KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released its first rankings of the 2022 season on Tuesday and the Tennessee Volunteers topped the list of contenders through nine weeks.
The Vols came in at No. 1 followed in order by Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson. Tuesday’s rankings mark the first time that the Vols are in the top four of the College Football Playoff since the system was instituted in 2014.
All eyes will be on Athens Saturday when Tennessee takes on Georgia in a matchup that could decide who wins the SEC East and compete in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
Tennessee is off to its best start to season since winning the 1998 National Championship. Vols Quarterback Hendon Hooker has gone from Heisman Trophy longshot to betting favorite for the award with 25 total touchdowns and one interception through the first eight games.
In the most recent Associated Press Top 25 Poll, Tennessee was tied with Ohio State for second place behind Georgia. USA TODAY Sports AFCA football coaches poll had Ohio State second and Tennessee in third.
Using a variety of factors including results, strength of schedule and common opponents, the 13-member CFP Selection Committee ranks what they consider to be the top 25 teams in the country.
The top four enter the playoff with No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 in the semifinals. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Playstation Fiesta Bowl will serve as this year’s semifinal games. Both games will be held on Dec. 31.
New rankings will be published each Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET through the conclusion of the conference championship games.