Mind of Mike: Thoughts on latest CFP rankings

Mike’s Mind is a scary place. Here are my thoughts on the third College Football Playoff ranking for the 2021 season.

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Alabama receiver Jameson Williams (AP Pictures)

I’ll start here with the Purple Tide. I thought to myself that Alabama is not the best one-loss program in the country. So who was it? My immediate answer was Ohio State. Then I wanted to punch myself in the face. Why? Last week I had an intense argument with a friend about how head-to-head matters more than anything, and by no means should the Buckeyes be ahead of Oregon if both have one loss, and there’s no way Michigan should be ahead of Michigan. Stay in the same scenario. And here I go against my own argument. The Buckeyes are simply better than Oregon now, as the Ducks haven’t really impressed since that win at Columbus and have a terrible loss against Stanford in their record. So as Stanford continues to be blown away by average teams and Oregon travels through win after win, I have to confess that I would have Ohio State ahead of the Ducks now. And, yes, the Buckeyes fought with Nebraska, but they only blew up giant killer Purdue while Oregon fought with Washington State. And now Michigan boasts a big road win over Penn State, and the loss to Purdue doesn’t look as good for Michigan State as it did a week ago. I guess head-to-head is important and all, but I’ll admit it’s not the beginning and end of all these college football finals rankings. I would have Ohio State at No. 3 and Oregon at No. 4.

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Baylor should probably be higher than No. 11, but the Big 12 will obviously get zero respect overall and the conference has little or no chance of making the final with Oklahoma State the highest ranked team at No. 9. Yes, the Cowboys . defeated Baylor head to head, but I expected the Bears to move a little higher after the dominant win over Oklahoma. Heck, I would put Oklahoma State and Baylor in front of Notre Dame. I think they are better teams. People just didn’t look at them enough.

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Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder

Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder (AP Pictures)

Cincinnati still remains at No. 5, and has a better chance than it did a week ago now that Oklahoma has fallen out of the ranks of the undefeated. I still think the committee will put two SEC teams in the final and the Buckeyes and Ducks will come in if they win. But every week things look a little better for the Bearcats. They have to beat SMU and East Carolina, and I don’t think there’s any way they should come in with a schedule force outside the top 100 in college football.

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Good to see some three-loss teams (and even a four-loss team) fight their way to the bottom of the Top 25. Wisconsin started 1-3, and now the Badgers have won six straight to return to the rankings. Mississippi State has four losses but so many quality wins that it must be there at the end of the rankings. A few weeks ago I complained about some two-loss teams at the end of these rankings, but at this stage quality wins can now be won.

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And finally, Wake Forest as a one-loss team is back in the top 10, but if the Demon Deacons were Clemson they would be in the top four. Convince me I’m wrong. I encourage you.

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