Final College Football Playoff Rankings for 2021 season released

By Kevin Kelley -

The final set of College Football Playoff Rankings for the 2021 season have been released by the selection committee, and Alabama finishes ranked first.

The Alabama Crimson Tide moved up two spots in the final rankings from third to first after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 41-24 in the SEC Championship game.

The Michigan Wolverines remained in second following their 42-3 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game. Georgia dropped to third following their loss, while the unbeaten Cincinnati Bearcats claimed the number four spot and the final spot in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

In those semifinals, top-ranked Alabama will take on fourth-ranked Cincinnati at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, while Michigan will battle Georgia in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Both games are slated for New Year’s Eve (Friday, Dec. 31, 2021).

Rounding out the top ten in the final College Football Playoff Rankings are Notre Dame (5), Ohio State (6), Baylor (7), Ole Miss (8), Oklahoma State (9), and Michigan State (10).

Check out the full CFP Top 25 rankings as well as the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six bowl game matchups below:

Final 2021 College Football Playoff Rankings

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


Goodyear Cotton Bowl
Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 | 3:30pm ET, ESPN
(4) Cincinnati vs. (1) Alabama
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
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Capital One Orange Bowl
Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 | 7:30pm ET, ESPN
(3) Georgia vs. (2) Michigan
Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL
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CFP National Championship
Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 – 8pm ET, ESPN
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
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Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 | 7pm ET, ESPN
(10) Michigan State vs. (12) Pitt
Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Ga.
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PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 | 1pm ET, ESPN
(5) Notre Dame vs. (9) Oklahoma State
State Farm Stadium – Glendale, Ariz.
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Rose Bowl Game
Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 | 5pm ET, ESPN
(6) Ohio State vs. (11) Utah
Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, CA
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Allstate Sugar Bowl
Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 | 8:30pm ET, ESPN
(6) Baylor vs. (8) Ole Miss
Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, LA
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Comments (2)

Kind of feels like they went out of their way to make sure Alabama and Georgia don’t play each other in back-to-back games, which I think is kind of dumb. I find it hard enough to accept that, with each conference having leeway to choose the “best team” from their conference, that 2 teams from the same conference should be in a 4 team playoff. (A 12-team playoff? Sure. Maybe even an 8 team playoff. But if you’re only giving 4 spots, they should come from different conferences since there aren’t any good way to prove whether a 2 loss team was just worse, or from a tougher conference in any given season.

Still, you think back-to-back rematches are boring? Same-conference finales are the worst.

This should be Alabama vs Georgia and Michigan vs Cincinnati to avoid that.

I hadn’t thought about that, but they could have been ranked so they don’t play each other in the first round.

Georgia was supposed to be unbeatable. Until they got beat.