Only 11 games remain to determine the final 2021 College Football Playoff pairings. In reality, only four of those will have a direct impact on how the selection committee orders its final four.
The SEC championship game between No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Alabama has the biggest impact of conference championship weekend. Following that, No. 2 Michigan and No. 13 Iowa face off in the Big Ten; No. 4 Cincinnati faces off vs. No. 21 Houston in the AAC; and No. 5 Oklahoma State takes on No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12.
Assuming chalk wins in those games (Georgia over Alabama, Michigan over Iowa, Cincinnati over Houston and Oklahoma State over Baylor) then the only real question the committee must ask is whether to place 11-1 Notre Dame into the playoff, or 12-1 Big 12 champion Oklahoma State. There’s also the matter of whether either of those teams jump Cincinnati in the last rankings, forcing the Bearcats to take on, presumably, the top-ranked Bulldogs.
Even a loss in any of those games — other than the SEC championship — creates a fairly easy problem for the selection committee to solve. A loss by Michigan would allow both Notre Dame and Oklahoma State into the playoff. A loss by Oklahoma State would move Notre Dame into the top four as well. What the committee doesn’t want to have to deal with, however, is No. 3 Alabama beating top-ranked Georgia.
How would the committee react to that situation? The Crimson Tide would have to be ranked No. 1 in the country by virtue of its victory. Then Georgia would fall in the rankings as well, likely to No. 3 or 4. Assuming chalk won out elsewhere, then the selection committee would have to parse through No. 2 Michigan, No. 4 Cincinnati and No. 5 Oklahoma State for two remaining spots. Who’s the odd team left out in that scenario?
Only time will tell if chalk wins out, chaos reigns or college football falls somewhere else between those two poles. Until then, here’s how to watch the final rankings unveiling of the 2021 college football season:
What time are the College Football Playoff rankings released?
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 5
- Start time: Noon ET
The College Football Playoff will unveil its final rankings at noon ET on Sunday, Dec. 5.
CFP rankings schedule 2021
Prior to Sunday’s College Football Playoff Selection Show, the rankings schedule featured four straight Tuesday releases, all at 7 p.m. ET, from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30. The final rankings will break from that schedule and air at noon ET the day after conference championship games are played.
Here’s a look at the entire schedule:
|Tuesday, Nov. 2||7 p.m.|
|Tuesday, Nov. 9||9 p.m.*|
|Tuesday, Nov. 16||7 p.m.|
|Tuesday, Nov. 23||7 p.m.|
|Tuesday, Nov. 30||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, Dec. 5 (Selection Sunday)||Noon|
*The Nov. 9 rankings were released between games at Champions Classic.
CFP selection show channel, how to watch
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.
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)
According to Sporting News’ latest Playoff picture, the projected top four teams consist of No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Cincinnati, with Oklahoma State (11-1) and Notre Dame (11-1) as the Nos. 5 and 6 teams, respectively. Those rankings stand to change after the championship games are played, especially considering Georgia and Alabama face off in the SEC championship game.