CFP Rankings: Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon ranked top 4


The first edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was revealed on Tuesday evening, and it was arguably one of the most difficult versions to predict. To the surprise of nobody, Georgia chimed in at the No. 1 spot while Alabama, Michigan State and Oregon -- who sits one spot ahead of No. 5 Ohio State, proving head-to-head results do matter -- rounded out the top four.

Cincinnati became the highest-ranked Group of Five team in CFP history at No. 6, which undoubtedly will put a big target on its back for the rest of the season. But the fact that they are four spots behind their placement in the AP Top 25 will surely not sit well with the Bearcats

So where did the committee miss the mark? Here are the overrated and underrated teams in the first College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2021 season.

Overrated -- No. 2 Alabama

So ... we're back on the eye test, are we? Look, Alabama might be the second-best team in the nation based on talent, but resume and results matter. Well, at least they should. 

The truth is that Alabama's two top-25 wins over Mississippi State and Ole Miss are solid, but the loss to No. 14 Texas A&M should negate at least one of those. The Tide narrowly escaped the clutches of a very mediocre Florida squad and entered the fourth quarter against Tennessee up only one score.

Michigan State just knocked off the seventh-ranked team in the nation (Michigan), and has looked like a complete team all year. Oregon has a top-five win over Ohio state on the books. Yeah, the Pac-12 is dreadful, but a road win against a top-five team should matter more than the committee suggests.

Alabama is No. 2 because of its brand. It might end up being the second-best team in the nation in a month, and still might win the national title. But it does not deserve to be there right now.

Underrated -- No. 8 Oklahoma

No team outside of Georgia has proven that it's a complete football team. Yet it seems like the Sooners aren't getting any love due to style points despite the fact that coach Lincoln Riley fixed the glitch. Well, at least one of them. 

Caleb Williams has replaced Spencer Rattler -- the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy -- after Rattler's early-season inconsistencies. Williams has provided a spark and the Sooners look much more like a playoff team now than they did in September. If September style points matter, fine. But Oklahoma addressed a pressing issue, fixed it and has done so without a loss. The last time I checked, wins and losses should matter, especially when you put Oklahoma's in proper context.

Overrated -- The Big Ten West

Head-to-head results obviously matter since Wisconsin is above Iowa, but should either of those teams -- or Minnesota -- even be considered. Not at this point. Iowa's offensive flaws are irreparable, Wisconsin has three losses and Minnesota lost to Bowling Green.These three are in while UTSA, Houston, SMU, Louisiana and Coastal Carolina aren't? Nope. There's no sales job in the world that would make me buy that kind of nonsense.

It's almost like ... and just hear me out ... the committee is trying to prop up the Big Ten as much as possible in order for one of its powers to find its way in. Just a thought.

Underrated -- UTSA

The Roadrunners are 8-0 and ranked No. 16 by the AP Top and No. 18 by the Coaches Poll. Why? The unblemished record for one, but also recognition of a program that deserves at least a small spotlight. No, outside of the road win at Memphis, there isn't a reason to be impressed by the schedule at all.

But why does it matter? There isn't a realistic scenario that would result in UTSA making the CFP, and only the weirdest of landscapes would result in it getting the Group of Five spot in the New Year's Six. Committee members aren't supposed to look ahead and simply rank teams based on what they've already accomplished. They're still human, though. They know what kind of history -- or lack thereof -- UTSA has as a program. 

Give the Road Runners a little credit even if you don't truly mean it. A disingenuous "bless your heart" is all I'm asking. UTSA can (and should) be able to use this season's success as a recruiting tool, and a top-25 ranking is something it's earned. 

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