Only one set of rankings remains before the College Football Playoff selection committee unveils the genuine article on Sunday.
That doesn’t make Tuesday’s top 25 any less important than the previous polls, however. Indeed, none is as important as this penultimate set of rankings.
How the committee orders its top six could go a long way in deciphering what it thinks of the playoff-eligible teams heading into conference championship weekend. Georgia was the only certainty at No. 1; Michigan, Alabama and Cincinnati made up the rest of the top four, respectively. Where things got interesting was at Nos. 5 and 6, between 11-1 Oklahoma State and 11-1 Notre Dame, respectively.
The Fighting Irish ranked ahead of the Cowboys throughout the playoff rankings releases, finally falling behind in Tuesday’s rankings. Moreover, Mike Gundy and Co. have the benefit of playing on conference championship weekend while Notre Dame is idle. Should the Cowboys beat No. 9 Baylor on Saturday in the Big 12 championship game (securing their second top-10 win in as many weeks) it could be too much for the committee to ignore. How will Brian Kelly’s departure to LSU affect how the committee will view those teams?
There is, of course, always the chance of chaos, which has reigned supreme throughout the 2021 college football campaign. In that case, throw everything out the window and await the final rankings on Sunday.
Until then, here are the last set of CFP rankings to prime the committee’s final decision:
College Football Playoff rankings 2021
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CFP top 25 rankings from fifth CFP poll of 2021
|19||San Diego State||11-1|