Ohio State Buckeyes 4th in first College Football Playoff rankings

Ohio State is No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2020.

Alabama is No. 1 followed by No. 2 Notre Dame while Clemson is third.

The Fighting Irish have already beaten the Tigers this season, and they could play again in the ACC Championship game.

ExploreBuckeyes still searching for their best selves after four games

While the initial rankings provide talking points and a window into how the committee views teams at the date they are released, they often prove ultimately not to mean much.

Since the playoff began in 2014, the committee (with an ever-changing membership) has insisted it begins with a “clean sheet” every week and starts over with new rankings.

The initial top four have never all made the final top four, and three of the initial top four have only made the final top four twice.

Last year, Ohio State was No. 1 in the initial CFP rankings and No. 1 in the penultimate rankings but dropped to No. 2 when the last version was released.

That led to the Buckeyes being matched up with Clemson rather than Oklahoma, who was blown out by No. 1 LSU and Joe Burrow.

Such changes were not unusual

This season, the semifinals are set to be hosted by the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 with the championship game 10 days later in Miami, Fla.

The final rankings are to be released Dec. 20.

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