We’re getting closer and closer to the last College Football Playoff rankings as each week of the college football regular season passes us by. From there, we’ll get our final look at the rankings that matter after the spectacle that is the conference championship games.

So far, it’s been a pretty dramatic unveiling of the CFP Rankings with plenty to talk about and even more to question. In fact, your guess is as good as ours when it comes to when and where the CFP Committee will pull the trigger on the various guidelines it’s supposed to adhere to.

But hey, we know kind of what the baseline is, so we’re going from that each week and giving it our best shot when it comes to trying to predict and forecast what the collective minds will come up with each week.

Here’s our best prediction of what the CFP Committee will unveil for the third installment of the College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night.

Auburn (7-4)

Aug 31, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Auburn Tigers mascot Aubie the Tiger celebrates with cheerleaders after the victory against the Oregon Ducks at AT&T Stadium. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Look, we don’t like it, but for some reason, the CFP Committee has fallen in love with Auburn. The Tigers were ranked No. 17 before losing to Mississippi State, and it would be hard to fathom the Tigers dropping nine spots out of the Top 25. I hope we’re wrong, but for now, we’re keeping Auburn just inside the rankings.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-4)

Dec. 26, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A Mississippi State Bulldogs helmet on the field prior to the game between the Miami Redhawks and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Tropicana Field. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Look for the Bulldogs to jump into the rankings ahead of Auburn because of the head-to-head win this past weekend. The record isn’t great, but there are some decent wins in there. When all else fails, pick a team in sweet tea and grits country to round out the rankings right?

NC State Wolfpack (7-3)

Oct 30, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive players celebrate a turnover on downs by the Louisville Cardinals during the second half at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Wolfpack won 28-13. Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

NC State lost a close one to a ranked Wake Forest squad but still did enough to remain ranked. You could make the argument that the Wolfpack shouldn’t even drop, but the committee has not shown much respect to the ACC, so look for a bit of a tumble.

Arkansas Razorbacks (7-3)

AUBURN, AL – AUGUST 30: Arkansas Razorbacks mascot Big Red flexes during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on August 30, 2014, in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Why the ranking?

Arkansas didn’t look terribly impressive at LSU, but still got the win against a team that just gave Alabama all it could handle. Right or wrong, that will matter in the minds of the groupthink in Grapevine, Texas, so look for the Razorbacks to move up a spot at least.

Utah Utes (7-3)

Former Ohio State commit Clark Phillips on why he flipped to Utah

Former Ohio State commit Clark Phillips on why he flipped to Utah

Sep 14, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; A general view of the helmet worn by Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) against the Idaho State Bengals at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Utah outlasted Arizona on the road and that’ll be enough to keep the Utes from falling any. In fact, with the loss of a couple of teams ahead of them, they probably move up a spot.

UTSA (10-0)

Oct. 21, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; UTSA Roadrunners helmet on the turf after winning 20-7 against the Rice Owls. John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

UTSA finally got into the rankings last week and although they squeaked by Southern Miss on Saturday, the Roadrunners will most likely still be in the same neighborhood as last week.

San Diego State (9-1)

Dec 12, 2020; Provo, UT, USA; San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke talks to other coaches before an NCAA college football game against BYU Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. Mandatory Credit: George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

The Aztecs were ranked a spot lower last week and won a close one against Nevada Saturday. The committee thought enough of San Diego State last week to have them in the rankings, and that won’t change with another victory on Saturday.

Pittsburgh Panthers (8-2)

Nov 21, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi reacts on the field before playing the Virginia Tech Hokies at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 47-14. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Pittsburgh won again, this time against a pretty good North Carolina team that’s been a puzzling bunch. I think it’ll be enough to move up a spot as well because of the Purdue loss. There’s really not much reason to go further than that.

Iowa (8-2)

Nov 6, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Tyler Goodson (15) and Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Alex Padilla (8) celebrate after the touchdown in the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Iowa has quietly gotten its act back together after two back-to-back losses by stringing together two-straight wins. The Hawkeyes still have a shot to get to Indy if Wisconsin stumbles and they are a pretty solid bet to move up a spot or two from last week.

Wisconsin Badgers (7-3)

University of Wisconsin Badgers football’s Jake Ferguson (84) makes a 23-yard reception against Michigan during their game Saturday, October 2, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Michigan won the game 38-17. Doug Raflik/USA TODAY NETWORK

Why the ranking?

Wisconsin has really turned things around since those early-season woes, now winning six straight. The Badgers are going to continue to bottle up some momentum and will probably move up a couple spots with a couple teams losing ahead of them.

BYU (9-2)

Oct 30, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs in for a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

BYU has some pretty impressive showings with wins over Utah and Arizona State, and the only losses are respectable ones against Baylor and Boise State. The Cougars won’t be crashing the big-money bowls, but they’ve had a good year and will also most likely move up from last week.

Texas A&M (7-3)

Sep 8, 2018; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies mascot Reveille runs onto the field before the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Clemson Tigers at Kyle Field. Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

The committee loved the Aggies in previous weeks because of their win over Alabama (of course) and had them as the highest-ranked two-loss team before this weekend’s loss to Ole Miss. Because of that, we think they only fall to be the highest-ranked three-loss team.

Ole Miss (9-2)

Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) during a football game between Tennessee and Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Ole Miss might be the best team you’ve not followed this year. The only two losses are to Alabama and Auburn and now, the Rebels have a win over a Texas A&M team the committee seemed to be in love with. There’s no doubt Lane Kiffin’s squad will make a move up the rankings this week.

Oklahoma Sooners (9-1)

Oklahoma’s Tyrese Robinson (52) celebrates with Kennedy Brooks (26) after a touchdown during the Red River Showdown college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Oklahoma won 55-48. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

The CFP Committee was already not impressed with the Sooners’ body of work and game control, so a loss to Baylor won’t go over well. However, it’s going to be hard to move them down too far with only one loss and who’s below them. However, you can probably knock Oklahoma out of the playoff discussion at this point.

Baylor Bears (8-2)

Oct 30, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Gerry Bohanon (11) celebrates a 31-24 win over the Texas Longhorns during an NCAA football game at McLane Stadium. Credit: Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

You can bet your bottom dollar that the win over Oklahoma will catch the eyes of the CFP Committee. Baylor’s going to move up, and might be the highest riser this week.

Wake Forest (8-1)

Sept. 30, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; A closeup view of a Wake Forest Demon Deacons helmet during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at BB&T Field. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Wake continued its winning ways by outscoring NC State on Saturday, and that’s a good enough win to keep the Deamon Deacons from falling. Baylor probably leapfrogs them though with the upset of the Sooners.

Oklahoma State (9-1)

Oct 30, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy looks up at the scoreboard during the fourth quarter against Kansas Jayhawks at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State won 55-3. Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Oklahoma State has put itself in position to move up significantly if it can continue to win. As it is, the Cowboys will be the highest-ranked Big 12 team after demolishing TCU on Saturday. OSU is awfully close to controlling its own destiny in the CFP race.

Notre Dame (9-1)

Sep 25, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly instructs players during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field. Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Notre Dame will also move up because of Oklahoma’s loss, but probably just one spot. It’ll be interesting to see what the CFP Committee does with the Irish if it continues to win. As it stands, the Fighting Irish are right on the doorstep again if things fall into place.

Michigan State Spartans (9-1)

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs against Michigan defensive back R.J. Moten (6) during the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

It sure feels like the committee is looking for an excuse to move the Spartans down by already moving Michigan ahead of them despite the head-to-head result. There probably won’t be any movement this week though with another win coming on Saturday.

Michigan Wolverines (9-1)

Oct 2, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh walks on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Michigan will get a lot of credit for the win on the road at Penn State, but it’s a win over an unranked team so don’t expect the Wolverines to rise any this week. However, the committee clearly thinks a lot of Jim Harbaugh’s bunch, and if they continue to win and can find a way to beat Ohio State and win the Big Ten championship — well — there might be a CFP appearance at the end of the rainbow.

Cincinnati Bearcats (10-0)

Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Michael Young Jr. (8), left, and quarterback Desmond Ridder celebrates after Ridder ran the ball toward the end zone that set up a touchdown during the 1st half at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans Saturday, October 30, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Perhaps no team celebrated the Oklahoma loss more than Cincinnati. The Bearcats won’t move up any this week because chaos has yet to besiege anyone in front of them, but the Sooners’ path past Cincy was all but eliminated. Don’t look for Cincinnati to move too far from where it’s been the first two weeks after a respectable showing against USF.

Ohio State (9-1)

Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) races up the sideline for a touchdown during the first quarter of the NCAA football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

As impressive as Ohio State looked on offense against Purdue, I don’t expect the Buckeyes to move up this week because of who is ahead of them. It could be a lot worse than sitting at No. 4 and there’s a clear path to the party.

Oregon (9-1)

What Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said about Ohio State postgame

What Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said about Ohio State postgame

Sep 11, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

There’s really no reason to make a change here unless the committee feels guilty about moving Michigan ahead of Michigan State and not doing the same for Ohio State and Oregon. The head-to-head victory over the Buckeyes still looms large and another win this week shouldn’t change where the Ducks are. Well, so we think …

Alabama (9-1)

Oct 23, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) celebrates after a touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Alabama did what it needed against New Mexico State and we all know how the committee has a love affair with the Tide. There’s no reason to think that the committee moves ‘Bama anywhere on Tuesday night.

Georgia (10-0)

Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A detailed view of a Georgia Bulldogs helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

There’s really no analysis needed here. Georgia is undefeated, has a dominant defense, and has looked like the best team all year. The Bulldogs are the unquestioned No. 1 team at this point.

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