The College Football Playoff’s selection committee unveils its first rankings Tuesday, updated each week until bids are handed out Dec. 7. Here’s how The Advocate’s Ted Lewis and Scott Rabalais see it shaking out so far:
Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 4 Notre Dame
Road trips to Alabama and Ole Miss plus the SEC title game make the Bulldogs’ path treacherous, but so far they deserve this spot. Likewise for the Fighting Irish, who play three of their remaining five games away from South Bend.
Rose Bowl: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Oregon
Presumably Jameis Winston stayed out of trouble during the Seminoles’ open date. Thursday’s game at Louisville is FSU’s toughest remaining test. With Marcus Mariota making a Heisman Trophy push, the Ducks are the team you don’t want to play.
Other CFP bowls
Cotton: LSU vs. Baylor
Orange: Michigan State vs. Duke
Peach: East Carolina vs. Georgia
Fiesta: Arizona vs. TCU
Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Oregon
The Seminoles’ off-the-field issues continue to pile up, but so do the wins. If they don’t stumble Thursday at Louisville, there should be nothing to stop them from the CFP semifinals. Oregon is lurking, but so is a Nov. 8 trip to Utah.
Rose Bowl: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Notre Dame
Stay neutral on this game, I dare you. The Crimson Tide has a rough road (LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn and maybe Georgia), but someone has to win the SEC. The Irish are the most impressive one-loss team after the close shave at FSU.
Other CFP bowls
Cotton: Baylor vs. Georgia
Orange: Clemson vs. Auburn
Peach: Mississippi State vs. TCU
Fiesta: Michigan State vs. Marshall