Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State And Oregon Open At Top of First College Football Playoff Rankings

The SEC took the top two spots in the first College Football Playoff top 25 rankings released Tuesday night with undefeated Georgia at No. 1 and Alabama at No. 2 despite a loss.

The Bulldogs (8-0, 6-0 SEC) clinched the SEC East Division championship on Saturday with an easy, 34-7 victory over Florida and will host Missouri on Saturday (ESPN, 11 a.m. central). The Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1 SEC) lost at two-loss Texas A&M, 41-38, on Oct. 9. Alabama hosts LSU on Saturday (ESPN, 6 p.m.)

Michigan State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) is ranked third after its 37-33 win over Michigan Saturday. The Spartans play at Ohio State on Nov. 20.

The No. 4 team is Oregon (7-1), followed by Ohio State (7-1) at No. 5 and Cincinnati (8-0) at No. 6.

Alabama was not projected by many college football analysts, including ESPN's studio hosts of their rankings show, to land at No. 2 because of the loss to the Aggies, who lost to Arkansas and Mississippi State before upsetting the Tide. Alabama also struggled to win at Florida, 31-29, on Sept. 18, and the Gators are 4-4 and 2-4 in the SEC on the season.

But the 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee saw it differently, mainly due to Alabama's high strength of schedule numbers.

"There was a lot of discussion on Alabama - where they've been, who they've played and who they've beaten, Mississippi and Mississippi State, and how well they're playing," said committee chairman Gary Barta, who is Iowa's athletic director.

"But there was a lot of consensus for Alabama to be No. 2," Barta said. "After that, we probably spent a few hours yesterday and this morning working through three to nine because there were so many different ways to approach it."

Michigan (7-1) came in at No. 7, followed by No. 8 Oklahoma (9-0), No. 9 Wake Forest (8-0) and No. 10 Notre Dame (7-1).

The teams in the second 10 of the rankings were No. 11 Oklahoma State (7-1), No. 12 Baylor (7-1), No. 13 Auburn (6-2), No. 14. Texas A&M (6-2), No. 15 Brigham Young (7-2), No. 16 Ole Miss (6-2), No. 17 Mississippi State (5-3), No. 18 Kentucky (6-2), No. 19 North Carolina State (6-2) and No. 20 Minnesota (6-2).

The last five of the top 25 were No. 21 Wisconsin (5-3), No. 22 Iowa (6-2), No. 23 Fresno State (7-2), No. 24 San Diego State (7-1) and No. 25 Pittsburgh (6-2).

There will be four more CFP rankings released over the next month on Tuesday nights with the final one on Sunday, Dec. 5, before the two semifinal playoff games on Dec. 31 at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, and the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The national championship game will be on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

Written by
Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.