AP pollsters are suckers for a good brand name, and more than a little fond of doing the least amount of work required when filling their ballots. (Which, to be fair, is a likely byproduct of being overworked and underpaid.)

So while we know that Saturday’s game between No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State is a big one — both teams come in 7-0 — this matchup also doesn’t pop off the page to the degree that it deserves.

Reverence for an Oklahoma team that hasn’t beaten anyone worth a hoot as well as 1-loss powers Alabama and Ohio State has prevented the Spartans and Wolverines from making this a Top-5 rather than just a Top-10 matchup.

Fortunately, we have reached the stage of the season where the AP poll is nothing more than window dressing. One week from today, the College Football Playoff committee will release its first set of 2021 rankings.

Barring a setback against Florida, Georgia will be No. 1. And the winner of the Michigan-Michigan State game will be No. 2. (Though given the wacky history of The World’s Largest Cocktail Party, we can’t discount the possibility that either the Spartans or Wolverines will be No. 1.)

It’s all about the resumes, baby.

The case against Cincinnati

I’ve got no bone to pick with Cincinnati being ranked second in the current AP poll. The Bearcats have proven their legitimacy over the course of 2 seasons, including their dogfight with Georgia in the Peach Bowl.

Cincy also did what it had to do, scheduling what looked like ranked road games at Indiana and Notre Dame to build its case. But that case grows considerably weaker after this week.

The Bearcats have been done no favors by Indiana, which has tumbled into the Big Ten’s cellar thanks to a mix of injuries and the nation’s toughest schedule. But even that won’t matter anymore come Saturday.

Whether it’s the Spartans beating the Wolverines or the Wolverines beating the Spartans, one of these teams is guaranteed to have a win over an opponent better than anybody Cincinnati has played.

And that holds true when you go down the line.

The case against Alabama

Alabama has a legit Top-10 win over Ole Miss, but the Crimson Tide also have a loss to Texas A&M’s backup quarterback that cannot be overshadowed if they don’t run the table the rest of the way.

With the Crimson Tide off this week, they will be leapfrogged by either the Wolverines or Spartans.

The case against Ohio State

To date, Ohio State’s best win is in the season opener against Minnesota. And given that Penn State is likely to be unranked after facing the Buckeyes this weekend, that will arguably remain the case.

With both Michigan State and Michigan remaining on the schedule, there will be an opportunity for Ohio State to work its way in front of both. But the CFP committee has been pretty consistent in assessing its rankings based on what has happened, not what might happen.

And on that note, we shouldn’t even expect to see the Bucks ranked ahead of Oregon in the initial CFP rankings. The committee is liable to give quite a bit of heft to the head-to-head result of the game, as well as the fact Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead was hospitalized for the Ducks’ overtime loss at Stanford.

The case against Oklahoma

I can’t believe this requires explaining. But given that the Sooners are somehow ranked ahead of both Michigan and Michigan State at this time, apparently it does.

Oklahoma held on for dear life in its season-opener against Tulane, which was moved from New Orleans less than a week before the game due to a hurricane. The Green Wave are 1-6.

The Sooners might not have beaten Nebraska without multiple special teams meltdowns by the Cornhuskers — though to be fair, the same can be said of Michigan State, so that one’s a push.

But that’s far from the only instance of Oklahoma playing below its weight class. The Sooners never led a 3-4 West Virginia team until kicking the winning field goal at the gun. They needed a total meltdown from Texas to beat the Longhorns.

And then there was the most recent escape against lowly Kansas, which required a piece of innovation from quarterback Caleb Williams so unheard of that it felt illegal.

If this team didn’t have “OU” on its helmets, it wouldn’t be ranked ahead of Wake Forest.

Speaking of…

The case against Wake Forest

It’s Wake Forest.