- Bill Connelly is a staff writer for ESPN.com.
The seventh College Football Playoff kicks off Friday, with No. 1 Alabama facing No. 4 Notre Dame in Arlington, Texas, and No. 2 Clemson battling No. 3 Ohio State in New Orleans. There are no debutants in this field; these four programs have combined for 18 of the 28 total CFP bids, in fact. But not every Tide, Tigers, Buckeyes or Irish team is a carbon copy of others (Notre Dame excluded, perhaps), and none of these programs fielded the greatest team of the CFP era.
To set the table for this CFP, let’s see where this batch of teams fits among the others. Let’s rank all 28 to date (and also the 10 best teams to miss the playoff).
I derived this list, as I usually do, through a combination of numbers and my own personal opinions. I started out by ordering teams according to their SP+ percentile ratings, then adjusted for actual CFP performance and any other criteria I felt like including. Since the four 2020 teams on the list obviously haven’t played in the CFP yet, their rankings could, and likely will, change in the coming couple of weeks.
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