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The latest edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings were revealed Tuesday night, and it was rather chalky at the top. The top six remained the same with Alabama leading the way, followed by Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Florida. That much was expected.

The real intrigue entering Tuesday night surrounded undefeated Group of Five powers Cincinnati (which was off last week) and Coastal Carolina (which knocked off previously-unbeaten BYU).

What did the selection committee get right? Where was it off the mark? Let's break it down and name the most overrated and underrated teams in this week's rankings.

No. 8 Cincinnati -- Underrated

The Bearcats didn't play last week and, yet, found a way to drop one spot. Sure, it's only one spot. But if they have any shot of making the College Football Playoff, that one spot could be huge. That's why fans should be furious that CFP selection committee chair Gary Barta said that its fall to No. 8 is more of a compliment to Iowa State than a penalty to Cincinnati. One spot could mean the world. 

Coach Luke Fickell's squad is 8-0, has impressive wins over Army, SMU and UCF, and plays some of the best defense in the country. Not just the Group of Five … the country. Quarterback Desmond Ridder has accounted for 27 touchdowns (16 passing, 11 rushing), and the offense ranks 11th nationally at 6.94 yards per play.

It's not Cincinnati's fault that it had a scheduled off week on Dec. 5. I shudder to think what the committee will do to Cincinnati next week since its game at No. 24 Tulsa got canceled. It'll probably drop 10 spots "just because."

No. 7 Iowa State -- Overrated

I love Matt Campbell. I love Breece Hall. I love Brock Purdy. I love the five-star culture of the Cyclones. 

I'd also love to know on what planet ranking two-loss Iowa State above undefeated Cincinnati, one-loss Miami, one-loss Indiana and undefeated Coastal Carolina makes sense? It surely isn't this one. Two of those losses are to teams that the committee respects — No. 19 Louisiana and No. 22 Oklahoma State. But losses should matter, especially for a Cyclones team whose only signature win is over No. 11 Oklahoma. Sure, there’s a win over No. 20 Texas on its resume. But come on ... it’s Texas (more on that below).

A Group of Five team with two losses and only one top 25 win wouldn't sniff the top 10. There is, however, a one-loss Group of Five team with a top 10 win in the rankings. It's No. 19 Louisiana … which just so happens to be one of Iowa State's losses.

Group of Five fans like to refer to the CFP as the "College Football Invitational" rather than a playoff, and think that those four spots are reserved for Power Five teams. That's what is at play here.

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No. 13 Coastal Carolina -- Underrated

Coastal Carolina and No. 18 BYU flipped spots in the rankings after the Chanticleers' thrilling win over the Cougars on Saturday night. Or, to put it simply, the committee basically told Coastal Carolina that it's a "cute little story," but doesn't belong to be mentioned with the big dogs. 

Why is that, exactly? In addition to the win over a ranked BYU team, coach Jamey Chadwell's crew also handed No. 19 Louisiana its only loss of the season. That's two impressive top 20 wins. Where's the love?

The committee has basically made it impossible for Coastal Carolina to get a New Year's Six bid even if it does beat the Ragin' Cajuns again in the Sun Belt Championship Game. After all, it's not getting credit for doing it the first time around. 

Cincinnati can likely lose to Tulsa in the AAC Championship Game next week and still stay ahead of Coastal Carolina even if the Chanticleers run the table. 


  • No. 9 Georgia remains overrated considering its only win over a team that's over .500 is Auburn (5-4). That can change this week against No. 25 Missouri.
  • What has Texas done to be ranked No. 20?
  • As if it wasn't known before, the Pac-12 is essentially eliminated from the CFP even though it has two undefeated teams (No. 15 USC and No. 21 Colorado).