The CFP committee released its first rankings of the 2021 season Tuesday night, setting the field for the race to the playoffs over the final handful of weeks to end the season. Pitt, despite not being ranked in this week’s AP or Coaches polls, checked in at No. 25.
November 2️⃣ #CFBPlayoff Selection Committee Rankings 🏈🏆
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 2, 2021
A Top 10 featuring a handful of surprises was also released, including a current playoff picture of Georgia facing off against Oregon in a battle of No. 1 and 2, and Alabama facing off against Michigan State in a battle of No. 2 and 3. Ohio State and Cincinnati, ranked fifth and sixth, are the top two alternates.
Two of the bigger surprises came with Cincinnati checking in at No. 6, after being ranked second in the week’s AP Poll, and Oklahoma checking in at No. 8, after being ranked fourth in this week’s AP Poll. However, Cincinnati’s No. 6 ranking is the highest for a Group of Five team in playoff era history.
Michigan, Oklahoma, Wake Forest and Notre Dame rounded out the Top 10 of the season’s first CFP rankings.
Wake Forest at No. 9 appears to be the only legitimate shot the ACC has at sneaking into the playoffs. At 8-0 and firmly in control of the conference, the Demon Deacons would need a lot of help to make the playoffs, but the chance is there.
North Carolina State, unranked in this week’s AP Poll, checked in at No. 19, and Pitt’s No. 25 ranking completed the ACC’s contingency in the poll.
NC State does not control its own destiny in the conference, sitting at 3-1 in the ACC behind unbeaten Wake Forest, while Pitt still controls its own destiny in reaching the ACC title game in December.
However, if Pitt were to knock off an unbeaten Wake Forest in the title game, the ACC would most certainly be left without a team in the playoffs. Anything could happen in the lead up to one of the most wide-open playoff races in recent seasons, but the ACC will likely miss out on the playoff this season.