Clemson is No. 1 in initial College Football Playoff rankings

Clemson is the No. 1 team in the country.

The initial College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday and the Tigers took the top spot for the first time since winning the national title in 1981.

The Tigers were followed by No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Alabama. Ohio State, the reigning national champion, has been the nation’s No. 1 team in the media and coaches polls.

However, the only poll that matters is the CFP rankings, which, as we all saw a year ago, will be drastically different by the time the final rankings emerge in five weeks.

That’s because most of the schedules of the teams in the top six, which includes No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 6 Baylor, are backloaded and their best games have yet to be played.

In fact, some of them are this weekend.

Baylor, which lost its quarterback for the season, has to go to Kansas State on Thursday night. Clemson plays rival Florida State this weekend and LSU plays Alabama.

And there are some teams that aren’t in the top six that still have opportunities to make the College Football Playoff. Included in that mix is No. 8 TCU, which is undefeated and still has three games against teams in the top 15 (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor). No. 7 Michigan State still has to play Ohio State and a possible Big Ten title game.

The Big 12 is once again on the outside looking in and College Football Playoff Committee chairman Jeff Long said Baylor and TCU were among the toughest teams to evaluate simply because of their strength of schedule. However, as noted above, that will change as the season progresses.

While these rankings provide a talking point this week they should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, a year ago, only one of the teams in the initial top four actually played in the College Football Playoff.

College Football Playoff rankings Week 9
College Football Playoff rankings Week 9

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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