Despite undefeated Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) leading at No. 1 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls all season long, the Crimson Tide dropped to No. 2 in the initial CFP poll revealed Tuesday night on ESPN.
The Bulldogs are a ideal 8-0 and coming off a convincing win over Florida on the road as this poll will eventually set the playoffs for college football on New Year's Eve and then eight days later with the title game in Atlanta.
Notre Dame, which lost at home by one to the Bulldogs in Week 2 is at No. 3.
By ranking Notre Dame third with two more future opponents on the schedule ranked in the top 20 (Miami #10 and Stanford #20), it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the Irish would be left out of the playoff mix if they won out. Notre Dame with one loss but three convincing wins over ranked opponents is now seven spots higher than next weekend's opponent Miami who enters this weekend unbeaten for their showdown with Virginia Tech.
Clemson (7-1) is ranked only No. 6 in this week's AP poll and has a loss to unranked Syracuse.
Iowa State is tied for first in the Big 12 standings at 4-1 and 6-2 overall.
The rest of the first CFP ranking has Penn State at No. 7, followed by Texas Christian, Wisconsin and Miami.
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"No matter, as Saban will remind, the "poison" rankings of Week 10 will mean nothing come December".
Only five of the 12 teams ranked in the first top four in the first three seasons of the College Football Playoff have made the playoff.
Saturday, Clemson will play host to No. 19 N.C. State - a team with two losses, but neither in conference play and would win the Atlantic Division tiebreaker over the Tigers with a victory. That's not a good playoff combination. Time will tell just how serious of a contender that the Miami Hurricanes are this season.
PAC-12 IS IN TROUBLE: Washington is the highest-ranked of the Pac-12 teams at No. 12.
Its sole mandate is to pick the nation's four best teams, regardless of conference or geography, he said.
Here are the full rankings.
Another major criterion, head-to-head result, was manifested by Oklahoma being ranked one spot ahead of Ohio State, which fell to the Sooners 31-16 in Columbus on September 9. Penn State 8. TCU 9. But the Tigers also have impressive wins over Auburn and Virginia Tech, the latter on the road. A Michigan State upset of Ohio State and/or a NC State upset of Clemson this weekend would be be double whammys for the Irish.