Last week, the College Football Playoff selection committee revealed its first rankings for the 2021 season.
This is a level of anticipation that Pierre Ingram knows all too well.
As a decorated recruiter and college coach, he has experienced firsthand the excitement (and pressure) that comes along with competing at college's highest level. Now, as an offensive coordinator in Japan for the Fujitsu Frontiers, he can watch from afar as a fan.
OAKLAND, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 22, 2021 / Yet he can still offer his insights. Using this expertise, Pierre Ingram breaks down the top six teams in the initial CFP rankings.
No. 1: Georgia
If defense wins championships, then there may be no stopping Georgia. The undisputed No. 1 seed ranks near the top in nearly every defensive statistical category. The Bulldogs boast the nation's second-best averages for rushing, passing, and total yards per game. The unit also leads the nation in points per game, allowing just 6.6 points through Week 11.
No. 2: Alabama
Since the playoff system began, the Crimson Tide has been a fixture. However, Pierre Ingram sees a glaring weakness that could derail their offense. Alabama simply doesn't block well, struggling to run the ball and protect its quarterback. Already tallying one loss, Alabama will need to plug these holes quickly before its season finale against No. 13 Auburn.
No. 3: Michigan State
Michigan State is here to crash the party. Despite starting the season unranked, the team debuted at No. 3 in the CFP rankings. Following a dramatic, come-from-behind win against rival No. 7 Michigan, the Spartans stumbled. The loss to Purdue (40-29) in Week 11 hurts. The team now desperately needs a win against No. 5 Ohio State on Nov. 20.
No. 4: Oregon
The playoff hopes of the Pac-12 rest with Oregon. As the conference's only entry in the initial CFP rankings, the Ducks will likely need to win out in order to stay relevant. Despite only one loss, Pierre Ingram expresses concern that the team has had trouble staying healthy thus far.
No. 5: Ohio State
Sitting at 8-1, the Buckeyes have one of the most challenging roads ahead. Ohio State still has to face No. 3 Michigan State and No. 7 Michigan. Ohio State's title aspirations lay with its offensive. The team has a roster loaded with firepower and has lit up the scoreboards, amassing 44.9 points per game. This ranks second amongst all FBS schools.
No. 6: Cincinnati
The biggest storyline after the first CFP rankings was the Bearcats' position at No. 6. Despite an undefeated record, Cincinnati finds itself on the outside looking in.
Pierre Ingram points to the team's lack of quality wins and poor strength of schedule as reasons for the lower ranking. Hoping to be the first Group of 5 schools to ever reach the playoffs, Cincinnati must stay flawless and hope someone ahead of them falters.
SOURCE: Pierre Ingram