There are three weeks left in the 2021 college football season, and the third edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night set the tone for the stretch run. The top of the rankings remained unchanged with Georgia, Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan and Michigan State taking the top seven sports, respectively.
After that, there was a bit of a shakeup as Oklahoma’s loss to No. 11 Baylor knocked the Sooners all the way down to the No. 13 spot. Meanwhile, No. 16 Texas A&M’s loss to No. 12 Ole Miss knocked the Aggies down five spots.
Where did the committee get it right? Where did it make mistakes? Let’s dissect the latest CFP Rankings.
The signature win for the Fighting Irish is over a three-loss Wisconsin team that, for some reason, the committee thinks is the 15th-best team in the country. After that, where’s the resume boost coming from? North Carolina? Purdue?
No. 9 Oklahoma State also has only one blemish on its resume, and it came at the hands of 11th-ranked Baylor. The loss? OK, yes, falling to unranked to Iowa State is worse than the Irish’s loss to Cincinnati. But the quality of a team’s losses, provided they aren’t totally egregious, shouldn’t cancel out quality wins.
Now let’s take a look at No. 10 Wake Forest. No, they don’t have the brand recognition of Notre Dame (or Oklahoma State, for that matter), but they have one of the best offenses in the game and topped No. 20 NC State last week. If you put Notre Dame uniforms on Wake Forest’s team, the committee would vault the Demon Deacons up two spots without batting an eye.
Notre Dame is getting better. There’s no doubt about that. But Oklahoma State and Wake Forest have been more complete teams this season.