COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — For the final time, the College Football Playoff will only be contested by four teams and in the first rankings of 2023, the Ohio State Buckeyes are at the top.
The Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0) have been placed at No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the 2023 season. It is the first time since Dec. 3, 2019, that Ohio State tops the CFP poll as the committee felt OSU’s high-ranked wins over Notre Dame and Penn State raise them above the No. 3 spot they occupy in the Associated Press and coaches polls.
Below OSU in the first top-four is two-time defending champions Georgia at No. 2, archrivals Michigan at No. 3, and Atlantic Coast Conference leaders Florida State at No. 4. If the season ended today, the Buckeyes would play Florida State in a semifinal.
The semifinals will be played on New Year’s Day 2024 at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The national championship game will be on Jan. 8 in Houston.
College Football Playoff rankings (Oct. 31, 2023)
The Buckeyes kept its unbeaten record intact after a 24-10 win over Wisconsin. OSU will stay on the road for Week 10 as they take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at noon on Nov. 4. The Buckeyes have never lost to Rutgers and have won each game by at least three touchdowns.
No. 2 Georgia will host No. 12 Missouri, No. 3 Michigan will take on Purdue on NBC4, and No. 4 Florida State travels to play Pittsburgh.
The first two teams out are No. 5 Washington and No. 6 Oregon. Since the CFP’s inception, 44% of teams that enter the first rankings at No. 5 and No. 6 have ended up making the playoffs.
Nearly 60% of teams that are in the top four in the first CFP rankings end up in the playoff semifinals. The first team to get that coveted top ranking has made the playoffs on all but two occasions (2022 Tennessee and 2014 Mississippi State).