History will be made Tuesday night. When the first College Football Playoff rankings are revealed Tennessee football will find itself in the top six and firmly in the national championship race. Currently, there are seven teams that are legitimately in the running, to reach the event, but that number could reach as high as 13.
Of course, with many of these teams playing each other over the next few weeks, this process will sort itself out. However, with the Vols relevant, we are now going to start doing our CFP list. Just as the committee itself does, we’ll name the top six in order, with specific slides for the four we say should be in right now.
Teams not in the running but who could be are the North Carolina Tar Heels, Illinois Fighting Illini, Ole Miss Rebels, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans and Oregon Ducks. Let’s see the other teams, including the one left out of the top six and where Tennessee football lands, in our first round of 2023 CFB Playoff rankings for the year.
Here’s what the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings should look like and where the Tennessee football Volunteers should stand.
No. 7 AP and Coaches Polls
It came down to the TCU Horned Frogs or Michigan Wolverines. Jim Harbaugh’s team is undefeated, No. 4 in both polls and has style points for blowing out the Penn state Nittany Lions, but honestly, they have a terrible schedule by every metric. Of the seven teams realistically in the running, Michigan has by far the worst schedule of all of them.
As a result, Sonny Dykes and TCU made their way into the top six. They have one of the lesser schedules across the board depending on who you go by, but it’s not the worst. Also, TCU is lucky to be undefeated, as they had to hold off the Kansas State Wildcats after Adrian Martinez, their quarterback, went down. That keeps TCU here.
No. 6 AP and Coaches Polls
The only team on here with a loss, Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide don’t have many style points. However, their only loss is to Tennessee football on the road, and they have the toughest conglomerate strength of schedule of any of the top seven by far. Quality wins over the Texas Longhorns, Arkansas Razorbacks and Mississippi State Bulldogs put them here.