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College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State sit atop first rankings of season

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) heads for

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) heads for a long gain as coach Nick Saban watches during the team's game against Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Credit: AP/Mickey Welsh

Alabama is No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season, followed by Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State.

Texas A&M was fifth and Florida was sixth, followed by unbeaten Cincinnati at seventh, the best ranking for a non-Power Five team in the seven-year history of the selection committee's rankings.

Another unbeaten team from outside the Power Five was not so highly regarded by the committee. BYU was slotted 14th, behind No. 11 Oklahoma (6-2) and No. 13 Iowa State (6-2) among others.,

Much the like this college football season in a pandemic, the rankings schedule has been delayed and truncated this year.

The 13-person selection committee usually starts rankings teams around Halloween and produces six rankings before the final ones that determine which teams will play in the semifinals and major bowl games.

This is the first of four rankings leading up to the only ones that really count, scheduled to be released on Dec. 20.

The pandemic didn't stop the selection committee from meeting in person as usual at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine Texas, just outside of Dallas. And the playoff itself is scheduled to go off as scheduled with the semifinals on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl and the championship game Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

New York Sports