(AP) — Texas A&M is ranked fourth behind Alabama, Clemson and Michigan in the season's first College Football Playoff rankings.

The Aggies (7-1) are surprisingly a spot ahead of unbeaten Washington in the first of six selection committee rankings. The Crimson Tide (8-0), Tigers (8-0), Wolverines (8-0) and Huskies (8-0) are the only remaining undefeated teams from Power Five conferences and hold the top four spots in the latest Associated Press poll.

The 12-person committee, however, gave a nod to Texas A&M's strength of schedule.

Ohio State Is sixth and Louisville Is seventh.

The final rankings will be released Dec. 4, with the top four teams moving on to the College Football Playoff semifinals on Dec. 31 at the Fiesta and Peach bowls.

Selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech's athletic director who is now in the role that Arkansas AD Jeff Long held the firsts two seasons of the CFP, made it very clear that Texas A&M's four victories against teams with winning records (Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina — though it should be noted the Gamecocks are 4-4) provided the margin over Washington. The Huskies have two such victories.

Hocutt says there was a lengthy discussion about Washington and says they had a good win on the road against Utah but Texas A&M still has played a stronger schedule.

The good news is there is room for the Huskies to grow. Washington still has USC and Washington State on its schedule and a possible Pac-12 championship game, which could be against Utah (16th in the committee's rankings), Colorado (15th) or USC, which would need a strong finish to get there. A big stretch run by Stanford would also help the Huskies.

Oregon being terrible is hurting the Huskies, who are getting little credit for pounding the Ducks. Another reason for Washington fans to hate Oregon.

Most important is this: The Huskies control their path to a Pac-12 championship and Texas A&M does not. The Aggies will need Alabama to lose at least a couple of times to reach the Southeastern Conference championship game.

The committee is told when considering similar teams to weigh conference championships like a tiebreaker.

If Washington wins out, the Huskies should be fine to get into the top four. If they win the Pac-12 but lose once along the way, it could get a little dicey for the Huskies when matched against an 11-1 A&M team that has lost only to Alabama.

Washington State is No. 25 while Boise State is 24th.

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