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Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon top 1st College Football Playoff rankings

Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon claim the top four spots of the first CFP rankings, while Mississippi State is 17th.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference Media Days Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State and Oregon claimed the top four spots in the initial College Football Playoff rankings of the 2021 season, which were released Tuesday night.

Just on the outside of the top four are Ohio State at the fifth spot and unbeaten Cincinnati at the sixth spot. The Bearcats have the best ranking ever in the selection committee’s Top 25 for a Group of Five program.

But despite being unbeaten, and having an impressive win over No. 10 Notre Dame, Cincinnati remains behind already-beaten teams like Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State due to closer-than-expected wins against a 2-6 Navy team and a 1-7 Tulane team over the last two weeks.

“Cincinnati has tremendous respect from the committee,” committee chairman Gary Barta, who is also Iowa’s athletic director, said in a conference call. “But after that win (against Notre Dame), look at who else they have beaten. Look at who else they have played.”

Rounding out the top 10 of the rankings are Michigan, Oklahoma, Wake Forest and Notre Dame.

More than half of the Top 25 are from the Southeastern Conference (7) and Big Ten (6). Mississippi State is one of those SEC teams. The Bulldogs are ranked 17th, one spot ahead of Kentucky and one spot behind rival Ole Miss. MSU beat Kentucky 31-17 on Saturday.

Only once in the seven-year history of the CFP have the top four teams in the committee’s initial rankings been the four teams in the playoff. That was last season. The final rankings for this season will come Dec. 5, the day after conference championship games are played.

College Football Playoff Rankings

1. Georgia (8-0)

2. Alabama (7-1)

3. Michigan State (8-0)

4. Oregon (7-1)

5. Ohio State (7-1)

6. Cincinnati (8-0)

7. Michigan (7-1)

8. Oklahoma (9-0)

9. Wake Forest (8-0)

10. Notre Dame (7-1)

11. Oklahoma State (7-1)

12. Baylor (7-1)

13. Auburn (6-2)

14. Texas A&M (6-2)

15. Brigham Young (7-2)

16. Ole Miss (6-2)

17. Mississippi State (5-3)

18. Kentucky (6-2)

19. North Carolina State (6-2)

20. Minnesota (6-2)

21. Wisconsin (5-3)

22. Iowa (6-2)

23. Fresno State (7-2)

24. San Diego State (7-1)

25. Pittsburgh (6-2)