College Football Power Rankings: Young, Alabama Enters Bowl Season at No. 1

After a shocking SEC Championship game result, Alabama jumps the board to the No. 1 spot - with Georgia falling as a result. See where everyone stands heading into bowl season in our latest power rankings update.

Dec 7, 2021 • 15:05 ET • 5 min read
Bryce Young Alabama Crimson Tide college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Need some help with your college football bets? Well, our college football power rankings are here to help you make the tough decisions and find some added betting value — not to mention bragging rights for your favorite school. 

Check back each week for Andrew Caley’s updated power rankings, where he lists his Top 25 teams in college football, highlighting the risers, fallers, and maybe identifying some betting value in the futures market.

The regular season is over, and the College Football Playoff is set. Cincinnati makes history by becoming the first Group of Five team to make the field, but it was Alabama with the most impressive performance of championship week, dominating former No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship. So be prepared for a shakeup heading into bowl season.

Andrew Caley's college football power rankings

Rank (Last Week) Team AP Rank CFP Rank National Title Odds
1 (4, ↑ 3 ) Alabama 1 1 +120
2 (2, - ) Cincinnati 4 4 +1,600
3 (6, ↑ 3) Michigan 2 2 +700
4 (3, ↓ 1) Notre Dame 5 5 OTB
5 (1, ↓ 4 ) Georgia 3 3 +140
6 (5, ↓ 1) Mississippi 8 8 OTB
7 (11,  ↑ 4) Utah 10 11 OTB
8 (8, - ) Ohio State 7 6 OTB
9 (13, ↑ 4) Pittsburgh 13 12 OTB
10 (10, - ) Baylor 6 7 OTB
11 (13, ↓ 2) Oklahoma State 9 9 OTB
12 (12, - ) Michigan State 11 10 OTB
13 (15, ↑ 2) Oklahoma 14 16 OTB
14 (17, ↑ 3) BYU 12 13 OTB
15 (9, ↓ 6) Iowa 17 15 OTB
16 (14, ↓ 2) Oregon 15 14 OTB
17 (18, ↑ 1) NC State 18 18 OTB
18 (19, ↑ 1) Clemson 19 19 OTB
19 (20, ↑ 1) Wake Forest 20 17 OTB
20 (22,↑ 2) Arkansas 22 21 OTB
21 (23, ↑ 2) Texas A&M  23 25 OTB
22 (24, ↑ 2) UCLA NR NR OTB
23 (21, ↓ 2) Houston 21 20 OTB
24 (25, ↑ 1) Kentucky 25 22 OTB
25 (NR) Louisiana 16 23 OTB

Dropped out: San Diego State

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare updated national championship futures before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Making History: Cincinnati (2)

The Cincinnati Bearcats made history Sunday by becoming the first Group of Five program to qualify for the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats capped off their regular season with a 35-20 win in the AAC Championship Game over the No. 20 ranked Houston Cougars, covering as 10.5-point favorites.

The resounding win over a ranked opponent for a conference title sealed the deal for the Bearcats and was enough to convince the CFP committee that they belonged in the Playoff field following their perfect season, which included a victory at No. 5 Notre Dame.

Now, the true test begins as Cincinnati matches up against No. 1 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve. The Bearcats are getting plenty of respect from books at +13.5 considering the Crimson Tide were 18.5-20.5-point favorites against the likes of Texas A&M, Arkansas and, Auburn.

Keep on Rising: Utah (7)

It was a tough year for the Pac-12 as Utah ended up as the top-ranked team by the CFP committee sitting at No. 11. But that feels a little disrespectful to the Utes after completely dominating a former Top 4 team in the Oregon Ducks, twice in the last three weeks, including in the Pac-12 title game.

Utah will get a chance to prove it’s being undervalued when it takes on the Ohio Buckeyes in this year’s Rose Bowl. The Utes are 6.5-point underdogs for the matchup against the Buckeyes and they are exactly the type of team that has given Ohio State problems. Physical teams that can run the ball and play defense, like Oregon and Michigan. 

But what makes Utah dangerous is that quarterback Cam Rising brings them balance. Rising has thrown for 2,279 yards, 18 touchdowns, and five interceptions under center for the Utes, which gives them real value as underdogs in this matchup.

Dawgs Dominated: Georgia (5)

The Georgia Bulldogs looked like the best and most dominant team in college football all season long. But a date with the Alabama Crimson Tide changed everything in an instant.

Heisman favorite Bryce Young picked apart the vaunted Bulldogs defense, throwing for 421 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, in a game that ended up not being all that close, as Bama blew out Georgia 41-24 as 6.5-point underdogs.

But the Bulldogs will get a shot at redemption as they will take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Orange Bowl in one of the College Football Playoff semifinals. Georgia is favored by 7.5-points, but we’ve been here before.

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