Alabama grabbed the top spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night – the first time the Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 in the opening round.

Alabama (8-0), which won last season’s national championship, made its 13th appearance in the playoff rankings.

Clemson, which lost to Alabama in last year’s title game, grabbed the No. 2 spot.

Michigan (8-0), which has never been ranked higher than 10th in six previous playoff ranking appearances, is in third.

Arguably the biggest surprise came at No. 4. Texas A&M (7-1) earned the ranking over undefeated Washington (8-0). The Huskies are off to their best start since 1992 and made their first playoff rankings appearance.

“Simply stated, the committee, in our mind, believes that Texas A&M has played a stronger schedule at this point in time of the season over Washington,” playoff selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said.

The final poll will be revealed live on ESPN at noon Dec. 4. The top four teams qualify for the two semifinal games, at the Fiesta and Peach bowls on Dec. 31. The winners will meet in the national championship game Jan. 9 at Tampa, Florida.

MINNESOTA: The school dismissed wide receiver Brian Smith from the program for violating team rules.

The Gophers wouldn’t specify the violation. Smith, a walk-on from Milwaukee, redshirted in 2013 and didn’t play at all over the previous two seasons, but became a starter this year and was second on the team with 17 receptions for 279 yards in eight games.

SYRACUSE: Jason Emerich, a fifth-year center, won’t return to the team because of a shoulder injury.

Emerich was hurt in a home loss to Louisville in September and hasn’t played since. He underwent surgery Oct. 11.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Freshman tight end Robert Tucker III is giving up football due to medical concerns.

Tucker met with a spinal specialist after having some numbness in his neck.