News and Analysis

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Ohio State Jumps Alabama, Cincinnati Into CFP Top Four

   DailyWire.com
CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 20: Alec Pierce #12 and Desmond Ridder #9 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Welcome to the party, Cincinnati. 

Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff committee released their latest rankings, and there has been some serious movement within the top four.

The College Football Playoff has been in existence since the 2014 season, and in the eight years since its inception, no team outside of the Power 5 conferences has found a way into the top four. We’ve had close calls, but Cincinnati’s argument is strong, beating a top-10 team on the road in Notre Dame and coming in sixth in the first release of the rankings. 

The Bearcats are now invited to the dance, at least for now, coming in at No. 4 following their impressive win over SMU and Oregon’s loss to Utah.

“I think it’s awesome, for our entire team, our community, our campus. But we stress to the guys that we have a ways to go,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said on ESPN’s rankings release show. “But the excitement about it is well deserved for a group that’s fought hard all year.”

Georgia is once again the No. 1 team in the land, with a game against in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday before their SEC Championship Game matchup against Alabama. 

The biggest move comes from Ohio State, jumping over Alabama for the No. 2 spot following an absolute shellacking of No. 7 Michigan State. The Buckeyes jumped all over Sparty early, taking a 49-0 lead into halftime. Alabama falls a spot to No. 3 following a tough win over a very good Arkansas team. 

“Two great teams, both Ohio State and Alabama. Both of them have Heisman Trophy candidates at quarterback. This past week, though, the dominating win over Michigan State certainly got the committee’s attention,” committee chairman Gary Barta said. “The offense of Ohio State, just total domination, and the defense is playing much better. And they’ve been playing better week after week. They beat Penn State, they beat Purdue.” 

“Alabama’s still a great football team. They have a wonderful win against Ole Miss. The last few weeks, just not showing as much domination on defense. So two great teams, but when the vote came down, Ohio State came ahead of Alabama.”

Alabama goes on the road to take on Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday. Auburn will be without quarterback Bo Nix, out for the season following ankle surgery. Ohio State faces its biggest test of the year Saturday, traveling to The Big House to play No. 5 Michigan, with the winner heading to the Big Ten championship game and the loser more than likely being knocked out of the playoff race. No two-loss team has ever made the CFP. 

“We work it year-round,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said when asked about the rivalry. “Every day we work it. We work it in the offseason. We work it on Fridays in the weight room. We have our sessions in the preseason and spring. We have meetings about it.

“We just constantly talk about it. And we talk about it in recruiting. The No. 1 goal here at Ohio State is to beat the Team Up North, period.”

Notre Dame comes in at six, needing help if they’re to be in the final four at the end of the year. 

“Notre Dame has been building momentum all year,” Barta said. “They are a terrific team, and they are highly thought of by the committee.”

Oklahoma State (7), Baylor (8), Ole Miss (9), and Oklahoma round out the top-10. OSU and Oklahoma play in their “Bedlam Series” Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

Take a look at the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings below. 

  1. Georgia 
  2. Ohio State
  3. Alabama
  4. Cincinnati 
  5. Michigan
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Baylor 
  9. Ole Miss
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Oregon
  12. Michigan State
  13. BYU
  14. Wisconsin
  15. Texas A&M
  16. Iowa
  17. Pittsburgh
  18. Wake Forest
  19. Utah
  20. NC State
  21. San Diego State
  22. UTSA
  23. Clemson
  24. Houston
  25. Arkansas

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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