College Football Playoff Rankings prediction: LSU gets fourth spot, SEC takes half of top 10

The biggest night in the college football season is upon us!  No, not the Alabama-LSU game. No, not championship Saturday or national title Monday.  Even bigger than any of that, today is the first College Football Playoff Rankings release!  We are here to predict what the top 25 will look like when the CFP Selection Committee makes its announcement Tuesday at approximately 7 p.m. ET.  It is a warmup act for the warmup act, which are the CFP Rankings releases before the final one in early December.

Note: Predictions in this post are based only on results to this point, so they do not reflect the final forecast for the playoff, which can be found here.

In this space, we will try to emphasize the same criteria the committee uses. That will be difficult because, as we have learned, the committee can be all over the map. Sometimes, it decides that head-to-head matters; sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes, strength of schedule matters; sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes, relative dominance matters; sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s about game control — whatever that is — or recency bias or … ah, you get the idea.

What we have learned is that this process is highly subjective. It is much more subjective than the process that the basketball committee uses, which is what the football committee was modeled after. With all of that in mind, here is what I think the top 25 would look like if it was released this week.


























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