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Projecting College Football Playoff Rankings After Next Weekend's Games

Detail of the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy, along with the helmets of the 2 competing teams, Alabama and Georgia.

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 07: Detail of the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy, along with the helmets of the 2 competing teams, University of Alabama (left) and University of Georgia (right) on January 7, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

The first official College Football Playoff rankings were revealed on ESPN. As you'd expect, Alabama came in at No. 1, and things basically went how you'd expect from there, based on how the selection committee usually handles things.

Clemson is in at No. 2, followed by LSU, which has some very good wins and hosts 'Bama on Saturday, and Notre Dame at No. 4.

Michigan and Georgia lurk in the next two spots, followed by Oklahoma, Washington State, Kentucky, and Ohio State.

We will learn a lot after Saturday's games, ahead of the second College Football Playoff rankings.

Alabama at LSU will obviously have a huge impact on the rankings. While the Tigers defense is great, I'm going to ride with the Tide on the road.

Clemson-Louisville has been an interesting game in the past. That is not the case this year. Louisville is one of the worst Power Five teams in the country, and Clemson probably has the least rocky road to the College Football Playoff.

Predicting wins for No. 4 Notre Dame (at Northwestern), No. 5 Michigan (vs. Penn State), No. 6 Georgia (at Kentucky), No. 7 Oklahoma (at Texas Tech), and No. 8 Wazzu (vs. Cal), here is how I think the rankings will look next week.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Michigan
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Georgia
  6. Oklahoma
  7. LSU
  8. Washington State
  9. Ohio State
  10. Florida

Michigan has the chance for a win over Penn State, which is ranked No. 14 this week. The Wolverines lost the head-to-head match-up to Notre Dame in Week 1, but have come on strong, and could have the more exciting overall resume with a win against PSU.

LSU's placement could depend on the nature of the loss against Alabama that I've projected here. If it's not a huge margin, the Tigers might not fall terribly far. I have them staying ahead of Washington State, which won't have the flashy wins to excited the committee.

Florida vs. UCF for that No. 10 spot will be interesting. The committee directly cited UCF's win over a team that is currently over .500 in its reasoning for the current No. 12 ranking. The Knights get a red hot Temple team on Thursday, but I don't think that will make quite enough of a flash for them to jump Florida, which is a slot ahead.