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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | November 14, 2021

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: What the CFP top 25 might look like in Week 12

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The third College Football Playoff rankings for the 2021 season will be revealed around 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 16 on ESPN. This means all games played through Week 11 will be used for consideration. The rankings are determined by an 11-member selection committee.

Selection day for this season's playoff is Sunday, Dec. 5.

Based on an analysis of this season's results, plus past CFP rankings, I predicted what the third CFP rankings for the 2021 season will look like. These are predictions of what the College Football Playoff selection committee will do. They are not my personal rankings.

College Football Playoff rankings predictions: Top 25 for Week 12

RANK

school

RECORD

1 Georgia 10-0
2 Alabama 9-1
3 Oregon 9-1
4 Ohio State 9-1
5 Cincinnati 10-0
6 Michigan 9-1
7 Michigan State 9-1
8 Notre Dame 9-1
9 Oklahoma State 9-1
10 Oklahoma 9-1
11 Wake Forest 9-1
12 Baylor 8-2
13 Ole Miss 8-2
14 BYU 8-2
15 Texas A&M 7-3
16 NC State 7-3
17 Wisconsin 7-3
18 Iowa 8-2
19 Pittsburgh 8-2
20 San Diego State 9-1
21 UTSA 10-0
22 Utah 7-3
23 Arkansas 7-3
24 Houston 9-1
25 Auburn 6-4

Expect the top seven teams to remain the same

The teams ranked No. 1 through No. 7 in the Week 11 College Football Playoff rankings each won last week, by an average of 23.1 points. Other than No. 6 Michigan, which went on the road and beat a quality Penn State team by four points, every other team ranked in the top seven won by at least 14 points.

Another undefeated team falls

There are now only three remaining undefeated teams in the FBS after Baylor handed Oklahoma its first loss of the season in a 27-14 victory in Waco. The Sooners led 7-0 in the second quarter and never led again. They made another quarterback change, even if it was only a temporary one, as Spencer Rattler entered the game for Caleb Williams.

The Sooners, despite their undefeated record at the time, were ranked No. 8 in the Week 11 CFP rankings and now they'll join a crowd of one-loss teams in the top 15 that includes current top-four teams Oregon and Ohio State, but also Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest.

Where will the best two-loss teams be ranked?

There are enough undefeated and one-loss teams to fill the top 10 of the Week 12 CFP rankings, but there are some strong two-loss teams, such as Baylor and Ole Miss, both of whom defeated a ranked opponent over the weekend, that could be in contention for a top-10 ranking.

As is always worth a reminder, a two-loss team has never made the College Football Playoff, but the final CFP rankings will decide which teams play in a New Year's Six bowl and two-loss teams could also prove to represent decisive bullet points on a playoff team's resume.

Ole Miss has only lost to Alabama and Auburn — both on the road — while it has beaten Texas A&M and Arkansas. Baylor has defeated Oklahoma and BYU, while only losing to a now-top-10 Oklahoma State team and TCU.

The rankings of the Rebels and Bears won't impact the playoff race — at least not directly — but those are two of the more intriguing teams to follow during Tuesday night's rankings reveal.

Will Houston finally crack the top 25?

As it has for weeks, Houston holds sole possession of first place in the American Athletic Conference, as it has played one more conference game than undefeated Cincinnati and neither team has lost to an AAC foe. The Cougars are now 9-1 after defeating Temple 37-8 over the weekend.

Houston has won nine games in a row since losing to Texas Tech in its season opener. (For what it's worth, Texas Tech is now bowl-eligible after it knocked off Iowa State on a 62-yard field goal on Saturday.)

Cincinnati has been the only AAC team that has been ranked in the CFP rankings this season and while its road win over a top-10 Notre Dame team was impressive in the moment and continued to age well, the Bearcats would certainly benefit from playing (and beating) another ranked opponent, especially in the AAC Championship.

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