The College Football Playoff Selection Committee is set to release their first rankings of the season on Tuesday night, and there is sure to be some controversy. The top two teams have clearly separated themselves, yet the rest of the pack is still muddled - specifically the race for the fourth and final playoff spot.
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Here's how we predict the top 10 of tonight's rankings will look:
10) TCU Horned Frogs (7-1)
Despite their loss to Iowa State on Saturday, TCU finds a way to stay in the top 10 thanks to their head-to-head win over Oklahoma State. Plus, losing on the road to the Cyclones isn't looking like a terrible loss. They can put themselves back in the mix by beating Texas and Oklahoma in the next two weeks.
9) Wisconsin Badgers (8-0)
Here's our first bit of projected controversy. Yes, Wisconsin is still undefeated...but who have they beaten? Only two of their wins (FAU, Northwestern) have come over teams who are currently over .500 - and both of them are just 5-3. That terrible schedule won't be rewarded by the committee.
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8) Miami Hurricanes (7-0)
Miami is in a similar boat as Wisconsin. Their big win over Florida State isn't anything spectacular and only two of their victories (Toledo, Georgia Tech) are against teams with winning records. We'll find out if this group is for real the next two weeks when they host Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
7) Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1)
The Nittany Lions really needed that win over Ohio State to really solidify their resume. Right now, their best win is over a Michigan team that isn't ranked. While they have the best loss of anyone, they don't have the marquee wins to push them above this spot.
6) Clemson Tigers (7-1)
Six of Clemson's wins have come against teams with winning records, something we've seen the committee value heavily in recent years. However, that loss to Syracuse was bad and this group has struggled to beat Georgia Tech and Wake Forest in recent weeks. There isn't much of a gap between these teams ranked third through ninth, those recent struggles will have Clemson sixth.
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1)
Ohio State is back following that massive victory over Penn State and their loss to Oklahoma doesn't count against them - other than the fact that they are ranked below the Sooners in our projections. Since that loss, they are 6-0 with an average margin of victory over 35 points per game. They will be rewarded for that dominance.
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4) Oklahoma Sooners (7-1)
No one is more in favor of Iowa State continuing to win than Oklahoma, as that loss keeps looking better and better. That win over Ohio State is as good as any in the country and will continue to carry a lot of weight. Their next two games against Oklahoma State and TCU will determine if they remain a legitimate contender or not.
3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1)
The Irish have been on a roll since losing to Georgia, posting back-to-back home wins over USC and NC State in the last two weeks to go along with an early-season win over Michigan State. That resume, coupled with the best of anyone against Georgia, means they get the No. 3 slot.
2) Georgia Bulldogs (8-0)
Georgia certainly has a case for the top spot. They're 5-0 in the SEC, have won all five of those games by at least 25 points, and beat Notre Dame on the road early in the season. All of that said, we think they end up in second.
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)
Alabama has just been too good this year to not be No. 1 - especially after starting the season there. Their schedule will really ramp up down the stretch in LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn, but their pedigree and dominance will give them the top ranking.