC State) on the ESPN telecast.

When asked what the differences were between Georgia and Ohio State for the No. Corrigan stated that the No. 2 slot was determined by the “explosive nature of Ohio State’s offense”. “

Seven of the eight teams that have been ranked No. The committee’s first ranking was 1. They went on to the CFP. The only exception was Mississippi State in 2014, the first season of the CFP.

At No. 8, one-loss Oregon was the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team.

Tennessee and Georgia will face each other Saturday in a game that will have a drastic impact on the committee’s second ranking, and Ohio State and Michigan will ultimately face each other in their regular-season rivalry game.

” “There’s still a lot to do,” Heupel stated. “Obviously, we have a big test with Georgia.” “

All told, the first release features five teams each from the SEC, ACC and Pac-12, four each from the Big Ten and Big 12 and two from the American. We don’t look at conferences. We’re looking at individual players,” Corrigan stated. “End of day, we’re trying pick the best teams to slot them in the right way. “

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