The first College Football playoff poll has been released by the committee and there is a lot to learn from the first poll of the season.
By the rankings of the committee, the teams who would play in the playoffs are Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson.
The biggest shock to almost everyone is that Alabama is not ranked No. 1. Georgia took the top spot in the rankings followed by Alabama at number two. This could lead to a tricky situation at season’s end.
If both Alabama and Georgia remain undefeated into the Southeastern Conference title game, then both could end up making it into the playoffs despite playing each other recently.
Another takeaway from this first poll is that head-to-head games are of great importance. Oklahoma was ranked ahead of Ohio State, who they beat earlier this season. This is crucial because Ohio State just beat number two, Penn State, two weeks ago.
The playoffs could be a real shakeup this year if only three out of the Power Five conferences get represented in the playoffs.
Notre Dame not being in a conference could be a topic of debate as to why they would be in the playoff, but their resume would be too hard to deny entry with wins against PAC 12 and ACC schools.
Notre Dame has played a tough schedule and beat two top 15 ranked schools in the last two weeks.
The PAC 12 is the conference likely left out of the playoff with the initial standings. #12 ranked Washington has the best chance at making a run.
Washington needs to win out and hope that other teams ahead of them stumble and lose to have a shot at the playoffs again.
Teams not initially ranked in the playoffs have made a push to get in. In 2014 eventual champion Ohio State was initially ranked #16 and made a run to get in.
A team that could really make a late season push to watch for is the Miami Hurricanes. The team is ranked No. 10 as of now but they have two highly ranked games in their next two weeks.
Wins against No. 13 ranked Virginia Tech and number three ranked Notre Dame would put the Hurricanes right in the middle of the playoff race.
One team that can make a case to be ranked much higher is Iowa State. The Cyclones are ranked No. 15 but in October alone beat two top five schools in Oklahoma and TCU.
The case against the Cyclones; however, is that they have already lost twice and to unranked opponents.
The formula to get in the playoffs remains the same. Control your own destiny by winning. If you do lose a game make sure it is early in the season rather than late. These next few weeks should make for an exciting end to college football.
Noah Enns can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.