ookie tight ends, however, do not typicain
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Texas A&M was ranked fourth behind Alabama, Clemson and Michigan in the seasons first College Football Playoff rankings.The Aggies (7-1) surprisingly were a spot ahead of unbeaten Washington on Tuesday night 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&Ms strength of schedule.Ohio State was sixth and Louisville was seventh.In the first two seasons of the College Football Playoff, only one team each season made the committees initial top four and the final four.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.A look at what matters in the rankings and what they mean moving forward:DONT PANIC HUSKIESSelection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt, Texas Techs athletic director who is now in the role that Arkansas AD Jeff Long held the first two seasons of the CFP, made it clear Texas A&Ms 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.We had a lengthy discussion on the spot, Hocutt said. Washington is a well-balanced team and they had a good win on the road against Utah. But in the committees mind Texas A&M 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 committees 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.A prediction: If it comes down to Pac-12 champion Washington at 12-1 and Texas A&M at 11-1, the Huskies will get that spot. Now if Alabama were to be the 11-1 team instead of A&M that would be a different story.CARDINALS PROBABLY SHOULD PANICLouisville (7-1) will need two losses from Clemson to have a chance to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Because that is probably not happening, the Cardinals are hoping to be impressive enough to get into the top four without a conference title.The first rankings do not look promising for Louisville.Hocutt again cited strength of schedule when talking about Louisville. The Cardinals only victory against a winning team was against Florida State, a 63-20 win that very well might rate as the best singular performance by any team this season. The Cardinals next most notable game was a close loss at Clemson.Want to call out the committee? Michigan at No. 3 is benefiting from home victories against eighth-ranked Wisconsin, Colorado and Penn State, No. 12 in the rankings thanks to upsetting Ohio State. However, using the Sagarin Computer ratings, Michigans strength of schedule is 49th in the nation. Louisvilles is 52nd. Washington is 69th.The Cardinals have games remaining against Wake Forest, Houston and Kentucky, all winning teams but none ranked.The takeaway for Louisville: The Cardinals will need a ton of help to get in the playoff.MARGIN OF VICTORYHocutt pointed out the committee does not look at margin of victory, which is sort of ridiculous.The conference commissioners who set up the playoff protocol get hung up on the idea of not encouraging teams to run up the score, so there is no margin of victory metric. But there is no way the committee can evaluate teams properly while looking only at a W or L and not the final score.GROUP OF FIVEUnbeaten Western Michigan at No. 23 is the highest ranked team from the Group of Five, just ahead of Boise State at 24. The Broncos probably cant afford even one loss, but if they can make a perfect run to a Mid-American Conference title, a Cotton Bowl bid likely awaits. Wholesale Chiefs Jerseys Free Shipping . 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Its also because of how quickly he moves, how explosive he acceleratesHigbee is a rookie tight with the Los Angeles Rans who runs like a wide receiver, which he used to be. The former Western Kentucky star has strong but soft hands that seem to pull in everything thrown this way.And more and more as the Rams work their way through training camp, quarterbacks are throwing his way. Higbee is already getting playing time with the starters, and making consistent use of the opportunity. Whether its starting quarterback Case Keenum or rookie star Jared Goff, the ball is coming to Higbee, and Higbee is consistently making the catches.Hes almost demanding attention.He did it once he walked off the bus at the airport, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Friday. He just went out and made plays.The impressive thing about Tyler is that he was still coming off a rehab for his knee at (offseason workouts) and we backed him down. He got into great shape this summer. Hes doing the things we expect him to do. A big target, big frame, makes catches. A good red zone target for us.Higbee was taken in the fourth round. Last season at Western Kentucky, he caught 38 passes for 563 yards and eight touchdowns, despite missing most of six games because of the knee injury that required offseason surgery.His talent had many pegging him as a second-round pick, but then he was arrested April 10 after a fight outside a bar in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on suspicion of second-degree assault, evading police and public intoxication. His next court hearing is scheduled in September.The Rams vetted Higbee and took the gamble. On the field, he is looking like he could have a big payoff.Tyler has the potential to play very, very early for us and be a big time part of our offense, Fisher said.After the first week of camp, Higbee looks exceedingly comfortable and not at all like some wide-eyed rookie.Its football, Higbee said. Im comfortable on the football ffield.dddddddddddd I enjoy playing. I love the game. The Rams had the NFLs worst passing game last season. They first tried to address that need by taking Goff with the first pick at quarterback. They had to trade away the rest of their early selections to move up in the draft and did not get another pick until taking Higbee in the fourth round.They later took two wide receivers and another tight end. Rookie tight ends, however, do not typically earn early playing time.The hardest adjustment from their standpoint is blocking, Fisher said. Most of them line up against the defensive end in the run game. And thats not an easy thing to do. You dont just come into the National Football League and dominate the line of scrimmage. It takes time, it takes strength, it takes technique.Higbee said Western Kentucky was more prone to the pass, but he appears a willing student of the blocking game.Just trying to get better every day, he said. Some of the things as far as technique-wise are new to me, but as far as everything else Im just trying to listen to veteran guys and my coaches and try get better.Higbee caught a touchdown pass from both Keenan and Goff at the end of Fridays practice, once going high to pull down the reception, once pulling it away from a defender.Game notes Lakers coach Luke Walton visited with Fisher on Friday and took in the practice. I was real impressed he wanted to come down and see what we do, Fisher said. We got to spend a lot of one-on-one time together. It was very impressive from my standpoint to have an opportunity to learn his world and he got an opportunity to learn our world. ... Former Angels left-hander Chuck Finley also was at the practice. ... Cornerback E.J. Gaines, who missed all of last season after foot surgery, missed practice with a sore hamstring. ... Goff had another up-and-down day. He made some nice throws, but also threw two interceptions. 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