AP Top 25 Podcast: Playoff race hits full stride Saturday

AP Top 25 Podcast: Playoff race hits full stride Saturday

Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide are on top of the world of college football again as they are No. 1 in the first CFP rankings of the year.

Notre Dame doesn't have the same strength of schedule that LSU has in the SEC, but two games could trip up the Fighting Irish.

In the SEC, West division teams Alabama (8-0) and LSU (7-1) are in the Top 4 together in the latest poll. The Knights, riding a 20-game winning streak, earned that spot previous year, beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl and proclaimed themselves national champions.

The rest of the top group consisted of Alabama at No. 1, Clemson at No. 2, LSU at No. 3 and Notre Dame at No. 4. But there are some deserving teams like Utah State (and another team we'll get to) that should have been in the top 25.

OU is the top-ranked team in the conference, and the Big 12 is able to boast four in the rankings with West Virginia (No. 13), Texas (No. 17) and Iowa State (No. 24).

The first College Football Playoff poll came out tonight and it was bad news for Ohio State fans hoping that winning out would still be enough to make the four team tournament.

With one-loss Oklahoma at No. 7 and one-loss Washington State at No. 8, the 13 members of the selection committee have given those conference front-runners more credit than the court of public opinion. "I know that", Swinney said. If it's a home game, you can give the host a standard three points or use our home-field advantage measures, which give fewer than three points for most teams. MI was fifth, then Georgia and Oklahoma.

Gardner Minshew and WSU are in the first College Football Playoff rankings. As expected, though, Clemson remained at the two spot, trailing behind reigning national champion Alabama.

Start with the blockbuster showdown Saturday between 'Bama and LSU in Baton Rouge.

Mike Golic Jr.: "If Michigan wins out, they're going to be in".

On average, two teams in the first four have finished in the final four.

The top four teams qualify for a spot in the two semifinal games on December 29. The only Power Five team they have played so far this season is UCLA and as UCLA is having a down season, this win is not as impressive as it may have been in the past.

As Pete Thamel noted Tuesday night, UCF is starting five spots higher than it did in 2017. "For example, Texas A&M is a strong 5-3 team because their losses were against No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson". MI is also at Ohio State later this season. And beyond that, how does a one-loss Bama team, one most experts agree is the best of all Nick Saban's teams get left out?

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