On Tuesday, the College Football Playoff selection committee released its first rankings of the 2023 season. Mizzou, coming off its bye week, appears in at No. 12 in the initial rankings.
The Tigers are currently the fourth highest-ranked Southeastern Conference team in the CFP rankings. Alabama and Mississippi are slotted in at No. 8 and No. 10, while Mizzou’s upcoming opponent, Georgia, is second, just behind Ohio State. LSU, who beat Mizzou, comes in at No. 14 with two losses, while Tennessee comes it at No. 17.
The twelfth spot is the highest that Missouri has ever been ranked in the ten-year history of the College Football Playoff. The previous mark was when the Tigers faced No. 1 Alabama on Dec. 6, 2014 in the SEC Championship game at No. 14. Missouri hasn’t ranked this high in any of the major polls since Jan. 3, 2014, in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State where it sat at No. 9 in the nation.
Hypothetically speaking, if a 12-team playoff existed this season, it will next year, Mizzou would find itself as the first team out due to the fact that the new system will include a Group of Five champion. The highest-ranked Group of champion is Tulane.
But this year is 2023 and not 2024. Missouri controls its own destiny to climb in the CFP rankings. It starts going into Athens on Saturday at 2:30 PM CT time on CBS, followed by finishing out the regular season with home games against Tennessee and Florida before going on the road to Arkansas.