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College Football Playoff Rankings Takeaways: Tennessee Was Right Pick at No. 1 and is TCU Underrated?

The first CFP rankings are out and here's what you need to know.
Josh Heupel, Tennessee Volunteers Football

Josh Heupel's Tennessee Volunteers are the No. 1 team in the country according to the initial College Football Playoff Rankings.

The first rankings from the College Football Playoff selection committee were released on Monday night. Tennessee took the top spot, followed by Ohio State at No. 2 and Georgia and Clemson in the next two places.

What are the key takeaways and things to know from the first top 25? Here's everything you need to know:

Top Takeaways from Nov. 1 Rankings

Tennessee Was the Right Call at No. 1
Tennessee, Ohio State and Georgia all have a case to be ranked No. 1 going into Week 10, but the CFB Playoff Committee got it right by selecting the Volunteers at the top. Tennessee has arguably the best win this season by beating Alabama, and it has a top-10 victory against LSU. However...

These Rankings Will Change A Lot
If you aren't happy with the top 25 on Nov. 1, don't worry much about these rankings. With matchups like Tennessee-Georgia and Alabama-LSU coming up, along with Michigan-Ohio State down the road, these rankings are going to look a lot different by December. In other words: It's all going to sort itself out on the field in the next few weeks.

The Pac-12 Has Two Top-10 Teams
With two teams - Oregon and USC - in the top-10 mix, the Pac-12 is going to feature prominently in the playoff discussion the rest of the way. The Ducks host Utah on Nov. 19 but won't play the Trojans in the regular season. USC still has to get past UCLA on Nov. 19 in order to play its way into the Pac-12 title game. Whether it's UCLA/USC/Oregon, the Pac-12 has three teams with one loss in the mix to make the top four at the end of the season.

LSU Makes the Top 10
In somewhat of a mild surprise, LSU checked in at No. 10 in the initial rankings. The Tigers have made considerable improvement in coach Brian Kelly's first season and have two respectable losses - Florida State and Tennessee - and pounded Ole Miss 45-20 on Oct. 22. The Bayou Bengals face Alabama this Saturday in a huge SEC West showdown that could decide the winner of the division. 

Should TCU Be Ranked Higher?
TCU's ranking at No. 7 over a one-loss Alabama team could be a source of criticism. The Horned Frogs have beaten two ranked teams (Oklahoma State and TCU) and have a zero in the loss column heading into Week 10. Although some might like TCU ahead of the Crimson Tide, coach Sonny Dykes' team can play its way up with looming matchups against Texas and Baylor. 

Michigan vs. Clemson
Michigan ranks ahead of Clemson in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, but the Tigers got the nod from the committee. Why? It's probably due to Clemson having three top-25 wins (Syracuse, Wake Forest and NC State) to one by the Wolverines (Penn State).

Tulane is the No. 1 Group of 5 Team
Headed into Week 10, the champion of the American Athletic Conference should have the inside track to win the Group of 5's spot in a New Year's Six bowl. After Cincinnati's loss to UCF (who checks in at No. 25), Tulane was the highest-ranked Group of 5 team at No. 19 overall. Coach Willie Fritz's team has a good non-conference win over Kansas State but still has to play Cincinnati in late November.

New Year's Six and Playoff Projections Using Top 25 From CFB Playoff Committee

Peach: Tennessee vs. Clemson
Fiesta: Ohio State vs. Georgia

Rose: Michigan vs. Oregon
Sugar: Alabama vs. TCU
Cotton: Tulane vs. USC
Orange: North Carolina vs. LSU

Five Games in Week 10 That Will Impact the Rankings the Most for Next Week

1. Tennessee at Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET)
2. Alabama at LSU (7 p.m. ET)
3. Texas at Kansas State (7 p.m. ET)
4. Clemson at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. ET)
5. Wake Forest at NC State (8 p.m. ET)

Full Top 25 from the CFB Playoff Selection Committee (Nov. 1)

1. Tennessee (8-0)
2. Ohio State (8-0)
3. Georgia (8-0)
4. Clemson (8-0)
5. Michigan (8-0)
6. Alabama (7-1)
7. TCU (8-0)
8. Oregon (7-1)
9. USC (7-1)
10. LSU (6-2)
11. Ole Miss (8-1)
12. UCLA (7-1)
13. Kansas State (6-2)
14. Utah (6-2)
15. Penn State (6-2)
16. Illinois (7-1)
17. North Carolina (7-1)
18. Oklahoma State (6-2)
19. Tulane (7-1)
20. Syracuse (6-2)
21. Wake Forest (6-2)
22. NC State (6-2)
23. Oregon State (6-2)
24. Texas (5-3)
25. UCF (6-2)