On Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff selection committee released its initial rankings, exactly 33 days ahead of when it will announce who makes the final cut to play in this year’s College Football Playoff.

This year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will feature either No. 1 vs. No. 4 or No. 2 vs. No. 3. If the current rankings remain intact, the matchup on Dec. 28 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium could be either No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Penn State or No. 2 LSU vs. No. 3 Alabama.

Considering LSU and Alabama will face off this weekend in Tuscaloosa and Ohio State is scheduled to meet Penn State in Columbus on Nov. 23, these rankings are far from final. There will definitely be several shake-ups over the final month of the season, but here are the teams currently on the radar to make a trip to Atlanta for the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl:

Photo by OSU Athletics


Ohio State 

What else can be said about the Buckeyes other than they have been dominant? Their smallest margin of victory so far is 24 points, and their offense and defense are both top three in the nation after the dismantling of Wisconsin. Ohio State already has two wins over top-25 teams and can add to its already impressive resume with upcoming showdowns against No. 4 Penn State and No. 14 Michigan. With three of the nation’s most exciting players in Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young, the Buckeyes are going to be hard to stop in the Big Ten.

Photo by Bill Feig Advocate



With three victories over top-10 teams, LSU arguably has the most impressive resume in college football to date. The Tigers lead the SEC in total offense, passing offense and are No. 2 in the league in scoring offense. Heisman hopeful QB Joe Burrow is on pace to break every LSU single-season passing record and currently leads the SEC and ranks No. 2 in the nation in passing yards, passing yards per game and passing TDs. No one has been able to slow down LSU’s aerial attack, but the Tigers face a daunting task playing in Tuscaloosa this weekend in a game that will definitely shake-up the rankings, regardless of the outcome.

Photo by Butch Dill, USA Today



The Crimson Tide has been in every College Football Playoff to date, so it goes without saying that there’s a solid chance Alabama will make it six for six this season. Alabama leads the SEC in scoring offense behind another Heisman candidate in QB Tua Tagovailoa and arguably the nation’s best wide receiver corps that features standouts in Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. The Crimson Tide might not have a marquee win to date, but will have multiple chances with showdowns against No. 2 LSU and No. 11 Auburn this month.

Photo by Ken Minamoto, Daily Collegian PSU


Penn State 

James Franklin has one of, if not the most athletic team he’s ever coached in this Penn State team. With speed and skill all over the defense and a highlight machine in WR K.J. Hamler, the Nittany Lions are primed to make noise in the College Football Playoff picture. Even if they lose to Ohio State, their resume will look mighty impressive with victories against No. 14 Michigan and No. 18 Iowa.


Next Two Out:

Photo by Streeter Lecka – Getty



After the early scare against North Carolina, the defending champs have quietly begun to hit their stride. Clemson is winning games handily with many of the same weapons from its undefeated, championship team a year prior. While the Tigers’ strength of schedule can be critiqued, the talent and experience of the reigning national champions is hard to come by.

Photo by Curtis Compton AJC



The Bulldogs suffered an early season setback against South Carolina, but quickly rebounded with an impressive 24-17 win over the Gators last Saturday. Georgia is now in the driver’s seat to represent the SEC East in Atlanta at the SEC Championship Game, and still has a couple of chances to add to its resume with future games at home against Texas A&M and on the road at Auburn.


Within Striking Distance:

Oregon/Utah/Oklahoma/Baylor/Minnesota – If the winners of the Pac-12 and Big 12 each have one loss or less, they’ll definitely have a case to make the College Football Playoff. An undefeated Baylor or Minnesota squad would also have a strong argument to make a Semifinal game.





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