Believe it or not, there are only a few weeks left in the 2021 college football regular season.
Upheaval and upheaval has been a prominent scenario, but in Week 7 the picture of college football’s playoffs remained relatively unchanged.
The Iowa No.2 was the latest to lose in a 24-7 loss to the unsurpassed Purdue. How would the CFP committee rank candidates after seven weeks? We are not sure, but this is our best guess on how they should be stacked considering resumes. The perception factor must also be taken into account.
MORE: What To Expect In Next AP, Coaching Poll After Iowa Loss
The first round of CFP rankings will be published on Tuesday, November 2. Each week, Sporting News will break down the playoff picture based on the invitations received today. Future results are not projected:
Four in the college football qualifiers
1. Georgia (7-0)
Remaining time: Goodbye, against Florida, against Missouri, at Tennessee, against Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech
The Bulldogs opened up a sizable lead in the SEC East after beating Kentucky 30-13 at Sanford Stadium. Georgia’s defense continues to be history, and the Wildcats have been limited to 243 yards overall. Kentucky became the first team to score an offensive touchdown in the first half against the Bulldogs this year. Stetson Bennett replaced the quarterback again and tight end Brock Bowers became an All-American candidate with five catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs have a week off before facing Florida on Oct. 30.
2. Oklahoma (7-0)
Remaining time: in Kansas, against Texas Tech, Bye, in Baylor, against Iowa State, in Oklahoma State
The Caleb Williams era is here. The first-year quarterback dazzled on his first start, hitting 18 of 23 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-31 blowout against TCU. He added 66 rushing yards, including a thrilling 41-yard touchdown run. The Sooners looked like the full-fledged offensive machine promised in the preseason, and now there’s a different aura around Lincoln Riley’s side. Oklahoma beat a winning streak by one scoring with their most convincing win of the season, and the Sooners are clearly the team to beat in the Big 12. Oklahoma will likely go No.2 in the AP poll. Consequently.
3. Alabama (6-1)
Remaining time: v Tennessee, Bye, v LSU, v New Mexico State, v Arkansas, Auburn
Alabama responded to last week’s loss to Texas A&M with a 49-9 loss to Mississippi State. The defense recovered their mojo behind linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who had four sacks. Bryce Young (20 of 28 passes, 348 yards, 4 touchdowns) worked the passing game with the punch received 1-2 from John Metchie III (7 catches, 117 yards, TD) and Jameson Williams (2 catches, 77 yards, TD), and Brian Robinson added 73 rushing yards with three total touchdowns. The Crimson Tide have three wins over ranked opponents, and they will be the highest ranked one-loss team in any format. Unless Alabama lose a second game, they’ll be in the CFP.
4. Cincinnati (6-0)
Remaining time: at Navy, at Tulane, against Tulsa, at USF, against SMU, at East Carolina
Would the committee give Cincinnati the respect it deserves from the start? The Bearcats are set to post big numbers the rest of the season, and that was the case in a 56-21 blowout against UCF. The Knights had a first down in their first seven downs, and the Bearcats took a 35-7 halftime lead. Running back Jerome Ford also deserves the consideration of all Americans. He ran for 189 yards and four touchdowns. Ford has four games with at least 100 rushing yards and multiple touchdowns this season, and Cincinnati remains on track to force the CFP problem, and they need Notre Dame to keep winning.
5. Oregon (5-1)
Remaining time: at UCLA, against Colorado, at Washington, against Washington State, at Utah, against Oregon State
The Ducks escaped with a 24-17 win over Cal on Friday night in another close Pac-12 game. Travis Dye finished with 218 total yards and one touchdown as a new returning player, and the defense is getting healthier around point rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. Oregon have the biggest non-conference win of the season at Ohio State in Week 2, and head-to-head still counts. The Buckeyes, however, will be ranked higher than the Ducks in the AP poll. This is why there is no margin for error for the rest of the Pac-12 game.
6. Ohio State (5-1)
Remaining time: in Indiana, against Penn State, at Nebraska, against Purdue, against Michigan State, at Michigan
SN had the Buckeyes in the CFP in their last bowl screenings, and that’s where they’ll stay after the week off. As for what the path to the playoffs looks like, there is work to be done. Ohio State accumulates the victories against its Big Ten East competition, then they will have earned their place in the CFP mix. Anyone from CJ Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Chris Olave or Garrett Wilson could become Heisman’s finalist in the second half of the season. Who is going to stop this offense in the Big Ten? Two other teams in the conference are undefeated, but the Buckeyes should rely on the âeye examâ treatment knowing there is no signature win on the resume yet.
Four to watch
7. Michigan (6-0)
Remaining time: against Northwestern, at Michigan State, against Indiana, at Penn State, at Maryland, against Ohio State
The Wolverines used a week off to prepare for a brutal second-half schedule that includes trips to Michigan and Penn State ahead of the regular season referendum against Ohio State . The Wolverines rank in the top 15 for both offensive and defensive scorers, and this team looks like the 2016 and 2018 teams in terms of quality. The Wolverines have won wins against Washington, Wisconsin and Nebraska, but those teams are all 0.500 or worse. Michigan has won six straight games against Northwestern; this week’s opponent.
8. Michigan State (7-0)
Remaining time: Goodbye, against Michigan, at Purdue, against Maryland, at Ohio State, against Penn State
The Spartans came out on top in the second half to claim a crucial 20-15 road victory in Indiana. That’s what good teams do. Michigan State had just 57 total yards at halftime, but the defense forced three turnovers to fend off the Hoosiers. Kenneth Walker was limited to 85 yards, and Michigan State’s penalties (12 for 134 yards) are a major concern with the big tests remaining. this point. Bottom line: Michigan State is undefeated before a pass, and Michigan arrives in East Lansing on October 30. No one saw it coming in September.
9. Oklahoma State (6-0)
Remaining time: in Iowa State, against Kansas, in West Virginia, against TCU, at Texas Tech, against Oklahoma
The Cowboys came out of a two TD first-half deficit to beat Texas 32-24 on the road on Saturday, which should solidify their top-10 ranking. Jason Taylor II had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown that reversed momentum, and the Cowboys were tight in the second half with 19 unanswered runs. All signs point to an epic version of Bedlam that could have two installments in 2021. It’s the right place for Oklahoma State.
10. Iowa (6-1)
Remaining time: Goodbye, Wisconsin, Northwestern, vs Minnesota, vs Illinois, Nebraska
The Hawkeyes used their mulligans in the Big Ten. Purdue handed Iowa what they would call a “bad loss.” Boilermakers wide receiver David Bell finished with 11 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown, and the Hawkeyes lost their first Big Ten game. Purdue now heads the division, but the Boilers still play in the states of Ohio and Michigan. The Hawkeyes are still in the top 10 for teams based on a resume that includes three wins over ranked opponents. Iowa, however, must win, and that includes the potential Big Ten championship game. It is also possible that Ole Miss will end up there.