College Football Playoff Rankings 2021: Twitter Reacts to Final Reveal

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 5, 2021

Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) rushes for first down after a catch against Texas A&M defensive back Demani Richardson (26) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
Sam Craft/Associated Press

The four programs entered into the College Football Playoff did not come as a surprise to anyone who watched Sunday's final rankings release. 

The primary questions circled around the order of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, Georgia Bulldogs and Cincinnati Bearcats. 

Alabama's spot atop the playoff rankings was foreshadowed by its place at No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll. Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati followed the Crimson Tide in that order. 

The CFP rankings carried the same order as the AP poll, setting up top-ranked Alabama against No. 4 Cincinnati while No. 2 Michigan squares off with No. 3 Georgia. 

ESPN College Football @ESPNCFB

Ladies and gentlemen, we have your #CFBPlayoff teams. https://t.co/7gwxTGL1xN

Alabama beat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game to gain the No. 1 overall ranking. Nick Saban's team will head to Texas to play Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Eve. 

Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger pointed out the advantages of playing in Dallas instead of Miami for the Orange Bowl. He noted the decision was an easy choice for Alabama.

Ross Dellenger @RossDellenger

This was an easy choice for the Tide. https://t.co/JihqrBqGg6

Georgia has to wait until the CFB National Championship to get another shot at Alabama. The Bulldogs are headed to the Orange Bowl to face Michigan.

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde outlined how exciting both of the matchups could be on Dec. 31: 

Pat Forde @ByPatForde

2. Michigan 1. Alabama So it’s Tide-Bearcats and Wolverines-Bulldogs Love it. Bring it on.

Max Olson of The Athletic pointed out that any debate about Alabama facing Georgia again in the semifinal was not needed: 

Max Olson @max_olson

lol what is this debate? of course they didn't want an Alabama-Georgia semifinal

CFP committee chair Gary Barta broke down the differences between Alabama and Michigan for the No. 1 spot, per AL.com's Mike Rodak. 

Mike Rodak @mikerodak

CFP chair Gary Barta on why Alabama is No. 1: “Let’s begin with the game that was played last night. … Not only did Alabama beat Georgia, but the way they beat them — they controlled the game, pretty much from start to finish.” Also cites wins over Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Alabama's national semifinal opponent received the most praise on Selection Sunday, as Cincinnati became the first Group of Five team to qualify for the playoff in its current iteration. 

Cincinnati football's official Twitter account produced one of many celebratory tweets once the team's spot became official. 

Cincinnati Football @GoBearcatsFB

𝗪𝗘’𝗥𝗘 𝗜𝗡‼️ The #Bearcats are headed to the @CFBPlayoff for the first time 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿. https://t.co/ewCM56BP1F

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, whose only loss came to Cincinnati, was the first team out in Sunday's rankings. 

Notre Dame finished at No. 5, while the Ohio State Buckeyes moved up to No. 6 after the Oklahoma State Cowboys lost to the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Championship Game. 

Yahoo's Pete Thamel pointed out the heavy Midwestern footprint on the top part of the final rankings: 

Pete Thamel @PeteThamel

What a showing for upper Midwest football. No. 6 OSU, No. 5 Notre Dame and also No. 4 Cincinnati and Michigan. Big Midwest muscle flex.

Ralph Russo of the Associated Press and CBS Sports' Ben Kercheval were among the people questioning Ohio State at No. 6 over Baylor. 

Ralph D. Russo @ralphDrussoAP

Ohio State at six is interesting, but whatev...

Ben Kercheval @BenKercheval

wow baylor didn't even make it to the top six

Ohio State will play in the Rose Bowl against the Pac-12 champion Utah Utes, while Baylor is headed for a New Year's Six game.