To the surprise of almost no one, Georgia and Alabama are the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2017.
However, it’s fair to question why Alabama’s resume is so much better than teams like Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
Though the Crimson Tide are a perfect 8-0, they don’t have the big wins that the other teams ranked 3-7 have.
Fortunately, after the rankings show, CFP chair Kirby Hocutt explained on a teleconference why Alabama is No. 2.
He said strength of victories and the eye test were working in the Tide’s favor for the first rankings:
Q: Looking at Alabama, they’ve got one win against a Power Five opponent with a winning record. I’m just curious from the committee’s perspective what it is about Alabama beyond maybe the undefeated record that has them alongside Georgia that’s separate from 3 through 7?
A: Yeah, Alabama is an impressive team. Strong defense, convincing victories that the Selection Committee talked about in their eight games this year as the Selection Committee has had an opportunity to watch them each and every week. The convincing victories stood out to us. The level of play on that team, especially on the defensive side of the ball, great play at the quarterback position. Alabama is an impressive team, and undefeated, and I think just the convincing victories and the way they’ve achieved those solidified them at that No. 2 spot ahead of 3 through 7 this week.
Alabama will have plenty of chances to strengthen its resume, starting with this weekend’s game against LSU.
Should the Crimson Tide win convincingly, they may start to garner more consideration for the No. 1 spot in future rankings.