College Football Playoff Selection Committee’s Inaugural Top 4: Mississippi St., Florida St., Auburn, Ole Miss


Well, they’re here. After looking forward to these rankings for months, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee revealed their inaugural rankings.

The Top 4 was Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn, and Ole Miss with Alabama and Oregon at No. 5 and No. 6.

Before anybody gets into a panic, there are 17 teams in the discussion that are undefeated or have a loss, and many of them play each other. It’s inevitable that the number will be trimmed down significantly over the next few weeks with so many of those teams playing each other.

So if your team is left out, just worry about winning and you should be fine. That being said, there are clearly a few things we learned from this selection committee in terms of what they prioritize.

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The first, and this was abundantly clear, is that they don’t place conference champions over the eye test. Obviously if you have to nitpick between teams, then conference championships will matter. But with three teams from the SEC West in the Top 4, it’s clear that what matters to this committee is the best team, quality wins, schedule strength, and then head-to-head.

This may change once the conference championship games are actually played in December, but that’s the first thing we gathered.

Here is the Selection Committee’s Inaugural Top 25 ranking:

1. Mississippi State Bulldogs

2. Florida State Seminoles

3. Auburn Tigers

4. Ole Miss Rebels

5. Oregon Ducks

6. Alabama Crimson Tide

7. TCU Horned Frogs

8. Michigan State Spartans

9. Kansas State Wildcats

10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

11. Georgia Bulldogs

12. Arizona Wildcats

13. Baylor Bears

14. Arizona State Sun Devils

15. Nebraska Cornhuskers

16. Ohio State Buckeyes

17. Utah Utes

18. Oklahoma Sooners

19. LSU Tigers

20. West Virginia Mountaineers

21. Clemson Tigers

22. UCLA Bruins

23. East Carolina Pirates

24. Duke Blue Devils

25. Louisville Cardinals

As you can see, the SEC, Florida State, and Oregon are getting all the early love. The Big 12 has to do a little bit more to prove itself, and the Big Ten has a lot of work to do.

The committee also showed a bit of inconsistency with its head-to-head factor. That was clearly the reason that Ole Miss was in the Top 4 over Alabama, but then how could Oregon and TCU be so many spots of Arizona and Baylor respectively? Perhaps the eye test truly is the biggest factor.

One thing’s for sure, though. These standings are bound to get easier the rest of the way as teams continue to play each other and more, as will likely happen, lose. There’s no reason for even the 2-loss teams to give up yet.

We still have a lot of football left to be played.