- Rankings in team bios reflect previous week’s Selection Committee rankings.
- Lines listed are current Bet MGM lines at time of writing.
1. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (11-0) PREV: 1
No surprise here. The Bulldogs obviously retain the top spot after a 56-7 victory over Charleston Southern. Georgia spread the QB duties around between Bennett, Beck & Daniels, giving all 3 at least 10+ pass attempts. That is a nice luxury to have for a head coach when you are up by 49 in the 2nd quarter. The Bulldogs play rival Georgia Tech on the road this week. The Yellow Jackets are 3-8, and Georgia should be able to dismiss them with ease. I’m sure they are looking ahead to the SEC Championship Game against Alabama, which has officially been set, but they should make sure they handle their business against the Yellow Jackets first. A strong finish to their regular season could go a long way in keeping them in the Top 4 should they fall to the Tide.
NEXT GAME: 11/27 @ GEORGIA TECH
LINES: GEORGIA -35.5 / 54.5
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (10-1) PREV: 2
No surprise here either, I’m sure. Alabama locked up the SEC West with a 7-point win over Arkansas. The game was closer than Alabama wanted, but they got the job done and will have a chance at winning yet another SEC Championship. However, they have business to tend to at Auburn first. Alabama is a 20-point favorite, but this is one of the most heated rivalries in college football, so you know Auburn is going to get up for this one. The Tigers would relish the role of spoiler against their hated in-state rival.
NEXT GAME: 11/27 @ AUBURN
LINES: ALABAMA -19.5 / 55.5
3. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (10-1) PREV: 5
I am sure Buckeyes fans are exuberant about the team who handed them their only defeat are now out of the way. Oregon’s loss to Utah means Ohio State is no longer teetering on the playoff bubble. As if that weren’t enough, Ryan Day’s squad bolstered their résumé in a BIG way on Saturday, allowing them to leap-frog Cincinnati in our rankings. Seventh ranked Michigan State entered Columbus on Saturday with playoff aspirations of their own. The Buckeyes quickly erased those kinds of thoughts in an absolute merciless fashion. It is not often that the #7 team in the country is a 20-point underdog. This led the Spartans to be the most-bet team on Saturday… well, that was a bad idea. Ohio State showed why they were such large favorites, as they dissected the MSU pass defense. This game felt over just 7 minutes after kickoff. Ohio State used their vaunted receiving corps to put up an astounding 49-0 lead at halftime, with QB CJ Stroud throwing for 6 TDs in the first 30 minutes. However, they will not have time to savor this victory, as they will now travel to Ann Arbor to take on #6 Michigan in the 2021 edition of “The Game”.
NEXT GAME: 11/27 @ #6 MICHIGAN
LINES: OHIO STATE -8.5 / 63.5
4. CINCINNATI BEARCATS (11-0) PREV: 4
I have the Bearcats holding at #4 in our rankings despite an impressive win over SMU. Cincinnati performed at a playoff team caliber, but the Buckeyes victory was far too overwhelming to not bump them up above Cincy (sorry, Bearcats fans). But on the bright side, Oregon’s loss helped cement them in the Rahl Reviews Top 4, and it should allow them to climb into the Selection Committee’s Top 4 – and that is what matters most. There’s even more good news for Cincy. I have them sandwiched between Ohio State & Michigan, and I expect the Selection Committee will as well. With Michigan & Ohio State playing each other this week, Cincinnati should control their destiny for a playoff spot. Now that may be easier said than done, as they will play 7-4 East Carolina on the road this week, and ECU would just love to ruin the Bearcats’ playoff hopes. Assuming Cincinnati leaves North Carolina unscathed, they will still need to defeat Houston in the AAC Championship, which will be no easy task. Since losing their season opener to Texas Tech, the Cougars have ripped off 10 straight wins and will enter the AAC title game looking to secure a more prestigious bowl berth with a victory. Cincinnati’s path to the playoff is clear, but it is not easy to play with a target on your back.
NEXT GAME: 11/26 @ EAST CAROLINA
LINES: CINCINNATI -14 / 58.5
5. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (10-1) PREV: NOT IN TOP 6
Michigan’s loss to Michigan State, a game in which they blew a 16-point second half lead, was a stinging blow. It ruined the Wolverines’ perfect season, and at the time it felt as if it knocked them out of playoff contention – that is not the case. Despite the loss, the Selection Committee placed them above Michigan State after the Spartans’ own perfect season was wrecked by Purdue a week later. Going into their final regular season game, I have them at #5 and I expect the Committee will as well. A win over Ohio State this week will put them in the Big Ten Championship and will assuredly vault them into the Top 4. The winner of Ohio State vs Michigan will certainly be the favorite in Indianapolis, so the biggest rivalry in college football is going to be a little bigger this year, as “The Game” will practically be a playoff game.
NEXT GAME: 11/27 vs #4 OHIO STATE
LINES: MICHIGAN +8.5 / 63.5
6. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (10-1) PREV: NOT IN TOP 6
For me, this spot came down to Oklahoma State and Notre Dame. I expect the committee will have one of those teams at #6 as well. In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with either. Both teams have 10 wins and 1 loss, and their scoring differentials are separated by just 0.8 points. Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State is probably a little worse than Notre Dame’s home loss to Cincy considering the down year the Cyclones are having. However, I opted with Oklahoma State in this spot for one reason – their wins are more impressive than Notre Dame’s. The Irish only have 1 win vs a ranked opponent – a neutral field victory over Wisconsin. Back at the end of September, Oklahoma State rattled off 3 straight wins vs Top 25 opponents, one of which was on the road. They also have impressive road wins against Boise State and West Virginia, who both boast a home environment that is difficult for road teams. It also helped that the Cowboys are the team with the slightly higher scoring differential. It will be tough for the Pokes to get into the playoff, but it is not impossible. First, they need to take care of things on their end. Bedlam is this week. A win over a ranked Sooners team will strengthen their case. Then they will need to follow that up with a win in the Big 12 Championship Game, which should be yet another ranked win to add to the list. Winning those 2 games is a necessity, but Oklahoma State will most likely still need outside help because I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Selection Committee put in a 2-loss Alabama team if they lose a close one in Atlanta – but that’s just my opinion.
NEXT GAME: 11/27 vs #13 OKLAHOMA
LINES: OKLAHOMA STATE -4 / 50.5