FOX Sports activities Faculty Soccer Analyst
The primary version of the Faculty Soccer Playoff rankings have been revealed on Tuesday, setting the stage for what ought to be an thrilling again half of the 2022-23 season.
Tennessee, which boasts a win over Alabama this season, got here in at No. 1, adopted by Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson within the high 4. Undefeated Michigan got here in simply outdoors a playoff spot at No. 5, adopted by Alabama, TCU and Oregon.
Tennessee is No. 1 within the CFP rankings for the primary time. Just one group that has been No. 1 within the committee’s preliminary rankings has not made the playoff, however solely about half the groups within the first high 4 managed to complete there.
As is usually the case, that is the time of 12 months during which the 2 greatest groups within the Southeastern Convention have been touted as among the many 4 greatest groups within the sport.
But it surely has a brand new wrinkle this season, as a result of these two SEC groups — No. 1 Tennessee and No. 3 Georgia — each come from the SEC East, a primary for the reason that inception of the Faculty Soccer Playoff in 2014.
It additionally signifies that the Vols’ recreation towards Georgia on Saturday will act as a de facto play-in recreation for the CFP semis as a result of anyone’s “0” has obtained to go. That contest shall be watched carefully by different contenders hoping to reap the benefits of the scenario, notably undefeated groups simply outdoors the highest 4 like No. 5 Michigan and No. 7 TCU.
Tennessee definitely has carried out its half with the perfect résumé within the sport — 5 AP-ranked wins and the perfect win of the season up to now, a conquer beforehand undefeated Alabama for the primary time for the reason that invention of the iPhone.
The 2022 Volunteers are additionally protecting tempo with the perfect offense of the final 20 years to win a nationwide title — 2019 LSU.
Tennessee each scores extra factors (49.4 to 48.4) and permits fewer factors (21 to 21.9) than that LSU squad, whereas gaining extra yards per play (7.9 to 7.4).
However the Vols haven’t but confronted a protection as proficient because the Dawgs, who permit simply 10.3 factors per recreation and haven’t surrendered greater than 22 in a single outing this season. The Bulldogs additionally aren’t any slouches offensively, averaging higher than 41 factors per recreation with their very own Heisman candidate at quarterback in Stetson Bennett.
The explanation the CFP committee offers such credence to the SEC is not only as a result of the league itself is hard, however as a result of 12 of the final 15 nationwide champions have performed in it. With Georgia defending its title, the Volunteers wanting like a title contender for the primary time since Tee Martin’s 1998 squad, and the Tide nonetheless possessing a really actual street to the semis, that’s proving true as soon as once more.
Whereas Tennessee and Georgia aren’t 1-2 within the CFP rankings, they’re 1-2 within the AP High 25. We haven’t seen a heavyweight matchup of that caliber in three years, and it is simply the twenty fifth time within the common season it is occurred for the reason that inception of the AP ballot in 1936. The final time the AP No. 1 and No. 2 groups performed within the common season, LSU stormed again from a 20-point, halftime deficit to beat Alabama and by no means appeared again.
Because the SEC is anxious, when its two greatest are additionally the 2 greatest within the nation and play within the common season, that recreation produces the nationwide champion. Perhaps it does simply imply extra.
Tuesday’s reveal was the primary of the CFP rankings bulletins, which can come out each Tuesday for the remainder of the season. The 4 CFP groups shall be revealed when the ultimate rankings are launched on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Earlier, Bryan Fischer outlined the paths to the CFP for the highest 12 contenders.
Listed here are the rankings:
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 (7-10
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)
RJ Younger is a nationwide faculty soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The Quantity One Faculty Soccer Present.” Observe him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube.
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Publish date: 2022-11-03 10:43:11
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