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Predicting What The First College Football Playoff Rankings Will Look Like

At 7 p.m. E.T. tonight on ESPN, the College Football Playoff selection committee's first rankings will be unveiled. 

You're probably wondering: what will they look like? 

We're here to help answer that question for you. We obviously don't know what the rankings will be, but based on how the selection committee handled last season, we can make an educated guess on what they value most and, therefore, be able to predict what tonight's ranking will look like. 

Here's our shot at predicting what the top 10 of the College Football Playoff selection committee's rankings will be. 

10. Memphis (8-0) 

Too high for a non-Power 5 team? Maybe in your mind, but we don't think it will be in the mind of the committee. The Tigers are undefeated and have a very solid win against Mississippi. The quality of play is there, too, as Memphis has scored 107 points over the last two games. The Tigers will have a chance to stay - and rise - in the rankings, too, as they have games against No. 18 Houston and No. 23 Temple coming up. 

9. Florida (7-1) 

The Gators have a couple nice wins - blowouts of Ole Miss and Georgia - and their only loss of the season came on the road against LSU, a team that will likely be near - or at - the top of the rankings. The committee showed last year that it appears to value good wins and quality of play more than anything else. Florida checks off both of those boxes. 

8. Notre Dame (7-1) 

What was said about Florida can basically be said about the Fighting Irish, who have three decent wins - Georgia Tech, USC and Temple - and one loss, on the road, against a Clemson team that should be either No. 1 or No. 2 in the rankings. Brian Kelly's squad will likely lose another game before the regular season ends - at Stanford on Nov. 28, probably - but they should be in the top 10 until they do. 

7. Michigan State (8-0) 

This might seem too low for the Spartans, an undefeated team in a Power 5 conference that started the season ranked fairly highly. But Michigan State just hasn't looked that great. The Spartans' most impressive win of the season - at Michigan - came on one of the flukiest plays in college football history. Their other nice win, home against Oregon, looks significantly less impressive than it did when it occurred. 

6. Alabama (7-1) 

We're confident in saying that the Crimson Tide will be the highest-ranked one-loss team. Alabama has wins against Wisconsin, Georgia and Texas A&M, and its lone loss came in a wild contest against Ole Miss. There's a trust in Nick Saban's teams, too - they look the part and over the last four weeks, few teams have looked better. 

5. TCU (8-0) 

The Horned Frogs, as they did in the final ranking of 2014, are the first team out of the field. It's a toss-up between them and Baylor, but the Bears have looked a little more dominant. TCU has two close wins - at Minnesota and at Texas Tech - while Baylor has none. The placing of Baylor, TCU (and Oklahoma State) in this first poll doesn't really matter right now, anyway. They all play each other and this will be decided on the field. 

First College Football Playoff Rankings Top 4:

4. Baylor (7-0) 

No college football team has looked more dominant than the Bears, who have score 60 or more points five times this season (and never scored less than 45). There's some doubt in how they'll look without Seth Russell, though, so we think they'll land as the last team in the field in the inaugural rankings. 

3. Ohio State (8-0) 

The consensus No. 1 team in the preseason has stayed No. 1 in the polls all season, but the Buckeyes likely won't be at the top of the first playoff rankings. Ohio State lacks a great (or even good) win, but Urban Meyer's squad has started to look the part of a top team in recent weeks. The suspension of J.T. Barrett hurts, but it shouldn't be damning to OSU's College Football Playoff ranking this week. 

2. LSU (7-0) 

You could make an argument for LSU being No. 1 - good win vs. Florida, playing in possibly the toughest conference in the country - but the team that we think will be No. 1 has a win that's just as good and has looked slightly more impressive. If the Tigers can beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saturday night, they'll likely take over the top spot. 

1. Clemson (8-0) 

The Tigers check all of the committee's boxes. Clemson's undefeated, has a very good win (home vs. Notre Dame) and has been surging over the last couple of weeks, demolishing Miami, 58-0, and putting up 56 points against N.C. State. The Tigers are led by a great quarterback and have talent spread all over the field. We feel safe in betting on Clemson to be the No. 1 team in the committee's first ranking.