Intriguing Stats For Each Team in Initial CFP Rankings

by Gregory Harvey

The initial College Football Playoff Rankings were finally released on Tuesday and it is safe to say that football fans all across the country are disappointed in certain placements of teams.

However, we are here to provide non-argumentative, intriguing, and informative stats on each team that made this year’s initial rankings. Enjoy seeing how each team has found their success this year in a certain unique way.

1. Alabama (7-0)

Alabama’s high-powered offense, featuring quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris, and wide receiver Devonta Smith, has scored 49.4 points per game. The Crimson Tide have not finished a season with that level output in at least the last 20 seasons. No FBS team has finished a season above that mark since Baylor and Florida State finished 2013 with 52.4 and 51.6, points per game, respectively.

Remaining Games: vs. Auburn, @ Arkansas, @ LSU (PPD)

2. Notre Dame (8-0)

Each of the last four national champions were ranked No. 2 in the initial CFP rankings. Notre Dame looks to continue this trend by staying undefeated in its first season ever being in a conference.

Remaining Games: @ North Carolina, vs. Syracuse, @ Wake Forest

3. Clemson (7-1)

Clemson has now been placed in the top four of the CFP rankings 30 of the last 31 times. The only exception was the initial CFP rankings last season, when Clemson was ranked fifth by the committee.

Remaining Games: vs. Pittsburgh, @ Virginia Tech, @ Florida State (PPD)

4. Ohio State (4-0)

Wide receiver Garrett Wilson is the only Buckeye to have 500 or more receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns in the team’s first four games of a season. Wilson had just 432 total receiving yards in 13 games last season, but has already surpassed that total in this year’s first four games.

Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson has already surpassed last season’s receiving total. (Ohio State athletics)

Remaining Games: @ Illinois, @ Michigan State, vs. Michigan 

5. Texas A&M (5-1)

The Aggie offense has successfully converted on 62.03% of their third down attempts this season, currently the highest mark in the country. Texas A&M has only suffered one loss this season, which was a tough loss to Alabama.

Remaining Games: vs. LSU, @ Auburn, @ Tennessee, vs. Ole Miss (PPD)

6. Florida (6-1)

Quarterback Kyle Trask has thrown 31 touchdowns through his team’s first seven games of the season — a new SEC record. Trask is on pace to set the new single season record for passing touchdowns by a Gator. It is currently held by Danny Wuerffel, who had 39 in 1996.

Remaining Games: vs. Kentucky, @ Tennessee, vs. LSU

7. Cincinnati (8-0)

The Cincinnati defense is a huge part of why the Bearcats are undefeated this season. The defense leads the nation with just four yards allowed per play. The Bearcats have also started the season out 8-0 for the first time since 2009.

Remaining Games: @ Temple, @ Tulsa

8. Northwestern (5-0)

The Northwestern defense has been a crucial factor in leading the Wildcats to their first 5-0 start since 2015. The Wildcats currently average three takeaways per game, which is good for second best in the country. They also lead the country by allowing just 4.9 yards per pass.

Remaining Games: @ Michigan State, @ Minnesota, vs. Illinois

9. Georgia (5-2)

Georgia’s run defense has been of the most elite groups in the country this season. They have allowed just 2.5 yards per rush, which is second best in the country currently. The Bulldogs are also ranked third in the country, allowing just 74.1 rush yards per game.

Remaining Games: @ South Carolina, vs. Vanderbilt, @ Missouri (PPD)

10. Miami (7-1)

Quarterback D’Eriq King became the first player in NCAA history to have 400 or more passing yards, 100 or more rush yards, and five or more pass touchdowns in a single game for two different schools. He accomplished the feat this season against NC State as well as in 2018 with Houston against South Florida.

Remaining Games: @ Wake Forest, vs. North Carolina, vs. Georgia Tech

11. Oklahoma (6-2)

Quarterback Spencer Rattler has thrown for 2,319 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. The Sooners have now had six consecutive seasons in which the starting quarterback threw for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in the team’s first eight games. This is currently the longest active streak by a FBS team.

Remaining Games: @ West Virginia, vs. Baylor

12. Indiana (4-1)

The Hoosiers have just received their first-ever CFP ranking in school history. They have yet to allow a field goal attempt through five games this season. The Hoosier defense also has the highest opponent interceptions thrown percentage at 8.07%.

No Indiana opponent has attempted a field goal yet this season. (Indiana athletics)

Remaining Games: vs. Maryland, @ Wisconsin, vs. Purdue

13. Iowa State (6-2)

Running back Breece Hall has been a key contributor to the Cyclones’ offense this season. He has rushed for over 100 yards and scored at least one rush touchdown in every single game this season. He becomes the first player to accomplish this feat in a team’s first eight games since TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson did so in 2000.

Remaining Games: @ Texas, vs. West Virginia

14. BYU (9-0)

BYU has reached a CFP ranking for the first time in school history. The Cougars have won all but one of its games by 17 points or more and has outscored opponents 428-125 this season.

Remaining Games: vs. San Diego State, @ Army (PPD)

15. Oregon (3-0)

The Ducks currently lead the nation with a 100% conversion rate on fourth down this season. Last season, Oregon only converted 57.14% of its fourth downs, showing a pretty substantial jump to this current season.

Remaining Games: @ Oregon State, @ California, vs. Washington 

16. Wisconsin (2-1)

In the three games the Badgers have played this season, the defense had performed extremely well. Wisconsin currently leads the country in opponent yards per game (233.3), opponent third down conversions (19.44%), and opponent red zone scoring conversions (50%).

Remaining Games: vs. Indiana, @ Iowa

17. Texas (5-2)

The Longhorns have played in three overtime games so far this season — more than any other team. Texas has scored 28 points in the six overtime quarters this season.

Remaining Games: vs. Iowa State, @ Kansas State, @ Kansas

18. USC (3-0)

The Trojans have forced turnovers at a high output through three games this season. USC currently averages three takeaways per game. That’s tied for second most in the country right now.

Remaining Games: vs. Colorado, vs. Washington State, @ UCLA

19. North Carolina (6-2)

North Carolina is just one of two offenses this season with a passer that has more than 2,500 passing yards, a receiver with more than 800 receiving yards, and a rusher with more than 800 rushing yards. Sam Howell, Javonte Williams, and Dyami Brown have all made this Tar Heel offense so impressive.

Remaining Games: vs. Notre Dame, vs. Western Carolina, @ Miami

20. Coastal Carolina (8-0)

Coastal Carolina has committed just 2.7 penalties per game — tied for the fewest in the country. The Chanticleers make a significant improvement from last year, when they had 5.9 penalties per game. This is also their first CFP ranking in school history.

Head coach Jamey Chadwell has Coastal Carolina ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time. (Coastal Carolina athletics)

Remaining Games: @ Texas State, vs. Liberty, @ Troy, 

21. Marshall (7-0)

Marshall has allowed just 10.1 points per game, making it the current top scoring defense in the country. The last FBS team to finish a season with a scoring defense that allowed less than 10 points per game was Alabama in 2011. The Crimson Tide finished the season with just 8.2 points per game allowed.

Remaining Games: vs. Rice, @ Florida International, @ East Carolina (PPD)

22. Auburn (5-2)

This is the first time that Auburn has defeated Tennessee and LSU in the same season since 2004. Auburn will also look to continue its win streaks against Alabama and Texas A&M in the near future.

Remaining Games: @ Alabama, vs. Texas A&M, @ Mississippi State 

23. Oklahoma State (5-2)

Oklahoma State has taken advantage of its opponents’ penalties this season. The Cowboys’ opponents have averaged 84.6 penalty yards per game — second most in the country this season.

Remaining Games: vs. Texas Tech, @ TCU, @ Baylor

24. Iowa (3-2)

Iowa’s defense has played a crucial role in its 3-game winning streak. The Hawkeyes have allowed just 4.1 yards per play, which is ranked the fourth best in the country. The defense also currently forces 2.8 takeaways a game — good for fifth in the country.

Remaining Games: vs. Nebraska, @ Illinois, vs. Wisconsin

25. Tulsa (5-1)

The Golden Hurricane has captured their first CFP ranking in school history, thanks to multiple comebacks this season. Tulsa won four games this season in which they trailed by 14 points or more. They are the first team to accomplish that feat since UCLA did so in 2005.

Remaining Games: @ Houston, @ Navy, vs. Cincinnati, @ Arkansas State (PPD) 

Gregory Harvey is a staff writer for Fifth Quarter. Follow Gregory on Twitter @FQStats and @BetweenTheNums.

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