Week 5 of the 2021 college football season is in the books, and ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit has a new top four heading into October.
Herbstreit revealed a slightly different ranking on Sunday. Alabama and Georgia were relegated to Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, but there were some newcomers at Nos. 3 and 4. Oregon dropped completely off the list after their first loss to unranked Stanford. The Iowa Hawkeyes finished third, fresh off a dominating win on the road against Maryland to improve to 5-0 on the season. The Cincinnati Bearcats finished fourth after defeating Notre Dame to go 4-0. Penn State, which easily dispatched Indiana yesterday, and Oklahoma, which finally defeated longtime annoyance Kansas State, were just missing the cut. They were his next two choices. Obviously, there was a lot of disagreement in the comments and retweets.
No no no. Cincinnati is a nice story, but they are not a top 4 team.
— Jason Geist (@jgeist03) October 3, 2021
@KirkHerbstreit if Cincy wins out, do they deserve a shot in the playoffs if the other top 5 are undefeated as well?
— Randall Peterson (@Phxsun_08) October 3, 2021
Surprised by @PennStateFball slip after beating Indians 24-0, a team Cincy gave up 24 points to.
— Max Zietz (@MaxZietz) October 3, 2021
Iowa travels to Kinnick Stadium to face Penn State, looking for their first win there since 2010. Because this is an inter-division matchup, the loser will not necessarily be out of the Big Ten title race. However, it will have far-reaching implications on a national scale.
As for Cincinnati, they have only winnable AAC games left to play until the end of the season. With just one loss, they’ll be out of contention for the national championship. However, if Luke Fickell and the Bearcats win the AAC Championship Game undefeated, the Selection Committee will be faced with a difficult decision.
Is Kirk Herbstreit’s top four ranking correct?