Clemson seen as Playoff lock going into first CFP rankings


by - Staff Writer -
(Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports)
(Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports)

The first College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN). Another dominant win has Dabo Swinney's Tigers as much as a lock as any team in recent history with the Playoff through nine weeks.

ESPN's Playoff Predictor gives Clemson a 93 percent chance to make it and 62 percent chance to make the championship game. Alabama is next up at 82 percent going into a road trip to LSU this week, with a 57 percent shot to make the title game. Notre Dame (66), Georgia (43), Michigan (36) and Oklahoma (33) round out the most likely contenders to fill out the top-four.

Another ESPN metric with FiveThirtyEight gives the Tigers a nearly 20 percent better chance than Alabama (86 to 67), followed by Notre Dame (52), Oklahoma (35) and Georgia (34). They also now give Clemson the best chance to win the national championship (31; 27 for Alabama).

ESPN's Playoff panel projects a top-four of Alabama then Clemson and Notre Dame, with LSU the favorite at the moment for the fourth spot.

Kirk Herbstreit unveiled a top-6 with the same top-two of Alabama and Clemson and then LSU at No. 3, Notre Dame at No. 4 and Michigan and Georgia at Nos. 5 and 6. Jesse Palmer and Joey Galloway have a top-three of Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame, with Palmer going LSU No. 4 and Michigan No. 5 and Galloway vice versa.

Alabama (30.4) and Clemson (29.5) have separated from the pack in ESPN's Football Power Index, ahead of Georgia (25.5) and Oklahoma (23.1).

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