The inaugural College Football Playoff rankings released ahead of Week 10 were shocking, to say the least.
Of course, things could and will look far different by the time the field is finalized — hello 2014 Mississippi State — but several teams suffered from a seeming narrative deficit, and others were granted undeserved grace.
Some teams were ranked frustratingly high and some were ranked painfully low.
Here are 3 teams ranked too high and 3 ranked too low in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the 2023 season
Ranked too high: Tennesse
While Tennesse is 6-2 at the time of this poll, they have not had many impressive victories while having two very tough losses.
Something simply doesn’t feel right about ranking the Vols this high given their track record. The losses to both Alabama and Florida were crushing and showed that this team does not match up well against blue-chip rich programs.
Ranked too low: Alabama
Alabama is a team that is getting heavily punished for only having one loss; a 34-24 loss to Texas decided late in the fourth quarter of a Week 2 instant classic.
At the time they had their one loss to the Longhorns, the Crimson Tide were unsure about their quarterback situation. Once they figured that out, they started dominating. No. 8 in the rankings doesn’t reflect this team’s potential, which is likely higher than several teams ahead of them.
Ranked too high: Missouri
While Missouri is currently standing at 7-1, their ranking at No. 12 is just way too high. The Tigers have hardly beaten enough top teams to gain that ranking; with their one loss to LSU at home being a huge missed opportunity.
Mizzou had two victories against teams that were in the Top 25 but they were both on the back end of that list.
Ranked too low: Michigan
It may shock people when you say that a team in the top three is ranked too low — but Michigan at No. 3 is too low.
The Wolverines are undefeated through their first eight games and they have dominated every opponent they have played. Michigan has won every game this season by 24 points or more. That type of domination deserves more credit.
At times this season Michigan has looked like the most dominant team. They need to be placed higher based on their performance this season.
Ranked too high: Notre Dame
While Notre Dame came into the season red hot, they have not shown that same level of dominance as the campaign has progressed.
The Fighting Irish have two tough losses to Ohio State and Louisville, but in this writer’s opinion, to be placed that high in the first College Football Playoff rankings after losing to the Cardinals especially is something that should leave everyone scratching their head.
Ranked too low: Air Force
The fact that the Air Force is ranked No. 25 when they have dominated everyone they played is insane. The Colorado-based academy is undefeated and has barely had an ounce of trouble handling business this season.
The Falcons had one game this season that featured even a moment of doubt: a tough out in the Mountain West, Wyoming.