Tigers roar into 10th spot in initial CFP Top 25 rankings

TRENDING TIGER:  Keyshon Boutte’s surge in production has keyed LSU’s rapid rise into the national rankings, with the talented receiver making 16 catches in the last three games after only 11 in the first four. (Photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)


BATON ROUGE — In the only college football poll that truly matters, LSU got a very pleasant surprise Tuesday night.

The Tigers stand 10th in the first edition of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings, heading into Saturday night’s Tiger Stadium showdown against Alabama – sixth in the CFP’s initial Top 25.

The top four teams in the final CFP rankings in early December, following conference championship games, will advance to the playoffs. The CFP rankings also factor into matchups for the remaining four prime bowl games played on New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve.

LSU (6-2) will square off against Alabama (7-1) at 6 Saturday night in an ESPN-televised battle in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25, with the Crimson Tide having dipped from the top spot down to sixth after a narrow win over Texas A&M and a 52-49 loss at Tennessee.

Tennessee, No. 2 in the AP Top 25, earned the No. 1 slot in the CFP rankings. Defending national champion Georgia, which tops the AP Top 25, was only No. 3 in the CFP poll, with Ohio State at No. 2 and Clemson a surprising fourth, ahead of fifth-ranked Michigan, Alabama, TCU, Oregon, USC and LSU. Ole Miss, beaten 45-20 two weeks ago by the Tigers, was No. 11.

The CFP rankings are determined by a selection committee of 13 people who have been or are coaches, student-athletes, college administrators and journalists, along with sitting athletics directors. Members of the committee are Mitch Barnhart, Tom Burman, Boo Corrigan (chair), Rick George, Chet Gladchuk, Jim Grobe, Warde Manuel, Will Shields, Gene Taylor, Joe Taylor, John Urschel, Rod West and Kelly Whiteside.

Corrigan explained the Tigers’ surprisingly high status.

“I think in large part, the win over Mississippi, the win over Mississippi State (31-16 on Sept. 17). They did lose to Tennessee (40-13) as well as to Florida State (24-23) in the season opener, but they seem to be getting better and better once Coach Kelly and the quarterback (Jayden Daniels) have kind of meshed a little bit, if you will, and we saw them coming off of that Mississippi win as being a team that was worthy of being in the top 10.”

The Tigers have posted 45 points in each of their most recent wins, over Ole Miss and at Florida (45-35).

The CFP on Dec. 4 will match the No. 1-ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bow.

This season’s Playoff Semifinals will take place Saturday, Dec. 31 at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Los Angeles region will host the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium.