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Oklahoma Sooners open at No. 9 in first College Football Playoff rankings of 2019

Four Big 12 teams are ranked in the first CFP rankings of the season.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Sooners checked in at No. 9 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the 2019 season. There’s a definite difference between the CFP committee’s top 10 and what the AP voters came up with earlier this week, but now the stage is set with a poll that will actually matter on Dec. 8.

Keep in mind, no matter what criteria the committee claims it uses to justify the rankings, history has shown that the weight of each factor seems to change from week to week. Basically, just try not to get too bent out of shape over their explanations right now.

Full CFP top 25 rankings listed below:

  1. Ohio State
  2. LSU
  3. Alabama
  4. Penn State
  5. Clemson
  6. Georgia
  7. Oregon
  8. Utah
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Florida
  11. Auburn
  12. Baylor
  13. Wisconsin
  14. Michigan
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Kansas State
  17. Minnesota
  18. Iowa
  19. Wake Forest
  20. Cincinnati
  21. Memphis
  22. Boise State
  23. Oklahoma State
  24. Navy
  25. SMU

Oklahoma knows exactly what it needs to do with four games remaining in the regular season plus a potential Big 12 Championship to play for. Plain and simple, the Sooners must win out — and rather convincingly I might add — in order to return to the College Football Playoff for a third consecutive season. However, the field looks particularly stout this year, meaning OU may also need another contender or two to suffer an upset along the way.

Fortunately for the Sooners, it looks like at least a few of the teams around them will fall one way or another simply by default. LSU and Alabama play each other this Saturday, as do Penn State and Minnesota. As far as the result between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide is concerned, the loser likely won’t fall too many spots, but that’ll leave them with no further room for error since a two-loss team has yet to make the CFP. Maybe that happens this season, but utter chaos ala 2007 would likely have to ensue and for now it’s not likely.

Later this season, Ohio State and Penn State are also scheduled to square off. The loser of that game will come down a notch and consequently boost Oklahoma’s chances should it continue to take care of its own business. In the Pac-12, Oregon and Utah could end up playing one another in a conference championship setting, and if either slip up along the way, that team would be eliminated from playoff contention for all intents and purposes.

Speaking of which, it’s important for OU’s playoff resume that Baylor, Kansas State and a surprisingly ranked Oklahoma State team continue to win. Oklahoma’s disappointing loss in Manhattan will look a lot more forgivable if the Wildcats finish the regular season at 10-2 or 9-3. As for BU, beating a 9-0 Bears squad in Waco on primetime ABC would do wonders for the Sooners. Capping off the regular season with a another ranked road win over the Cowboys would be The only thing better would be a rematch between the two, especially if both walk into the Big 12 title game with just one loss apiece. All of these possibilities are realistic, but first things first — Oklahoma has to get back on track defensively and beat Iowa State this weekend.

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