The Tennessee Volunteers started the season unranked in the AP polls. Now, they own the top spot.

The Vols are ranked first in the initial College Football Playoff rankings of the season.

The Georgia Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in Sunday’s AP poll, and Tennessee was tied with Ohio State for the second spot, but the committee saw value in the Volunteers’ dominating, 44-6 win over then-No. 19 Kentucky.

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Jalin Hyatt of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland Stadium Oct 29, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Jalin Hyatt of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland Stadium Oct 29, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

The Buckeyes rank second, while Georgia is now third, followed by the Clemson Tigers. No. 5 Michigan and No. 6 Alabama, which lost to Tennessee earlier this year, are on the outside looking in for now.

This is the first time the Vols have been ranked No. 1 since their national championship win in 1999.

Head coach Josh Heupel of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide with a cigar at Neyland Stadium Oct. 15, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Head coach Josh Heupel of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide with a cigar at Neyland Stadium Oct. 15, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (Donald Page/Getty Images)

NO. 3 TENNESSEE DOMINATES NO. 19 KENTUCKY IN SEC SHOWDOWN

Tennessee has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, starting the season unranked in the AP poll and jumping out to an 8-0 start for the first time since that championship season.

The committee began its weekly in-person meetings at a hotel in Grapevine, Texas, Monday and revealed the first of six weekly rankings.

The Tennessee Volunteers celebrate after a game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium Oct. 8, 2022, in Baton Rouge, La.

The Tennessee Volunteers celebrate after a game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium Oct. 8, 2022, in Baton Rouge, La. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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The highest-ranked team from outside the Power Five conferences was Tulane at No. 19. The highest-ranked champion from the Group of Five conferences earns a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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