College Football Playoff rankings takeaways: Good news for Pac-12, bad news for Cincinnati

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- The College Football Playoff selection committee revealed its first of six rankings on Tuesday evening and delivered disappointment to Cincinnati fans hoping to see their Bearcats make history as the first Group of 5 team to crack the top four. Instead, the Bearcats are ranked No. 6, while the SEC and Big Ten dominated, with No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama leading the way, followed by three Big Ten teams in the top seven.

While it's only the beginning of the pecking order, Tuesday's rankings revealed a lot about what direction this year's playoff race is headed:

No. 6 is a hole Cincinnati might never climb out of. The No. 6 position doesn't bode well for the Bearcats, because their strength of schedule -- which is currently No. 100 in the country -- is only going to get worse. The committee didn't rank one-loss SMU, so as of right now, No. 10 Notre Dame is the only ranked opponent on the Bearcats' regular-season schedule. Even teams ranked behind Cincinnati -- including No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma -- have more opportunities to impress the selection committee this month and move up in the rankings.