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First College Football Playoff Top 25: Syracuse Schedule Features Five Ranked Teams

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Hey, the first-ever College Football Playoff Rankings are out. Let's discuss...

Andy Lyons

So the first College Football Playoff Committee Rankings are out. That's big news since this has never happened before. But in the big scheme of things and the big scheme of the FINAL playoff field, this probably doesn't matter. Which is why it may be a bad thing. But nonetheless, the only top 25 that "truly matters" (actually true despite air quotes, guys) has arrived and now we get more arbitrary numbers to talk about. So without further ado, your College Football Playoff Top 25:

Rank # Team Record Conference
1 Mississippi State 7-0 SEC
2 Florida State 7-0 ACC
3 Auburn 6-1 SEC
4 Ole Miss 7-1 SEC
5 Oregon 7-1 Pac-12
6 Alabama 7-1 SEC
7 TCU 6-1 Big 12
8 Michigan State 7-1 Big Ten
9 Kansas State 6-1 Big 12
10 Notre Dame 6-1 Ind.
11 Georgia 6-1 SEC
12 Arizona 6-1 Pac-12
13 Baylor 6-1 Big 12
14 Arizona State 6-1 Pac-12
15 Nebraska 7-1 Big Ten
16 Ohio State 6-1 Big Ten
17 Utah 6-1 Pac-12
18 Oklahoma 5-2 Big 12
19 LSU 7-2 SEC
20 West Virginia 6-2 Big 12
21 Clemson 6-2 ACC
22 UCLA 6-2 Pac-12
23 East Carolina 6-1 AAC
24 Duke 6-1 ACC
25 Louisville 6-2 ACC

First: Syracuse has faced/will face FIVE of these teams. You knew the Orange's schedule wasn't a cakewalk going into this season, but this sort of hammers that point -- and the difficulty we're facing to get to 6-6 -- home. Already crossed off the list? No. 2 Florida State, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 21 Clemson and No. 25 Louisville. Still to go? No. 24 Duke, who comes to the Carrier Dome in two Saturdays. Just in case you hadn't grasped the gravity of this Saturday's matchup with NC State... chances are you do now.

Beyond the Orange, however, some other items of note:

  • The top-six is an SEC West bonanza, with four teams from football's best division, three of which (Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss) are in the top four.
  • Four ACC teams is a nice start for the conference, and puts them tied for second-most with the Big 12 and Pac-12... thanks for not helping us out, Notre Dame.
  • East Carolina being the only "Group of Five" school ranked is significant because it reflects how the committee currently views the Pirates vs. every other contender for that elusive, designated money bowl slot. To them, ECU's one loss to South Carolina means more than Marshall's zero losses to no one and Colorado State's one loss to Boise State. Win out, and ECU's in.
  • Don't get used to this top six. At least a couple of Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are guaranteed at least one more loss. So the band's getting broken up at some point.
  • Road wins are huge. See: Auburn's victory over Kansas State vaulting the Tigers into the top four, and as a result of that, they give K-State a residual boost into the top 10.
  • Home wins don't matter nearly as much as one might figure, even against top teams: West Virginia's win over Baylor, LSU's win over Ole Miss and Baylor's win over TCU (among others) don't have a huge impact for them -- and may even penalize them a bit.

But overall, nothing TOO surprising. And again, this will change a lot as we close out the season. Anything else you see worth calling out? Share below.