Clemson (8-0) was the No. 1 team when the College Football Playoff selection committee released its first set of rankings Tuesday night, a little more than a month before it will set this year's final-four bracket. The next three teams were No. 2 Louisiana State (7-0), No. 3 Ohio State (8-0) and No. 4 Alabama (7-1).
Rounding out the top 10 were No. 5 Notre Dame (7-1), No. 6 Baylor (7-0), No. 7 Michigan State (8-0), No. 8 Texas Christian (8-0), No. 9 Iowa (8-0) and No. 10 Florida (7-1).
The committee's final rankings, to be released Dec. 6 after the regular season and conference championship games are complete, will establish the composition of the four-team playoff. The No. 1 and No. 4 teams, and the No. 2 and No. 3 teams, will play each other in the semifinals on the afternoon and night of Dec. 31 at the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl. (The No. 1 team will be placed where it has greater home-field advantage). The winners will play for the national title Jan. 11 in Glendale, Ariz.
The 12-member committee, which includes several sitting athletic directors as well as figures like the former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne and the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, also will establish the matchups for the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.