Penn State Football

Projecting the Initial College Football Playoff Top-10 and Where Penn State Football Ranks

Finally, the AP Poll rankings no longer matter for Penn State Football.

While the College Football Playoff rankings are not perfect, I look forward to the point in the year every season where the AP Poll, and all of its biases from random media members, no longer matters.

Here entering week 10, we will finally see the College Football Playoff Committee’s first impressions of the rankings that will guide how teams are viewed over the next five weeks before a final four playoff teams are chosen in early December.

Here is my take on how the top 10 will look in the initial College Football Playoff ranking tonight:

No. 1 – Ohio State

Ohio State has two of the top wins in the nation this season over Penn State and Notre Dame. While the Buckeyes have not been as dominant as Michigan or Georgia, I believe the Committee will rank the Buckeyes first due to their resume.

No. 2 – Georgia

An unfamiliar place for Georgia, as the dawgs have won every game on their schedule for over 2.5 years. However in 2023, the Bulldogs have not played a tough schedule so far, ranking 100th in the country in strength of schedule.

No. 3 – Michigan

Michigan has dominated opponents this season, but like Georgia has not played anyone yet, ranking 111th in the country in strength of schedule.

No. 4 – Florida State

Florida State has a better strength of schedule than Georgia and Michigan and a better win (LSU) than either team, but for some reason I feel the Committee will use the “eye test” to rank the Seminoles below Georgia and Michigan.

No. 5 – Washington

Washington has a fantastic win over Oregon, but since that win has not looked the part of a top 5 team, barely holding off Stanford and Arizona State. Strength of schedule does not help the Huskies either as they rank 75th in the nation.

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No. 6 – Oregon

Oregon could have been ranked in the top 4, maybe even higher had the Ducks not lost a heartbreaker to Washington. From everything I’ve seen, the Ducks are the clear best one-loss team in the country.

No. 7 – Texas

Texas ranks ahead of Bama for the time being because of the Longhorns win over the Crimson Tide in Week 2. The loss to Oklahoma and a close win over Houston have Texas heading in the wrong direction but the Longhorns have an opportunity this week against Kansas State to get back on track.

No. 8 – Alabama

Alabama’s offense has been noticeably weaker this year than in recent memory. However, it’s hard to bet against a Nick Saban team. With a huge test for the defense against LSU this weekend, the Crimson Tide rank 8th in the first College Football Playoff ranking.

No. 9 – Oklahoma

Oklahoma had an inside track to the Big 12 Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff before this weekend’s loss to Kansas. The Sooners check in 9th here with a good win over Texas.

No. 10 – Ole Miss

I have Ole Miss sneaking into the top 10 in the first ranking. The only loss for the Rebels is a loss to Alabama (which is worse than Penn State’s loss to Ohio State), but the Rebels have a good win over LSU.

Penn State Football Ranking: No. 11

I have Penn State Football getting the 11th spot, right outside of the top 10.

The Nittany Lions do not have a win over a current top 25 team, but does have the best loss in the country right now.

I think the Ole Miss win over LSU puts the Rebels in the top 10 for now ahead of Penn State with plenty of football left to be played.

MORE: What Penn State Must Fix Before Playing Maryland

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Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.