Alabama falls one spot in the first CFB RankingsBy Cody Estremera | 11/01/2017 10:47pm
For the first time this season, Alabama isn’t the No. 1 team in the country. The College Football rankings came out on Tuesday, for the first time this season, when the 13-person committee ranked Georgia No.1 and Alabama No. 2.
“The discussion was very close for teams three through seven, but I would say it was even closer for teams one and two,” said Kirby Hocutt, chairman of the College Football Selection Committee. “At the end of the day, it was the two wins against CFP top 25 for Georgia, especially the win over No. 3 Notre Dame, that gave Georgia the very slight edge over Alabama.”
The Bulldogs leaped the Crimson Tide in the first rankings because of their strength of schedule. Through nine weeks of the season, Georgia is 8-0 with a 20-19 win at now No. 3 Notre Dame, a 31-3 win over now No. 16 Mississippi State and is averaging 42.4 points against the SEC.
The Crimson Tide’s schedule hasn’t lived up to expectations eight weeks into the season. Its biggest win came week one against then No. 3 Florida State, while its closest win came on the road against an unranked Texas A&M.
Notre Dame and Clemson round out the top four, while Oklahoma and Ohio State are ranked at No. 5 and No. 6 respectively.
Alabama’s schedule picks up starting with LSU. The Tigers are the No. 19 team in the country, followed by No. 16 Mississippi State before finishing the season at No. 14 Auburn.
“You know I haven’t really thought about it to be honest with you,” Saban said. I didn’t even know that we were No. 2 until just a little bit ago. That’s how important I think it is. I would rather our players not be thinking about it, I would rather that they not be talking about it, I’d rather that they be thinking about what they need to do to do well in this game.
However, teams ranked in the top six rarely finish in the top six. Alabama is the only team to start the rankings in the top six and finish in the top four every year.
"It really means nothing right now. It's nothing more than a distraction," Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart said from SEC Coaches Teleconference on Wednesday.
Alabama's head coach isn’t worried about the one-spot drop in the poll.
“It’s like getting two-thirds, three-quarters of the way up a mountain and you’re sliding on an icy slope and you’re worried about some airplane flying behind you, you fall and bust your ass,” Saban said. "That’s basically what it’s the equivalent, rather than focus on what you need to do to keep climbing. I don’t think I can make it any clearer.”