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Ohio State debuts at No. 2 in the first College Football Playoff ranking of 2022

The Buckeyes have earned a spot in the top four of the initial CFP rankings.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

We knew Ohio State would be included among the top four teams when the first College Football Playoff rankings of the 2022 season dropped on Tuesday night, but we didn’t quite know at which spot. The Buckeyes have been one of the most impressive units in the country through the beginning of November, and currently rank No. 2 in the AP Poll. However, while they have done everything they’ve needed to do in dominating the opponents on their schedule, would it be enough to put them ahead of teams with resumés like Georgia and Tennessee?

The top four teams in the country debuted as follows:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Ohio State
  3. Georgia
  4. Clemson

Tennessee checks in as the No. 1 team in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. The Volunteers have been incredibly impressive this season, currently boasting the best scoring offense in the country at 49.4 points per game. They are lead by a Heisman favorite in quarterback Hendon Hooker, and they also have the best win of any team this year with their 52-49 victory over Alabama. This weekend’s matchup against Georgia has massive CFP implications, as the winner will almost certainly get to represent the SEC East in the conference title game.

Ohio State clearly doesn’t have the best resumé in the world, but they have done exactly what they have needed to do thus far — beat up on inferior opponents. You can only play the teams on your schedule, and the Buckeyes have beaten the opposition this year by an average margin of 32 points, having now added a 13-point road win over a now No. 16 Penn State team on the road as another bullet point. Ohio State’s offense ranks second behind only Tennessee with 48.9 points per game, and the defensive is leaps and bounds above what it was a year ago. That’s good enough to put them at No. 2

As the defending national champs, Georgia debuts at No. 3 in the first CFP ranking of the year. The defense lost a ton of key pieces from last season, but that hasn’t stopped them from ranking second in the nation allowing just 10.5 points per game. They played a pair of head-scratchers against Kent State and Missouri in games that were closer than they should have been, but they have taken care of business lately and also dominated the only ranked team they’ve played so far in a 49-3 thrashing of Oregon in the season opener.

Finally, it was the Clemson Tigers coming in at the No. 4 spot. Dabo Swinney’s team hasn’t looked particularly strong at really any point this year, but they have still managed to remain undefeated and have wins over three teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 (Wake Forest, NC State and Syracuse). Clemson will likely get to coast through the rest of its remaining schedule with games against Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami (FL) and South Carolina to finish off the regular season, but could potentially get tested against probably UNC in the ACC title game. Both the offense and defense rank outside of the top 15 in the country, but the CFP committee clearly valued their schedule to this point over a team like Michigan.

As of Tuesday morning, here were the betting odds for the College Football Playoff, courtesy of the DraftKings Sportsbook...

To make the College Football Playoff

  • Ohio State -650
  • Georgia -600
  • Clemson -180
  • Tennesse +105
  • Alabama +140
  • Michigan +190
  • Oregon +650
  • USC +700
  • TCU +750
  • UCLA +1700

To win the National Title

  • Ohio State +200
  • Georgia +200
  • Alabama +350
  • Tennessee +800
  • Clemson +1600
  • Michigan +1600
  • Oregon +4000
  • USC +5000
  • TCU +6000
  • Ole Miss +10000

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.