November 4, 2021
We head into week 10 of the College Football season this weekend with only a few games left for teams to make a final push to improve their bowl positioning.
There are not any big top ten matchups this weekend but with 8 teams in contention for the 4 College Football Playoff spots each game in an audition to impress the CFP Committee
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The first CFP rankings were released Tuesday night and there were a couple of big surprises that indicate the committee has started to change the way they vote over prior years.
Cincinnati was thought to be a no-brainer to be included in the top 4 during the first rankings due to their undefeated record and #2 overall AP ranking. College Football Playoff Chairman Gary Barta pointed to Cininatti’s weak schedule as a reason that they sit in the 6 spot and noted their only win was over Notre Dame.
Cincinnati does not have anyone left on their schedule that would likely impress voters so unless absolute chaos happens the Bearcats are likely to be left out of the playoff picture despite finishing undefeated.
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Michigan State was not in the top ten of the AP rankings last week but shot up to the top 5 and number 3 in the first CFP rankings after their impressive win over Michigan. Kenneth Walker III had a huge day with 5 TDs in the big 37-33 rivalry win that has the Spartans in great position to make the CFP or end up in the Rose Bowl. The Spartans head to Ohio State in week 12 but even if they lose a close game they could be considered for the 4th CFP Spot or be looking at a Rose Bowl appearance as a consolation prize.
Oklahoma was another team that looked like a no-brainer to be included in the top 4 but they are slotted at number 8 in the first CFP rankings. Oklahoma is undefeated on the season and has a chance to help their resume this weekend with a road test against 12th ranked Baylor. Oklahoma then hosts Iowa State and heads to Oklahoma State for their rivalry game. Oklahoma will also have an opportunity to improve their resume by playing another tough opponent in the Big 12 Championship game. If Oklahoma finished up 13-0 it will be difficult to see a scenario where they will be left out of the College Football Playoff.
Wake Forest is quietly sitting at 8-0 in the ACC and has a really good chance of finishing up their regular season undefeated. The ACC is down this year and unless we have a crazy finish in the Big10 and the SEC, an undefeated Wake Forest is likely to be left out of the playoff picture.
Michigan State heads into what could be a trap game after their emotional win last week against a Purdue team that has played everyone close this year. Michigan State is only a 3 point favorite heading into this matchup which shows the respect the oddsmakers have for this Purdue squad. Kenneth Walker III is sitting at 4th in the Heisman odds and should have another big game against Purdue’s defense.
Auburn and Texas A&M got off to slow starts but have impressed in recent weeks and both teams still have an outside shot at winning the SEC West. The Aggies showed how talented they were in their big upset over Alabama and this should be a very physical game between evenly matched teams. I like Auburn to pull off the road upset and set up a winner take all Iron Bowl showdown against Alabama in the last week of the season.
The Heisman race looks like it will come down to one of the four players above who have the best odds with a few games to go. Bryce Young plays on the best team and has a few big nationally televised games to showcase his ability. Alabama will likely head into a big game against Georgia in the SEC title, and if Alabama can pull off the upset, Young has a great chance to win the award. If Kenneth Walker can finish with a few more 100-yard rushing games down the stretch I like his chances if Michigan State can finish 11-1 or better.