The first College Football Playoff rankings of the 2015 season have been released and they are certainly drawing some controversy from around the country. The undefeated, defending national champions, Ohio State Buckeyes, have been knocked from their top spot after holding the number one spot in the AP and Coaches polls since the preaseason.
The two Tiger teams from Death Valley have topped the polls as Clemson takes over as number and LSU follows in right behind them at number two. This doesn’t come as a surprise to many as Clemson holds some of the most impressive victories, 58-0 over Miami, 24-22 over Notre Dame, and 56-41 over NC State. LSU also holds merit as the number two team by being the only undefeated team in the SEC and having the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy in Leonard Fournette.
The Alabama Crimson Tide come at number four, beating out four undefeated Power Five conference teams while having one loss. This will certainly change after this weekend as they host LSU.
Two of the three undefeated teams from the Big 12 were ranked much lower than expected. The Baylor Bears are the second team out of the CFP as they are sitting at number six, mostly due to them losing Seth Russell for the remainder of the season.
That will also change if Jarrett Stidham comes in and does a great job for the Bears. As for TCU, their ranking draws the biggest question mark as they sit at number eight, this coming after being ranked in the top four of the AP poll the last three weeks.
Quarterback Trevone Boykin is one of the best players in the country and if they pull off a big win over the other undefeated team in the conference, Oklahoma State, who are ranked fourteen, then they should be able to shoot back up the rankings.
The most interesting team in the rankings probably doesn’t have a shot at the CFP, but they can certainly make a case. The undefeated Memphis Tigers have two wins over Power Five conference teams, including a two touchdown win over Ole Miss two weeks ago.
The Tigers play two teams ranked in the CFP Top 25 in Temple (22) and Houston (25), who is also undefeated, down the road, so if they can stay perfect, this team could make a case for getting into the Playoff and not just a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Another intriguing team in the top ten is the Iowa Hawkeyes. The team is a surprising 8-0 and ranked number nine. The team doesn’t play Michigan, Michigan State, nor Ohio State until the Big Ten championship game and should likely be undefeated going into that game.
Should the Hawkeyes win the conference with a perfect record, it would be very hard to keep the team out of the Playoff in January.
We should have a few questions answered this weekend, but this where the real fun begins. The season is at the highest point now and it is only going to get better from here.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports