There is but one guarantee when the College Football Playoff committee unveils its first rankings of 2021 on Tuesday night.

Somebody will be angry. The only question is whom.

OK. Maybe there’s a second guarantee. You can take this week’s AP Top 10 and throw it out.

In the previous 6 years, the initial CFP Top 10 has never matched that week’s AP poll. So odds are some fans that went to bed Monday night thinking they were in the Top 4 will be amongst the hopping mad.

Will a B1G fanbase be among the hopping mad?

Can the CFP committee really rank Ohio State ahead of Oregon?

Ever since Oregon’s Week 5 overtime loss at Stanford, the Ducks have been behind Ohio State in the AP poll despite owning a head-to-head win over the Buckeyes on Ohio State’s home turf.

The Ducks also sport a second win over a team currently in the AP Top 25 — No. 25 Fresno State. Ohio State’s lone Top 25 win came against a Penn State team hurtling in the wrong direction just this week. And given the number of false starts the Buckeyes committed in front of a home crowd, it’s reasonable to wonder if that outcome would have been different in Happy Valley. Ohio State’s 10 penalties for 74 yards might have been in the neighborhood of 15 for 100 on the road.

There’s pretty much no way to dissect Ohio State’s resume and claim that it is better than Oregon’s right now. Fortunately, closing the season with Michigan State and Michigan will allow the Buckeyes to potentially bridge that gap while Oregon closes with a very weak slate with the exception of Utah.

Will Michigan State be in the Top 4?

Georgia is secure as No. 1 in the country. The Bulldogs look like a historically great machine in the way LSU was in 2019, only with the primary strength being on the other side of the ball.

The matter of who should be No. 2 will be the most interesting debate.

Cincinnati inhabits that spot in the polls, but we don’t need to remind you that no Group of 5 team has ever reached the Playoff. However, few Group of 5 schools can boast of 11-point road wins over Top-10 opponents, which is something Cincy has done against Notre Dame.

The Bearcats have looked human against Navy and Tulane the past 2 weeks, but guess what? It’s tough to win on the road regardless of conference affiliation. And they ultimately did win. Fellow unbeaten Oklahoma has required a great escape nearly every week regardless of venue. It’s hard to see the Sooners having any argument for No. 2.

That leaves Cincinnati and Michigan State in the battle for the second seed.

Reading the tea leaves, there’s reason to believe the committee will favor the Bearcats. Both have Top 10 wins, but as mentioned earlier, Cincinnati went on the road and showed Notre Dame who was boss. Michigan State had to rally from 16 points down for its win over Michigan.

The two schools also share a mutual opponent in Indiana. The Hoosiers battled both teams tough, but ultimately Cincinnati’s 38-24 win looks more impressive than MSU’s 20-15 victory.

My expected College Football Playoff rankings

Since the number 12 is being bandied about in college football like it is sponsoring an episode of “Sesame Street,” I’ll play along. Instead of merely giving you a Top 10, I’ll break down how I expect the Top 12 to look tonight.

Outside looking in

  • 12. Baylor (7-1)
  • 11. Oklahoma State (7-1)
  • 10. Wake Forest (8-0)
  • 9. Notre Dame (7-1)
  • 8. Ohio State (7-1)
  • 7. Oregon (7-1)

First 2 out

  • 6. Michigan (7-1)
  • 5. Alabama (7-1)

Top 4 teams

  • 4. Oklahoma (8-0)
  • 3. Michigan State (8-0)
  • 2. Cincinnati (8-0)
  • 1. Georgia (8-0)