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Clemson, not Ohio State, at #1 in first CFB Playoff Poll; Big 12 left out

If the season ended right now, Alabama would be in and the Big 12 wouldn't.

The Tigers are officially a top-ranked team for the first time since winning a national championship in 1981.
The Tigers are officially a top-ranked team for the first time since winning a national championship in 1981.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

It's still the first drop of the College Football Poll, and a lot will change between now and December. But the Big 12 offices may still be in a panic as the initial poll has two SEC teams and none from the Big 12.

Clemson took the top spot, largely due to the strength of their schedule and helped along by being Notre Dame's only defeat. LSU, also possessing a strong schedule so far, checks in as the other "home" semifinal squad. Ohio State and Alabama round out the playoff field.

At this point, there's probably nothing wrong with the top four. (They're the same four teams in the top four of the Massey Composite Rankings, just in a slightly different order.) In fact, with the strange exception of TCU and Baylor being very nearly flip-flopped, the top 10 is almost the same as the Massey composite top 10. Indeed, you have to get all the way to #18 in tonight's rankings to start diverging from the computer composite; computer #18 USC isn't ranked at all, and #19 Houston slides all the way to #25 in the CFB poll.

Temple and UCLA get in at the expense of computer #24 and #25 North Carolina and Wisconsin, while USC's disappearance is mirrored by the bizarre inclusion of Northwestern at #21; the computer composite only has the other Wildcats at #32.

In all, very little to argue with tonight for anyone who gives credence to the overall picture painted by the computer composite. The committee results only differ by literally one or two places up and down the list, with the exceptions mentioned above. Next week, obviously, there will be an entirely new top four, as either Alabama or LSU will likely drop out. Likewise, TCU takes on Oklahoma State; a Frogs win would certainly propel them forward on a weak weekend.

1 Clemson 8-0
2 Louisiana State 7-0
3 Ohio State 8-0
4 Alabama 7-1
5 Notre Dame 7-1
6 Baylor 7-0
7 Michigan State 8-0
8 Texas Christian 8-0
9 Iowa 8-0
10 Florida 7-1
11 Stanford 7-1
12 Utah 7-1
13 Memphis 8-0
14 Oklahoma State 8-0
15 Oklahoma 7-1
16 Florida State 7-1
17 Michigan 6-2
18 Mississippi 7-2
19 Texas A&M 6-2
20 Mississippi State 6-2
21 Northwestern 6-2
22 Temple 7-1
23 UCLA 6-2
24 Toledo 7-0
25 Houston 8-0