The College Football Playoff committee released their first rankings for 2017 on Tuesday and the Irish find themselves sitting pretty at #3! The Irish come in as the highest ranked one loss team in the country with that lone loss coming to the CFP’s #1 ranked team the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia jumped Alabama who is currently #1 in both the AP and the joke of a Coaches Poll.
The top 4 of the first rankings is rounded out by Clemson at #4 with Oklahoma coming in at #5 and Ohio State, fresh off of their upset of Penn State, ranked 6th currently. Penn State meanwhile is just behind the Buckeyes at #7.
With these seedings, Notre Dame would face Alabama in the first round of the playoffs if the playoffs were to start today.
Notre Dame’s resume includes wins against three teams currently ranked in the CFP Top 25 – USC #17, NC State #20, and Michigan State #24. Reminder, Notre Dame didn’t just beat these teams either – they blew them out. The Irish took down the Trojans by 25, Wolfpack by 21, and Spartans by 20.
The Irish will have a chance to pad their resume with games against #10 Miami and #21 Stanford. The Hurricanes came in ranked just 10th despite being undefeated because they have been squeaking out wins each week. On a related note, fellow unbeaten Wisconsin came in at #9 because of their embarrassing out of conference scheduling and a weak Big 10 schedule thus far. The Badgers could reach the Big 10 Championship without facing a ranked team all season.
These rankings were obviously the absolute best scenario that Notre Dame could have hoped for. The CFP Committee showed that they are watching games and have rewarded Notre Dame for winning week in and week out in dominating fashion.
These rankings are sure to spark a lot of debate with the Irish ranked 3rd. ESPN’s Jesse Palmer was quick to note that he wouldn’t even have Notre Dame in his top 4 right now. Well, good thing the bachelor himself has no say in the CFP rankings. Still, this puts Notre Dame in great position with two games left against potentially ranked opponents that they will be favored against each week.
We’ll have more later on what these rankings mean and how it now looks like Notre Dame officially controls their own destiny on the way to the College Football Playoffs.