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College Football Playoff rankings: Wisconsin ranked No. 9 in first 2017–18 release by committee

Did the committee do right by the Badgers?

Wisconsin v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

If the College Football Playoff started today, the Wisconsin Badgers would be on the outside looking in.

In the first rankings released this season by the selection committee on Tuesday, Wisconsin ranks No. 9. The top four teams in this initial reveal are, in order, Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Clemson.

Despite starting 8–0, the Badgers’ ranking was not surprising with what some would characterize as unimpressive or underwhelming wins at times. One-loss teams like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Penn State were all in contention based on their résumé and schedule.

When speaking to players on both Monday and Tuesday, a mix of upperclassmen and young players contributing on the roster, all noted there attention would be elsewhere.

They also know this isn’t the end all, be all rankings when the College Football Playoff participants will be finalized. That comes on Dec. 3.

“I mean, the playoffs aren’t this weekend, so obviously it’d be nice to be up there, but at the same time, you’re not going to be in a playoff game this weekend,” defensive end Alec James told reporters on Monday. “That’s kind of far down the road and we got to handle our business this week against Indiana.”

In my opinion, it comes down to simply this for Wisconsin: win out (including the Big Ten championship) and you’re more than likely in. UW cannot overlook Indiana on Saturday, as well as Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota in this last third of the season.

That’s all the players and coaching staff can do right now, and the team has the right frame of mind.

“Pretty much our whole focus has been my whole four years here is just do what you do, and things will fall into place,” James said.

Here are the rest of this week's rankings: