Clemson and Miami in position to play their way into playoffs. Virginia Tech needs a little help.

The first college football playoff rankings came out Tuesday night, and overall fans of Clemson, Virginia Tech and Miami should be pleased at their position.

Clemson came in at 4, Miami, 10, and Virginia Tech 13. Let’s go through each one.

Clemson despite the loss to Syracuse, appears well respected by the committee with two top 15 wins over Auburn and Virginia Tech. The committee took into account QB Kelly Bryant’s injury against Syracuse. The Tigers get number 20 NC State this weekend, then could get another quality win against an improved South Carolina team who could be ranked by the end of the season. The Tigers would face a likely ranked Miami or Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Games. If Clemson wins out, they are in with no questions asked.

Undefeated Miami at 10 may seem a hair low, but it’s really about right. The Canes haven’t beat any ranked teams, and have rarely looked impressive in their wins. Their Florida State win holds no value now. Here’s the thing for the Canes, they can make their playoff case in the next 2 weeks. If they beat Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, they’ll be in the top 6, and if they win ACC, then they will be in. I’m not sure Miami can afford a loss, but if they do they still have to win the ACC. A Miami team at 12-1 with a couple of quality wins would be close, but might need help.

Virginia Tech sits at 13. Their only loss is to Clemson. Unfortunately for the Hokies they have no quality wins. The win over West Virginia looked like a solid win early, but the Neers can’t sustain anything. It would help Virginia Tech’s case if WVU can get into the top 25. The Hokies would probably move into the top 10 if they win at Miami this weekend. They then have to win out, preferably beating a top 5 ranked Clemson team in the ACC Championship game.

It would be tough to leave out a Hokie 12-1 team, whose only loss is to Clemson. The Hokies are a back a bit though, and might need a couple of breaks to get in. First assuming Alabama or Georgia gets in for the SEC, and Wisconsin or Ohio State is the Big 10 representative, then the Hokies may need a Notre Dame loss, or the Big 12 Champion to have 2 losses. They would not need a lot to happen, but I believe a couple of dominoes have to fall for Virginia Tech.

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