The Florida Gators were No. 6 in the first round of College Football Playoff rankings, but they have a strong chance to vault into the coveted top four if they beat Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama grabbed the top spot in the first playoff rankings of the 2020-21 season released Tuesday night.
The Crimson Tide (7-0), who are making their 38th appearance in the rankings, feature the top offense in the SEC and have won all seven of their games by an average of 30 points per game this season.
Notre Dame (8-0) entered the rankings at No. 2, its highest spot ever in the rankings. The Fighting Irish are playing in the ACC this season and owns a win over Clemson (7-1), which came in at No. 3.
Ohio State (4-0) rounded out the top four with the Buckeyes playing a limited Big Ten schedule.
Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson have appeared in every set of rankings since the inception of the playoff in 2014.
Texas A&M (5-1) was ranked No. 5, with the Aggies edging No. 6 Florida (6-1) after earning a 41-38 win over the Gators on Oct. 10.
The college football season has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC playing conference-only schedules, while the ACC and Big 12 headline the leagues that have played nonconference opponents.
Cincinnati (8-0) was the highest ranked Group of 5 team in the rankings, with the Bearcats coming in at No. 7. It’s the highest ranking the program has earned in the playoff era.
BYU (9-0) which was a top 10 team in the latest Associated Press poll, was ranked No. 14.
This is the first of five weekly rankings that will be released by the 13-member selection committee, with the final standings to be revealed on Sunday, Dec. 20. The rankings will determine the four semifinalists along with the teams taking part in the New Year’s Six Access Bowl games.
The two semifinals, which rotate annually, will take place in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl and in Pasadena, Calif., at the Rose Bowl on Friday, Jan. 1.
The Cotton (Dec. 30), Peach (Jan. 1), Fiesta (Jan. 2) and Orange (Jan. 2) bowls host the rest of the New Year’s Six games.
The top-ranked conference champion from the Group of 5 leagues automatically earns a spot in one of the New Year’s Six games.
The College Football Playoff National Championship Game is slated for Monday, Jan. 11, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
The selection committee is comprised of chairman Gary Barta, Paula Boivin, Tom Burman, Joe Castiglione, Rick George, Ken Hatfield, Ronnie Lott, Terry Mohajir, Ray Odierno, R.C. Slocum, Todd Stansbury, Scott Stricklin and John Urschel.
2. Notre Dame
4. Ohio State
5. Texas A&M
13. Iowa State
19. North Carolina
20. Coastal Carolina
23. Oklahoma State
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