The first batch of 2021 College Football Playoff rankings are out. Here’s the instant reaction for each of the committee’s picks for the top 25.
The first round of the 2021 College Football Playoff rankings are out. How did the committee do?
The CFP committee goes pick by pick by pick, meticulously debating and scrutinizing each spot. There’s a thought process behind every part of the ranking.
Before breaking down every pick …
No UTSA. In a bit of a stunner, the unbeaten Roadrunners – with a win over Illinois on the road – weren’t thrown a bone and didn’t make the Top 25 cut.
The one other whiff … Arkansas. If you’re going to give love and respect to 3-loss Wisconsin, then Hog wins over Texas and Texas A&M – and acceptable losses to Georgia, Ole Miss, and Auburn – should’ve been enough for the top 25.
No American Athletic Conference teams got in besides Cincinnati. Houston? SMU? Nope. Outside of a few Mountain West teams, the committee just thunder-dunked on the Group of Five schedules.
Apparently, the committee really, really paid attention to the schedules. It punished teams that didn’t have a slew of big wins over top teams, and it didn’t over-love the teams with just one great victory and not much else.
This isn’t bad. There’s always some nitpicking with these things, but as the opening run of the College Football Playoff rankings go, this was a strong first effort.
These get thrown out and it all starts over next week. Did you win your Power Five conference championship? Did you finish unbeaten or with one loss? That’s all that really matters. And with that, the reaction of every top 25 slot in the first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2021.
College Football Playoff Rankings Top 25 Reaction
25. Pittsburgh Panthers 6-2
The committee must of loved the wins over Tennessee and Clemson, but there wasn’t much of a punishment for losing to Western Michigan. It’s fine, but 8-0 UTSA probably should’ve slipped in here.
24. San Diego State Aztecs 6-1
This is all about the win over Utah. Beating Arizona isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s a Power Five road victory – there isn’t a whole lot more to go off of. The committee likely loved the great defense, and again, gave credit for the win over the Utes.
23. Fresno State Bulldogs 7-2
This is too low. It’s good that the committee got Fresno State in, and 23 really is fine considering one loss was to Hawaii in Honolulu, but the other loss was to Oregon. Winning at UCLA was good, beating Nevada was sneaky-great, and being the team that handed San Diego State its first loss was big.
22. Iowa Hawkeyes 6-2
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, okay, but this one is a bit rough considering how bad the Iowa offense is. The road win over Iowa State by ten and the victory over Penn State appeared to be enough to sneak the Hawkeyes in.
21. Wisconsin Badgers 5-3
This is a TON of love being given to one win over Iowa. For the committee, though, it’s about the team as a whole, and it has to like one of the best defenses in America for a team on a four-game winning streak. This one’s a tad questionable, though.