Bowl Predictions 2021: Complete CFP Projections Following Week 10
There is no such thing as an easy week during the 2021 college football season—unless you are the Georgia Bulldogs.
While the top-ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings blew out another team Saturday, everyone else beneath it faced some sort of struggle.
The Alabama Crimson Tide, Cincinnati Bearcats, Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes were lucky enough to emerge from Week 10 with their playoff hopes intact. The Michigan State Spartans were not as lucky. They became the second ranked Big Ten team to lose to the Purdue Boilermakers this season.
Michigan State's loss opens up one of the top four spots in Tuesday's rankings reveal. The Spartans are not out of the postseason mix, but they have to beat Ohio State, Penn State and the Big Ten West champion to have a chance of making it.
The Spartans' expected drop should be the only major shuffle ahead of Week 11, and it sets the stage for Cincinnati to make a push to be the first Group of Five team to make the College Football Playoff.
College Football Playoff Projections
College Football Playoff
Orange Bowl (December 31): No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Cincinnati
Cotton Bowl (December 31): No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
New Year's Six
Peach Bowl (December 30): Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M
Fiesta Bowl (January 1): Notre Dame vs. Michigan
Rose Bowl (January 1): Michigan State vs. Oregon
Sugar Bowl (January 1): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Cincinnati
Georgia will be the unquestioned No. 1 team in Tuesday's rankings for the second straight week.
The Bulldogs tore through another SEC opponent Saturday, as it defeated the Missouri Tigers 43-6.
Kirby Smart's team has not allowed more than 13 points in a single game this year, and Missouri was the sixth foe that it has contained to single digits.
Georgia already has its spot in the SEC Championship Game secured. It has three games to tune up for a likely clash with Alabama.
Alabama failed to find any offensive consistency against the LSU Tigers at home Saturday night. Bama can win the SEC West, but it has not been impressive enough every week to contend with Georgia.
As for Cincinnati, it did not do itself any favors Saturday, as its game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane went down to the wire. The good news for the Bearcats is that most of the programs in front of them in the standings disappointed in victories as well.
Cincinnati is undefeated and has an opportunity to put up a ton of points on the South Florida Bulls in Week 11. South Florida was gashed for 54 points by the Houston Cougars in Week 10.
Luke Fickell's team still needs some help to get into the playoff, and Georgia is one of the teams it will be rooting for.
An Alabama loss to Georgia removes the Crimson Tide from the playoff discussion, and there is a chance Oregon or Oklahoma stumbles at some point given the tough teams in their respective leagues.
Oregon has to go on the road to face the Utah Utes in Week 12. The Ducks may have to play Utah again in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Washington State and Oregon State head to Autzen Stadium in November, and neither team will be an easy out for Oregon. The Cougars could jump to first in the Pac-12 North with a win over Oregon, and the Beavers are much improved from last season and will pose a significant test to their biggest rival.
As long as Cincinnati keeps winning, enough dominoes should fall in its favor that it should be one of the four playoff teams.
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
Ohio State is in the driver's seat to take the Big Ten championship and the playoff berth that likely comes with it.
The Buckeyes were far from perfect against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but they still emerged with a victory, which is something Michigan State can't say. Ohio State has a path to victory against the Spartans because of its abundance of offensive weapons and Michigan State's suspect defense.
The Spartans gave up 40 points to the Purdue Boilermakers one week after they allowed 33 points to the Michigan Wolverines.
Ohio State has to face upset-minded Purdue in Week 11 before it faces the Michigan schools in back-to-back weeks.
If the Spartans do not improve defensively, the Buckeyes can eliminate them from playoff contention and then focus on Michigan. The Wolverines were gashed for 37 points and five rushing touchdowns from Kenneth Walker when they fell to Michigan State.
C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Chris Olave and Co. could also wreak havoc on the Michigan defense.
Oklahoma sat back and watched some chaos unfold during its bye week, including the Baylor Bears' loss. The Sooners' Week 11 clash with Baylor does not look as good on paper now that the Bears have two losses.
If Oklahoma beats Baylor, it will likely have to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys two weeks in a row. Oklahoma's high-powered offense needs to figure out the Cowboys defense to avoid defeat during the potential back-to-back run.
Oklahoma hit the 50-point mark in three of its past four games, and its offense could be the unit that carries it into the College Football Playoff. Two wins over Oklahoma State and a dominant victory over Baylor should push up the Sooners from No. 8 in the coming weeks.