The first of six sets of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Louisville checked in at No. 7. That's two spots below where the Cards rank in both the coaches' and the Associated Press top 25 polls.
The real shock of the evening came when Texas A&M, and not Washington, occupied the No. 4 spot. As expected, Alabama was No. 1, followed by Clemson and Michigan. Ohio State is the committee's No. 6 squad.
You never want to read too deeply into the initial rankings, but three primary thoughts here:
1) The committee is completely sold on the Big 10 being the best conference in the country. Penn State at No. 12 is fairly stunning. Louisville needs Michigan to win out, because it's pretty clear that one-loss Wolverine or Buckeye squad is going to have the drop on the Cards.
2) If Washington wins out, it will almost certainly make the final four, but what tonight did tell us is that a one-loss Pac-12 champion might be up against it.
3) For Louisville, there's zero room for any Duke or Virginia-esque sub-par performance going forward. Even with four dominant performances, the Cards are still going to need some significant outside help.
Here are your first College Football Rankings: