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CFB Playoff Ranking: Top position group for top 10 teams

Damien Harris
Damien Harris (USA TODAY Sports Images)

With the release of this week’s version of the College Football Playoff Rankings, here is a look at the best position group for each team in the top 10 of the rankings and how the players at that position were rated as recruits.

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Best position: RB

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.97

Overview: "There's a lot of ways you could go with this, however, the position I'm going with is running back. Damien Harris would probably be a Heisman contender on most teams if he wasn't sharing carries with Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs. That's not even taking into account Najee Harris, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2017 class. The thing is, Alabama's backs can hit you in so many ways. Damien Harris is kind of a do-it-all guy, while Scarbrough and Najee Harris offer more power. Jacobs is the perfect change-of-pace guy that can hurt you both with his feet or out of the backfield in the passing game." - Tony Tsoukalas,


Best position: DL

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.82

Overview: "There's really no doubt Clemson's strongest group is the defensive line, which has continued to wreak havoc this year after doing it the previous three seasons. A lot of people wondered whether the Tigers could stay in the CFP conversation after losing the brilliant Deshaun Watson and other foundational offensive playmakers, but when you can stop people and disrupt as much as Clemson's defensive line does you're going to be in position to win a lot of games. The line isn't without its concerns, among them depth at end behind Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, and Dexter Lawrence's nagging foot injury. But Lawrence sat out the Florida State game and probably won't play much against The Citadel as he tries to get closer to full strength. And as long as Ferrell and Bryant stay healthy, Clemson will have two terrors coming off the edges to complement Christian Wilkins' consistent rampaging inside." - Larry Williams,


Best position: DL

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.76

Overview: "Miami's strongest position is without question its defensive line which sets the stage for all of the turnovers it is getting and wears down opponents. If you watch closely, you will see how much rotation Miami does up front during the course of a game and there is not a lot of dropoff in performance. Heck a freshman, Jonathan Garvin, who was third team most of the season, has two strip-sack fumble recoveries the last two games. It starts with tackles RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton and goes outside to ends Joe Jackson and Chad Thomas. Anthony Moten, Pat Bethel, Trent Harris and Garvin provide the quality depth. This group opens things up for Miami's linebackers and can be counted on week-in and week-out because of its quality depth." - Gary Ferman,


Best position: QB

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.64

Overview: "The argument is fairly easy when you have the Heisman frontrunner under center. What exactly has the Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma offense accomplished this season? It leads the nation in 12 offensive categories. Mayfield ranks in the top three nationally in eight different categories while currently on pace to eclipse his own all-time record for passer efficiency rating. This weekend Mayfield and the Sooners head back on the road where he has never lost a true road game." - Eddie Radosevich,


Best position: LB

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.61

Overview: "Despite losing potential All-American Jack Cichy (ACL) and top reserve Zack Baun (foot) to season-ending injuries during fall camp, Wisconsin's linebackers are probably the top unit on this year's team. Fifth-year seniors Leon Jacobs and Garret Dooley have exceeded expectations on the outside, while junior T.J. Edwards, who is tied for the team lead in interceptions (four), will likely have a decision about leaving early for the NFL to make at the conclusion of this season. Next to him, Chris Orr and Ryan Connelly have been great, with Connelly, a former walk-on, currently leading the team in tackles with 55. All together, the Badgers' linebackers are a big reason why UW currently ranks No. 1 in the country in (fewest) total yards (allowed) per game." - Jon McNamara,


Best position: DL

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.75

Overview: "There's no question Auburn's strongest position is its defensive line. The unit shut down the SEC's top rushing team last Saturday, holding Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to 48 total yards. Buck linebacker Jeff Holland has been the SEC's breakout player of the year leading the conference with nine sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Marlon Davidson is a force at defensive end and Derrick Brown and Dontavius Russell can take on double-teams or make plays of their own inside at defensive tackle. Andrew Williams inside and Nick Coe on the edge give the Tigers two talented backups. Auburn is ninth nationally in total defense, 11th in scoring defense and 16th in rushing defense, and it starts upfront." - Bryan Matthews,


Best position: RB

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.9

Overview: "For Georgia, the strongest position has to be running back. Nick Chubb is now the fourth-most productive tailback in the history of the SEC and is still climbing the list. His backfield partner, Sony Michel, has over 3,000 yards of his own and is a terror catching the ball out of the backfield. Despite sharing carries with those two, true freshman D'Andre Swift has burst onto the scene and is averaging 7.4 yards a carry. Even Georgia's fourth- and fifth-string tailbacks, Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien, have 400 yards and three touchdowns between them. Georgia always has a tailback with fresh legs." - Radi Nabulsi,


Best position: OL

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.85

Overview: "There is little doubt that Notre Dame’s offensive line has been its greatest strength this season. It struggled in Notre Dame’s devastating loss to Miami, but the unit has been one of the nation’s premier groups throughout the season. Notre Dame rushed for at least 318 yards in seven of its 10 games this season, and it hasn’t mattered which running back it put in the game. Notre Dame has had four different players rush for at least 100 yards in a game this season, and that is because the line has stayed consistent all season long.

"Left tackle Mike McGlinchey has graded out as one of the nation’s best blockers, and left guard Quenton Nelson has dominated all season in a way that no Notre Dame lineman has done in decades. Considering Brian Kelly has produced a pair of first-round picks and a second-round pick up front in five years, that’s saying something." - Bryan Driskell,


Best position: DL

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.82

Overview: "Ohio State’s defensive line is one of the best positions in football in my opinion with so much depth and talent under line coach Larry Johnson. With players like Nick Bosa, Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes at defensive end, the Buckeyes have two sets of playmakers that could result in that big change of momentum at any time. The interior line has played very well with Tracy Sprinkle, Dre’mont Jones and the return of Mike Hill midway through the season. One of the biggest concerns is that some of the star players are not seeing enough snaps in games and if that might have happened in Ohio State’s two losses as the defensive line was largely a non-factor in both games." - Kevin Noon,


Best position: RB

Average Rivals Rating of players on the roster at the position: 5.72

Overview: "Penn State’s strongest position is probably the only one beside quarterback that really can’t be easily appreciated for its depth, that being at running back with Saquon Barkley as the program’s undeniable star. No one would argue that his backups should be seeing more reps in the face of the team’s struggles running the ball this season, largely because it’s understood the significant impact he makes on opponents with or without the ball in his hands. But that doesn’t change the reality that in Miles Sanders the Nittany Lions have a high-level back in his own right, plus Andre Robinson’s unique talent and redshirting true freshman Journey Brown turning heads this fall. When Barkley goes to the NFL after this season, Ricky Slade will only keep that room crowded and competitive for the 2018 season." - Nate Bauer,