Who’s No. 1? A peek at what the initial College Football Playoff rankings might look like

History tells us it’s unlikely a team will fall from the top four without losing, so it’s important to be one of the first four eggs in the mixing bowl.

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Ohio State v Wisconsin

Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. hauls in a touchdown pass against Wisconsin.

Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season come out Tuesday, which means it’s that special time of year when your friendly neighborhood blowhard reminds you the AP Top 25 carries all the weight of a gnat in a sandstorm.

It’s all about the 13 playoff committee members who spent the weekend holed up in a conference room at an airport hotel near Dallas, comparing the sport’s big boppers while their uneaten fruit-filled pastries hardened and their tiny coffee-service mugs barely got the job done.

Remember: This is the final season before the playoff expands to 12 teams from four. And though the initial rankings don’t set anything in stone, history tells us it’s unlikely a team will fall from the top four without losing. So, yep, it’s important to be one of the first four eggs in the mixing bowl.

And the top four will be?

Hey, I never said I knew the answer to that. But it’s very possible two-time defending champion Georgia — a fixture at No. 1 in the AP poll — won’t be the committee’s No. 1. The Bulldogs haven’t faced much of a schedule, though their romp Saturday against Florida was impressive.

Statistically, Michigan — allowing 5.9 points per game — has been the most dominant team. Ohio State’s offense has yet to wow anyone, but the Buckeyes won at Notre Dame and beat Penn State. Florida State and Washington, which handed Oregon its lone loss, are the only other top-four possibilities.

My guess at what the committee will give us: Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan and Florida State, in that order, leaving Washington in charge of firing up the outrage machine. Once that sucker gets going, there’s no stopping it. . . .

You’re going to listen to my predictions? I was 0-6 against the spread with my Week 9 college picks, my first bad week of the season. At least the picks didn’t appear in the paper. Oh, wait, they did. . . .

The funny thing about the AP vote ceasing to be relevant until next preseason is that the voters actually have it right by putting Georgia at No. 1. Anybody who’s being honest knows the giant meatball of all questions still is: Who can beat the Bulldogs? They haven’t lost since the SEC title game in 2021. If Michigan, Ohio State, FSU, Washington or any other team were lined up opposite the Bulldogs next week, the champs would be favored. That’s one of those ‘‘I can’t prove it, but it’s a fact’’ deals. . . .

Must’ve been a mighty awkward weekend for committee member Warde Manuel, the athletic director at Michigan. How do you suppose fellow member Chet Gladchuck — the AD at Navy and on the NCAA’s Leadership Council — feels about all this sign-stealing madness in Ann Arbor? Better not lose even once, Wolverines. . . .

Notre Dame probably will show up as the first two-loss team in the rankings, somewhere just outside the top 10. Yay? . . .

Hang on, Northwestern did what? The Wildcats weren’t supposed to beat Maryland — they were a two-touchdown underdog, in fact — but they did it anyway, a 33-27 victory in which they just plain outplayed the Terrapins. They weren’t supposed to win more than a few games, but they’re 4-4. We weren’t supposed to take interim coach David Braun all that seriously, but shouldn’t we? What does NU do with Braun if the Wildcats mess around and win a couple of more? . . .

Nebraska’s Matt Rhule and Rutgers’ Greg Schiano are duking it out for nonexistent Big Ten Coach of the Year Not Named Jim Harbaugh or Ryan Day honors, but Braun is almost right there with them. . . .

Anyone else remember Clemson? In what has been a shocking backslide, Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have lost to seven of their last 12 Power Five opponents. Hey, maybe Clemson and Northwestern should talk about a coach swap. No, you stop. . . .

Say a little prayer for Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who was sacked seven times Saturday in a loss to UCLA and has been sacked 41 times in all, more than any other player in the country. Thanks, Dad! . . .

My Heisman five if I were voting today: 1. Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.; 2. Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.; 3. LSU QB Jayden Daniels; 4. Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy; 5. Oklahoma State RB Ollie Gordon II.

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