Week 5 of the 2021 college football season has come and gone, and ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit has given us a new top 4 heading into the middle of October.
On Sunday, Herbstreit revealed a slightly different ranking. Alabama and Georgia retained their respective spots as No. 1 and 2 respectively, but there were some new faces at No. 3 and 4. With Oregon suffering their first loss to unranked Stanford, they fell off the list entirely.
Taking the third spot were the Iowa Hawkeyes, fresh off a dominating win on the road against Maryland to go to 5-0 on the season. Coming in fourth were the Cincinnati Bearcats, who topped mighty Notre Dame to reach 4-0.
Naturally, there was plenty of disagreement in the comments and retweets. His inclusion of Cincinnati rubbed people particularly wrong considering that Penn State did better against the Hoosiers than the Bearcats did just one week ago:
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
Cincy above Penn State? Yikes.
— David (@_DC86) October 3, 2021
Fortunately for Kirk Herbstreit, his list and its viability among the fans will be put to the test next week. Iowa host Penn State at Kinnick Stadium, seeking their first win there since 2010.
The loser won’t necessarily be out of the Big Ten title race since it’s an inter-division matchup. But it will have huge implications on the national stage.
As for Cincinnati, they play nothing but winnable AAC games all the way through the end of the season. One loss and they are out of the national title conversation entirely.
But if Luke Fickell and the Bearcats win the AAC Championship Game as an undefeated team, the Selection Committee will have a huge decision ahead of them.
Did Kirk Herbstreit get his top 4 ranking right?
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