Undefeated Tennessee earned the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff's initial Top 25 ranking Tuesday night, marking the first time in the program's history it cracked the top four, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Clemson.
The 13-member committee ranked undefeated Michigan No. 5, and one-loss Alabama was No. 6 ahead of undefeated No. 7 TCU. Alabama had been ranked in the top three of the initial rankings in each of the past six years. It never has been lower than No. 6 in the committee's first ranking, as it earned the same spot in 2014.
"We talked about this earlier in the week, but we didn't know where we'd be ranked," Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said on the ESPN telecast. "At the end of the day, one thing we've tried to do here is enjoy the journey."
Tennessee, which is averaging 49 points per game and leads the FBS in total offense, became the seventh different program to earn the top spot at any point in the playoff era.