Something to keep in mind as the College Football Playoff selection committee prepares to release its first rankings of the season on Tuesday: In the four-year history of the CFP, the top of the committee's first rankings have never matched The Associated Press poll that immediately preceded it.

Three times the CFP and AP have had three of the same four teams in the top four, but never in the same exact spots. Last season, the two rankings had only two of the same teams in the top four. Twice the CFP and AP had matching No. 1 teams (Mississippi State in 2014 and Alabama in 2016).

Of course, the two rankings have not been all that dissimilar. Extend it out to top seven, and in three of four seasons the CFP and AP rankings have had six of the same teams, though mostly different orders. In 2016, the rankings had the same seven teams with the most glaring difference being Texas A&M. The Aggies were fourth according to the committee and No. 7 in AP.

The last AP rankings before the first committee rankings this year came after a purge of a weekend in college football. Eleven ranked teams lost, most since late 2016, including a record eight to unranked teams. Seven new teams entered the rankings, a record since the poll expanded to 25 in 1989.

Voters had a tough task sorting through the mess. Heat check is at the point in the season where resume is starting to get outweighed by which way a team is trending; Getting better or worse? With that in mind, how'd the voters do?

No. 1 Alabama (8-0)

Next: at No. 4 LSU

Tua Tagovialoa and the Crimson Tide's last three SEC opponents all rank in the top-30 in the nation in yards per play allowed: LSU, 24th; Mississippi State, sixth; Auburn 29th.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 2 Clemson (8-0)

Next: vs. Louisville.

Since that foggy performance against Syracuse, the Tigers have outscored three opponents 163-20.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 3 Notre Dame (8-0)

Next: at Northwestern.

QB Ian Book leads the country in completion percentage at 76.5. The FBS record for a season is 76.7 by Colt McCoy of Texas in in 2008.

Heat check: A touch too hot. Flip with LSU.

No. 4 LSU (7-1)

Next: vs No. 1 Alabama.

Heat check will give the Tigers' resume and strength of schedule the nod for one more week, but it is really hard to overlook the 99th-ranked offense in the country (5.33 yards per play).

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 5 Michigan (7-1)

Next: vs. No. 14 Penn State.

Penn State's 42 points and 502 yards against the Wolverines last season were the most since Don Brown became Michigan's defensive coordinator in 2016. Pay back time.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 6 Georgia (7-1)

Next: at No. 11 Kentucky.

One more big game from QB Jake Fromm and he joins the Heisman Trophy conversation, even if only as a possible finalist.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 7 Oklahoma (7-1)

Next: at Texas Tech.

Consider the offenses (TCU and Kansas State), but the Sooners have held two straight opponents below 300 yards of total offense.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 8 Ohio State (7-1)

The Buckeyes benefited from lots of shuffling with losses by Texas and Florida, moving up three spots in the rankings. Too much.

Next: vs. Nebraska.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 9 UCF (7-0)

Next: vs. Temple, Thursday.

Last year, the selection committee had UCF 18th in its first rankings and 12th in its final. Heat check's guess is the committee will start the Knights closer to where they finished last year, but still not high enough to satisfy UCF fans. Not even close.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 10 Washington State (7-1)

Next: vs. California.

The best Heisman finish for any quarterback who played for Mike Leach at Washington State or Texas Tech was Graham Harrell's fourth place in 2008. Can Gardner Minshew II top that?

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 11 Kentucky (7-1)

Next: vs. No. 6 Georgia.

Against Missouri, the Wildcats' defense forced three-and-out on all eight of the Tigers' second-half possessions. OLB Josh Allen and Co. will need another huge effort against UGA.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 12 West Virginia (6-1)

Next: at No. 15 Texas.

The Mountaineers are 22-0 when holding opponents under 20 points under fifth-year defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 13 Florida (6-2)

Next: vs. Missouri.

The Gators got a harsh dose of reality from the Bulldogs, but a 10-win season, and six-win turnaround in year one under Dan Mullen is right there for the taking.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 14 Penn State (6-2)

Next: at No. 5 Michigan.

Turns out replacing three of the most prolific offensive players in the history of the program, including Saquon Barkley, is difficult. A nine-win regular season would be a triumph.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 15 Texas (6-2)

Next: vs. No. 12 West Virginia.

The computer ratings and advanced metrics had been waiting for the Longhorns to regress and, well, there you go. Now the poll voters might be selling them a little short.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 16 Utah (6-2)

Next: at Arizona State.

The Utes, who have scored 40 points in four straight games, lost to Washington State, but Heat Check is not so sure they aren't the Pac-12's best team.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 17 Houston (7-1)

Next: at SMU.

Hidden Heisman contender: QB D'Eriq King has accounted for 39 touchdowns, six off the American Athletic Conference record set last year by UCF's McKenzie Milton.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 18 Utah State (7-1)

Next: at Hawaii.

Remember when the Aggies nearly knocked off Michigan State to open the season? Well, they haven't lost since are averaging 49.4 points per game.

Heat check: About time Utah State got recognized, but this is too hot.

No. 19 Iowa (6-2)

Next: at Purdue.

Are the Hawkeyes the favorites to win the Big Ten West now? Is there such a thing?

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 20 Fresno State (7-1)

Next: at UNLV.

The Bulldogs don't play Utah State in the regular season, which sets up the possibility of a 12-1 Mountain West champion that could make a claim for the Group of Five's spot in the New Year's Six bowls.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 21 Mississippi State (5-3)

Next: vs. Louisiana Tech.

QB Nick Fitzgerald threw for 241 yards against Texas A&M, more than his total (225) from the previous three games combined.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 22 Syracuse (6-2)

Next: at Wake Forest.

The last time Syracuse was ranked (2001) it was in the Big East and Dwight Freeney was the best player on the team.

Heat check: Should be in. Little too hot.

No. 23 Virginia (6-2)

Next: vs. Pittsburgh, Friday.

The Cavaliers' last time ranked was 2011. They are pretty good on defense and average on offense and that makes them ACC Coastal favorites.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 24 Boston College (6-2)

Next: at Virginia Tech.

This might be the ACC's second-best team, but the last time Heat Check thought that the Eagles tanked against Purdue.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 25 Texas A&M (5-3)

Next: at Auburn.

The Aggies' best accomplishments this season are still losses to Clemson and Alabama.

Should be out: Virginia and Boston College. Should be in: Iowa State and Michigan State.


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