The College Football Playoff rankings may have taken a backseat to the coaching carousel — hello, Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly — but important storylines still remain to be played out on the field as opposed to meetings between boosters and coaches.
The second-to-last playoff rankings are set to be unveiled on Tuesday. Those top 25 teams could provide a glimpse into the minds of the playoff selection committee members as college football heads to its conference championship weekend.
It seems almost certain that the top four will be ordered, in some form, of Georgia — a certainty for the top overall spot — Michigan, Alabama and Cincinnati. Following that, the ordering of Notre Dame and Oklahoma State could indicate which team the committee prefers as its first one out. Why is that important?
Because if chalk wins on Saturday during the conference championship games (Georgia over Alabama in the SEC; Michigan over Iowa in the Big Ten; Cincinnati over Houston in the AAC; and Oklahoma State over Baylor in the Big 12) then that frees up only one spot between the Fighting Irish and Cowboys. Mike Gundy’s squad has the advantage of playing on conference championship weekend while Notre Dame remains idle, but there’s a path into the playoff for the Fighting Irish, with a little help.
Indeed, they only need one upset in any of the Big Ten, AAC or Big 12 championship games while avoiding a Crimson Tide win of the Bulldogs. Should that happen, then Notre Dame could very well make its way into the playoff for the third time.
The playoff picture is more in focus than it has been all season. Only conference championship weekend remains to see how the final rankings will come together. With that, Sporting News breaks down how to watch the fifth set of rankings:
What time are the College Football Playoff rankings released?
The College Football Playoff committee will unveil its fifth set of rankings for the 2021 season at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
CFP rankings schedule 2021
The penultimate College Football Playoff ranking show is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The CFP selection show will take place on Sunday — the day following conference championship games — at noon ET.
*The Nov. 9 rankings were released between games at Champions Classic.
How to watch CFP selection show
The rankings selection show will take place on ESPN and can be live streamed on the ESPN app. It can also be streamed via fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial.
TOP-10 LOSSES: Ohio State | Oklahoma
Projected CFP rankings: Who are the top four teams in college football?
1. Georgia (12-0)
2. Michigan (11-1)
3. Alabama (11-1)
4. Cincinnati (12-0)
Sporting News projects the top four teams in the fifth set of rankings will be No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Cincinnati. The first two teams out are projected to be No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1) and No. 6 Oklahoma State (11-1).
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