Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Notes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Notes

Article excerpt

Mississippi State is at top in playoff system ratings

The College Football Playoff selection committee has spoken and it likes the SEC, at least for now.

Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Mississippi are the top four teams in the first College Football Playoff rankings. Only FSU, of the Atlantic Coast Conference, isn't in the SEC.

The first of seven Top 25 rankings compiled by a 12-member selection committee was released Tuesday night. The selection committee ultimately will pick the four teams to play in the national semifinals and set the matchups for the other four big New Year's Day bowls that are part of the playoff rotation.

"It was extremely difficult, more difficult than any of us had expected having gone through our mock selections before," Arkansas athletics director and committee chairman Jeff Long said. "There are 18 one-loss teams in FBS at this point in time, and the difference between many of them is very slim."

Long said the committee worked for about 10 hours total on the rankings.

Oregon was fifth and Alabama was sixth, giving the Southeastern Conference's West Division four of the top six teams.

There still are four games remaining matching those SEC West rivals, starting with Saturday's matchup of Auburn and Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.

This is the first year for the playoff format in college football, and the list is the first indication of how the committee is evaluating each team's playoff potential.

Texas A&M * Quarterback Kenny Hill might be headed for the bench.

Texas A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said that Hill and freshman Kyle Allen have been taking snaps with the first team this week and a starter for Saturday's game against Louisiana-Monroe hasn't been decided yet.

"We opened it back up and we've had some good experiences throughout last week in live scrimmage situations," Spavital said. …

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