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Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Texas A&M top 1st CFP rankings

AP Photo/Samantha Baker

As expected, Alabama slid into the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff committee’s first rankings. The defending national champions and easily the best college football power of the decade, the Crimson Tide have picked up where they left off.

However, SEC rival Texas A&M generated the biggest buzz of the night by coming in at No. 4 ahead of unbeaten Washington, which slots in at No. 5 in the first release of the CFP committee’s top 25 rankings.

The Aggies (7-1), who have also beaten Arkansas and Tennessee, have a superior strength of schedule to the Huskies (8-0), whose nonconference wins came against Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State. Texas A&M beat UCLA — ranked No. 16 at the time of the teams’ Week 1 encounter — and has lost only to Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

In between ‘Bama and their SEC rival are Clemson and Michigan, with the Tigers’ greater opposition winning out over the Wolverines’ dominance thus far. This would mark a Tigers return to the CFP and further the Wolverines’ Jim Harbaugh-fueled ascent after some middling campaigns.

Ohio State came in at No. 6, with its loss coming to unranked Penn State. Louisville, which lost to Clemson, slots at No. 7 to give the ACC two top-10 spots here.

Alabama follows Mississippi State and Clemson as the teams ranked first by the committee since the four-team playoff’s inaugural season in 2014. The Bulldogs, of course, did not qualify for that year’s final four.

Both 6-2 and Wisconsin and Auburn were ranked ahead of 7-1 Nebraska — at Nos. 8-10 — with the Badgers’ standing above the Cornhuskers easy to expect after ending their unbeaten run on Saturday. The least-likely team in the top 15 based on preseason projections, Colorado commandeered the No. 15 spot despite being tabbed No. 21 in the AP poll at 6-2.

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