The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its second set of rankings of the season tonight and has no apparent reason to change its top five from last week.
The committee’s top five teams all won Saturday, and its top two teams – No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama – prevailed by identical 24-10 scores, both at home over SEC opponents.
Alabama gained a bit in strength of schedule by beating LSU, ranked No. 19 last week, while Georgia’s win was over unranked South Carolina. Still, Georgia has two wins over teams ranked in last week’s Top 25 (No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 16 Mississippi State), while Alabama has only one Top 25 win (LSU).
Both Georgia and Alabama have road tests against ranked opponents this week – at Auburn and at Mississippi State, respectively.
Although the Associated Press and coaches’ polls had ranked Alabama No. 1 all season – and still do – the selection committee broke from the conventional wisdom last week by ranking the Bulldogs ahead of the Crimson Tide. That order was set after “some of the most passionate discussion that I’ve seen the selection committee have in my two-plus years being a part of this,” Kirby Hocutt, the committee chairman, said. Georgia’s wins over Notre Dame and Mississippi State gave the Bulldogs “the ever-slight edge over Alabama” last week, according to Hocutt.
Even if the order of the playoff committee’s top five teams – Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Oklahoma -- remain unchanged in tonight’s rankings, there undoubtedly will be some movement in the bottom half of the top ten.
Ohio State and Penn State, ranked Nos. 6 and 7 by the committee last week, will fall after suffering their second losses of the season. No. 8 TCU, No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 10 Miami will move up. It’ll be interesting to see how much the committee rewards undefeated Miami for its first win over a ranked opponent (Virginia Tech). Also look for Auburn to advance from No. 14.
The new rankings are expected to be unveiled in the first 20 minutes or so of a one-hour show on ESPN, beginning at 7 p.m.
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