4 years of CFP rankings show importance of a good start

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Currently, the SEC has two teams in the Top 4 with one closely on the outside looking in.

As far as Notre Dame is concerned, this is just confirmation that all they need to do is win to get in. The only difference was Tuesday's rankings had LSU at No. 3 and Notre Dame fourth.

The last two seasons, none of the eventual playoff teams were ranked worse than sixth (Ohio State in 2016) in the committee's first ranking. Those teams are now in line to be involved in semifinal games. Furthermore, all three of their losses have come to teams ranked in the Playoff poll, including No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson. I can't argue with Iowa's placement when it comes to those four two-loss teams considering the quality of each of those team's losses.

The Aggies face unranked Auburn this weekend, and will then travel home to face UAB, who is now first in Conference USA, and Ole Miss.

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The two years Oklahoma has made the college football playoff, the Sooners didn't begin in the top four of the initial rankings.

Notre Dame is 8-0 and will make the playoff it if dodges defeat in its final four - at Northwestern, against Florida State, versus Syracuse at Yankee Stadium and at USC. "Some years, you're not", Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday prior to the release of the rankings.

This is right where most people expected the Irish to land. At some point during that year-end span, nine different teams - Ohio State, LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Missouri, West Virginia, Georgia, USC, and even Kansas - were ranked within the top four.

The first College Football Playoff rankings are out. This year NU has already downed Michigan State and Wisconsin. The highest ranked team from the so-called Group of Five conferences is guaranteed a spot in the New Year's Six bowls, but the Knights, riding a 20-game winning streak, want to be included in the playoff discussion this year.

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Georgia lost to LSU, has a win over No. 11 Florida and plays at No. 9 Kentucky on Saturday.

Some college football fans may remember the 2007 season, which was fantastic from a perspective of playing hot potato with the highest rankings in the country.

Over in the Big Ten, Ohio State still has a real shot at winning the conference. LSU, blemished at 7-1 but with a dominant victory over Georgia, got the third slot.

The final rankings are revealed on December 2, when the playoff matchups and teams going to the New Year's Six bowls are announced.

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