It’s October, which means it’s time to get serious about the College Football Playoff. We know the actual CFP committee won’t put out its first list of rankings until Nov. 1, but we here at 92-9 the Game decided to jump the gun a bit.
We’re still toying with the committee makeup (in this first week there were only six voters; in the weeks to come we’ll increase our board room) but this sample size is somewhat indicative of the current college football landscape.
Here’s out first CFP poll:
- Alabama, 5-0, 2-0 (5)
- Ohio State, 4-0, 1-0 (1)
- Clemson, 5-0, 2-0
- Michigan, 5-0, 2-0
- Houston, 5-0, 2-0
- Louisville, 4-1, 2-1
- Texas A&M, 5-0, 3-0
- Washington, 4-0, 2-0
- Tennessee, 5-0, 2-0
- Baylor, 5-0, 2-0
- Miami, 4-0, 1-0
With five first-place votes, Alabama is the clear-cut leader. With wins over two ranked opponents and a defense that has held four of its five opponents to 10 points or fewer, who can argue?
Both Ohio State and Clemson had the same point tally among our voters. Ohio State had the only other first-place vote, so the Buckeyes grabbed the No. 2 spot. But they also had the only vote outside the top four, meaning our voters had a wide range of expectations, and ideas on value, for this team.
After sleep-walking through its first two games, Clemson seems to have finally woken up. The Tigers held South Carolina State without a point, thrashed in-conference foe Georgia Tech, 26-7, then held off third-ranked Louisville.
Alabama, Ohio State and Louisville were the only teams on every list from our voters.
The next four teams landed on half of the voters’ lists. Michigan had two top-four votes and a No. 6 to land in the No. 4 spot this week. The Wolverines got their first big win over a ranked team this week, but have handled their other four opponents convincingly.
Houston nabbed a three, four and an eight-vote placing the Cougars at No. 5. There are voters that believe this non-Power 5 team should get a chance at the CFP, but their weak schedule may not be enough.
Louisville came in right on the outside of our CFP too. Two voters listed the Cardinals at No. 4, but one put them at No. 10. That, along with the three lists Louisville wasn’t on, means the Cardinals are currently out of the hunt. Their loss to Clemson hurt, but it hasn’t killed the season.
Texas A&M has been the surprise team of the Southeastern Conference, and now sits within striking distance of a CFP appearance. A tough game against Tennessee next week and a trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama the following week will tell us all we need to know about the Aggies.
Washington, Tennessee, Baylor and Miami round out our top 10. The Huskies and Volunteers landed on two lists while Baylor and Miami were listed just once.