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Inaugural College Football Playoff Rankings: The SEC Conference Slate Is The Playoff Preseason

We knew the SEC would populate at least half of the playoff's four slots, but when the top four came out and included a third SEC West team for good measure, riots nearly broke out across the land.

We knew the SEC would populate at least half of the playoff's four slots, but when the top four came out and included a third SEC West team for good measure, riots nearly broke out across the land. Just three days after Gary Danielson addressed the media's alleged SEC bias during a broadcast by proclaiming, "Deal wih it. They're the best," the rankings release riled up neglected regions of the college football world. 

It didn't help that the spokesman is Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, who was forced to stand before the nation and stand trial during ESPN's rankings show. 

Anyways, here's are the rest of the Top 25 looks.


1. Mississippi State – Think about how special this season is for a second. Mississippi State has a lower all-time winning percentage than Duke.  

2. Florida State – Karlos Williams' domestic violence allegations are the worst possible distraction for FSU at this time. Jimbo Fisher looks more and more like an enabler.

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3. Auburn – The wrong team from Alabama is in the top four.


4. Ole Miss – Bo Wallace has an issue losing the football. He can't afford to lose his head.

5. Oregon – the SEC West will cannibalize itself. Oregon has to avoid anymore self-inflicted damage. (ahem! Stanford)


6. Alabama – could change if they eliminate Auburn or beat Mississippi State.

7. TCU – TCU's basketball team has only scored 82 points or more once in the last two seasons. 

8. Michigan State – The Big Ten's lone playoff possibility has a few obstacles in front to surmount and teams from the rear that could cut in front of them.

9. Kansas State – These are strange days.  Baylor, TCU and Kansas State reign atop the Big 12 while Texas swims in the toilet.

10. Notre Dame – The Florida State loss was the most impressive of the season, but their most impressive victory was against an unranked Stanford.



11. UGA – This is the only team outside the Top 10 that controls its own destiny. Just win the SEC and they should be in the playoff.


12. Arizona – Arizona's win over Oregon must have been weighed more heavily than their close calls earlier in the season and the loss to USC. If they win out and face Oregon in the Pac-12 title game, more than just a conference title is on the line.

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13. Baylor – If West Virginia dismantles TCU in Morgantown, their loss in Morgantown suddenly doesn't look so bad.

14. Arizona State – Short memories by the selection committee. Arizona State lost by 35 to UCLA three Thursdays ago.  

15. Nebraska – That sound you hear is not coming from Ohio State's band. It's the groans of Ohio State fans.


16. Ohio State – They're only 16th, but watching Michigan thrash around like a fish caught in a net is the consolation prize.

17. Utah – The Utah defense is a frightening sight for opposing quarterbacks. They lead the nation and sacks. Their own quarterback is the most fluid 6-7 runner you may ever see.

18. Oklahoma – The losses have crushed their national championship aspirations in 2014, but as long as they don't completely flop like Texas A&M, they may have a shot at stealing the nation's No. 1 prep quarterback prospect from the Aggies.

19. LSU – Death Valley is an apt comparison for the Tigers offense.


20. West Virginia – The program is headed in the right direction and they're hosting College Gameday this weekend. A top-20 ranking is a lump of coal in their holiday stockings. They love that mineral down there.


21. Clemson – Is this where Clemson ranks with Deshaun Watson or without?

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22. UCLA – This is the most disappointing team in the nation thus far.

23. East Carolina – The only "group of five" team in the top 25 is the buried treasure of this rankings. 

24. Duke – The ACC is the SEC of the top 25's bottom five.

25. Louisville – Petrino's potent offense hasn't really taken off yet. However, the remnants of Charlie Strong's defense have held opponents to 14.6 points per game.



Missing in action: Undefeated Marshall