Georgia takes top spot in first College Football Playoff rankings of 2017

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While the first playoff rankings won't be released until Tuesday night, a look at this week's rankings show the conference is on the outside looking in, as Clemson now sits at No. 5 and Miami - the only unbeaten team left in the ACC - comes in at No. 6.

Georgia and Alabama are unbeaten and now on course to meet in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Georgia also has a victory over Notre Dame on their resume, and the Fighting Irish hold the No. 3 spot in the rankings. Alabama (8-0), which is No. 1 in the AP poll, is No. 2.

Oklahoma, which sits at No. 5, is led by Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield, who's been a human highlight reel this season under first-year head coach Lincoln Riley.

Georgia's players are confident they will handle the lofty status in the same manner Alabama has the last several seasons, but the Bulldogs do admit this is a very different world. With the rankings released on Tuesday night, four teams find themselves in at the moment while everyone else will be chasing them.

However, there are some big clashes left on the schedule this year and it's highly likely that a couple of those teams could square off with each other before season's end.

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Just missing out on the top four are Oklahoma and Ohio State. The three one loss teams directly behind them now all have plenty of opportunities to make an impression on the committee.

But Hocutt said the committee took into consideration that FSU was at "full speed" against Alabama and that "their quarterback participated in that game".

Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt, the athletic director for Texas Tech, said the Bulldogs had a slight edge over the Crimson Tide because of the victory against the Irish on September 9.

The top four teams in final rankings on December 3 will play in the semifinals.

The semifinal winners will meet for the national championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8.

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Having SEC teams in the top two spots undoubtedly will be unpopular in other conferences.

Georgia is No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll, but No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Penn State (7-1) 8. But are they the best team in their conference?

Georgia has sharply improved in Kirby Smart's second season in Athens, with his debut year yielding an 8-5 record and a trip to the Liberty Bowl. The Bulldogs' highest ranking previously was No. 9 on November 25, 2014.

With matchups coming up against ranked opponents in Oklahoma State and TCU, the Sooners may finally have the opportunity they have been looking for to jump into the playoff conversation.

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