TUSCALOOSA, Ala – In the first edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings, Alabama got a very clear look at where they stand in the National Championship picture.

With the Crimson Tide coming in at No. 8, the committee still views the likes of Texas and Oregon as better one-loss teams. Alabama did jump Oklahoma [in respects to the AP Poll’s last ranking] after the Sooners lost on the road at Kansas, but even with Alabama improving over the season, that week two loss still lingers in the minds of the committee.

It should not be a shock that Texas is above the Tide, but there are some positives for Alabama going forward. They still control their own destiny, as a one-loss SEC champion is almost guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, and if the Crimson Tide can win out they should be in.

The other positive is that with Ole Miss getting ranked at No. 10 and LSU coming in at No. 14, Alabama could have two top-15 wins on their resume if they take care of business this Saturday. By this time next week, Alabama could have a really strong case to move up in the ranking.

With that being said, the mission for Alabama remains the same. They could have been ranked No. 8, No. 1, or No. 25 and their playoff path would have been the same. Win out and you’re in, lose a game and that’s it for playoff hopes.

Other big notes from the first playoff rankings are that George, who has been No. 1 team in the AP Poll all year, are ranked No. 2 behind Ohio State. The Buckeyes resume speaks for itself, as wins over ranked teams Penn State and Notre Dame give them two of the best wins of any of the top 10 teams. Georgia just does not have the wins right now to compete with Ohio State, but that could very well change in the next three weeks when they play No. 12 Missouri, No. 10 Ole Miss, and No. 17 Tennessee in Knoxville.

Despite all the scandal, Michigan got ranked No. 3 and it seems like there was never any talk of the sign-stealing going on in the committee’s room. On the ESPN broadcast, committee chair Boo Corrigan made that point clear and that the CFP is looking at on the field things only.

With Alabama’s path to the College Football Playoff clear, the Crimson Tide can take a huge step in that direction this Saturday when they play LSU here in Tuscaloosa.


Joe Schatz is a senior writer for WVUA-FM Sports. You can follow him on X @JoeSchatz15.