Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon headline first CFP rankings

The first College Football Playoff rankings were announced on Tuesday.

Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State and Oregon were the top four teams, followed by Ohio State and Cincinnati, which has the best ranking ever for a team outside the Power Five conferences. The Bearcats, however, are still behind three teams that have already been beaten (Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State).

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Cincinnati tight end Josh Whyle (81) celebrates his touchdown reception with quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tulane in New Orleans, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Cincinnati won 31-12. 
((AP Photo/Gerald Herbert))

Michigan, Oklahoma, Wake Forest and Notre Dame rounded out the top 10 teams.

Committee Chairman Gary Barta, who is Iowa’s athletic director, told ESPN that Georgia was the obvious No. 1 choice and that Alabama was a comfortable No. 2 for the 13-member panel. He added that choosing the order for the rest of the top 10 was tough.

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Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs out of the pocket in the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 09, 2021 in College Station, Texas.

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs out of the pocket in the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 09, 2021 in College Station, Texas.
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

According to Barta, the committee was impressed with the Bearcats’ victory over Notre Dame, but they had closer-than-expected wins against Navy and Tulane recently.

“When you look at their schedule after that, who else did they beat? That was the question,” Barta told ESPN.

The final rankings of this season will come Dec. 5, the day after conference championships are played.

Michigan State linebacker Quavaris Crouch (6) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. 

Michigan State linebacker Quavaris Crouch (6) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. 
(AP Photo/Michael Reaves)

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The first four in that Top 25 will meet in the CFP national semifinals, scheduled for Dec. 31 at the Orange Bowl in South Florida and Cotton Bowl in North Texas.

The College Football Playoff National Championship game will be held on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.