Cover Photo: Donald Page/Getty Images


The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season come out on Tuesday and there will be no shortage of controversy around them. With just four more regular season games left, the rankings still don't truly matter yet, but they will become the law of the land soon enough. 


Let's do our best to predict how the committee will rank the top 15 teams on Tuesday.


1. Alabama 

2. LSU

3. Clemson

4. Notre Dame


It seems odd to put a one-loss LSU team above undefeated Clemson and Notre Dame, but the committee has already proven they prioritize storylines in some of these earlier rankings. They know that Alabama and LSU play this week and that game will be even more appealing if it's No. 1 vs. No. 2. Then, next week, you can drop out whoever loses and move the other teams back up. 

Alabama has to be at the top even if Clemson and Notre Dame have a higher strength of record. The Crimson Tide have blown out every opponent they've faced this year, as well as own the fourth-best strength of record and best ball control in the country.


5. Michigan

6. Georgia

7. Oklahoma

8. Washington St. 

Finally, we have the second big controversial prediction -- After two straight wins against ranked opponents, the Washington State Cougars get a Top-8 ranking ahead of Ohio State, which rates better than Washington State in terms of FPI. The two teams are, however, equal in SOR. Also, the committee made it clear last year they value bad losses, so getting blown out by Purdue may have the same exact effect that the loss to Iowa had last year for the Buckeyes. 


9. Ohio State

10. UCF

11. Kentucky


Ohio State still slots in the Top 10, just a spot below where they are in the AP rankings right now. Undefeated UCF cracks the Top 10 once again but, without a ranked game left on their schedule and a 31st ranking in FPI, it's unclear how much higher they will be able to get this season. Kentucky just misses out on a Top-10 ranking even though their SOR is fifth (FPI at 28th), which settles them right around 11. If the Wildcats beat Georgia this week, though, a Top-8 spot is all but guaranteed. 


12. West Virginia 

13. Penn State

14. Texas

15. Florida


The last four teams in the Top 15 are all flawed, but West Virginia can give themselves a leg up if they beat Texas. With only one loss, West Virginia firmly stays above these teams for the time being. 

Penn State is still trying to recover from back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Michigan State but rate well in SOR. Texas really couldn't afford to lose another game after losing to Maryland to start the year, so while their ceiling isn't very high, they could sneak back into the Top 10. 


Finally, Flordia has very solid resume numbers even though they have two losses. The win over LSU looks better every week and the losses to Kentucky and Georgia wound up being perfectly fine. Flordia isn't a contender but they'll stay in the Top 15 as long as they keep winning.


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.