Following the 2021 College Football Playoff Rankings (Week-by-Week)

by Travis Normand

As always, I will try to post weekly thoughts and observations on the weekly college football playoff rankings.

Week 1 – Released 11/2/2021

Note 1.1: Alabama (7-1) at number 2 is the first 1-loss team to be ranked in the top-2 of the initial playoff rankings.

Note 1.2: Cincinnati (8-0) at number 6 is the highest ranking for a “Group of 5” team.

Note 1.3: There are six undefeated teams remaining and UTSA (8-0) is the only one not ranked in the top-25.

Note 1.4: In every one of the initial playoff rankings from 2014 to 2020, there has been an ACC team in the top-5; and each of those ACC teams had a record of 7-0, 8-0, 7-1, or 9-0. Therefore, the initial rankings of 2021 is the first time that the initial rankings did not have an ACC team in the top-5 (despite the fact that Wake Forest is 8-0 and was ranked 9th).

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Texas A&M’s First Orange Bowl

by Travis Normand

As you are likely aware, Texas A&M just won the 2021 Orange Bowl by defeating the University of North Carolina on January 2, 2021. However, while this was A&M’s first Orange Bowl victory, it was A&M’s second Orange Bowl invitation.

The Aggies first played in the Orange Bowl following the 1943 season (on January 1, 1944); but A&M lost to LSU in that game. At the time, the Aggies probably didn’t know it would take them until 2021 to earn a second Orange Bowl invite.

In any event, the 1943 Aggies were affectionately referred to as the “Kiddie Corps.” In 2009, Rusty Burson wrote about the Kiddie Korps, their season, and their Orange Bowl appearance. His article is as follows:

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College Football’s Grand Slam (updated)

by Travis Normand

January 4, 2021

Notre Dame was unable to win its second grand slam title as the Irish were defeated by Alabama in the January 1, 2021 Rose Bowl game (played in Arlington, Texas).

However, Alabama (Rose), Oklahoma (Cotton), Ohio State (Sugar), and Texas A&M (Orange) all picked up a bowl victory that counts towards a grand slam title (whether it is their first, next, etc.). See the last table in this post for a full list of teams needing only one more win for a grand slam title.

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College Football’s Grand Slam

by Travis Normand

December 23, 2020

Notre Dame has a chance to win another grand slam this 2020-2021 season!

There might be a better name for this, and if I think of one, I will update this post. On the other hand, if you think of one you would like to share, please let me know by posting in the comments below.

Of all the bowl games, there are four that have always been considered as the biggest and best. Those four bowls are the: (1) Rose Bowl; (2) Cotton Bowl; (3) Sugar bowl; and (4) Orange Bowl. Which got me wondering, how many college football programs have won all four of these bowl games?

I did the research and found the answer; and the following is a break-down of those programs that have pulled off what I am calling the “College Football Grand Slam!”

There are nine (9) programs that have won all four of the major bowl games, and have thus won a “College Football Grand Slam.” Those nine programs are: Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas.


SchoolNumber of Grand Slams Won
Georgia Tech1
Notre Dame1
Ohio State1
Penn State1
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2020 Texas A&M vs. Tennessee

by Travis Normand

The Texas Aggies travel to Tennessee this weekend where they will play the Tennessee Volunteers for only the fourth (4th) time in program history.

The series between Texas A&M and UT is as follows:

  1. December 28, 1957: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Florida) – Tennessee won 3-0;
  2. January 1, 2005: Cotton Bowl (Dallas, Texas) – Tennessee won 38-7;
  3. October 8, 2016: Kyle Field (College Station, Texas) – Texas A&M won 45-38; and
  4. December 19, 2020: Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, Tennessee) – ?

This game against Tennessee on December 19th will be the latest regular season game ever played by Texas A&M.

Before this game, the latest regular season game for the Aggies was on on December 8, 1934 when A&M defeated Michigan State (26-13) in San Antonio, Texas, and then again on December 8, 1944 when A&M defeated Miami (70-14 in Miami.

Further, as far as I know, there are only four college stadiums and/or fields that are named for someone who attended Texas A&M (even if their attendance was only for a couple of days). Those four stadiums / fields are: (1) Kyle Field; (2) Boone Pickens Stadium; (3) Joe Jamail Field (since renamed); and (4) Neyland Stadium. Texas A&M has played and won in three of these stadiums / fields, with the exception being Tennessee’s Neyland stadium.

(To read my previous post regarding the similarities between Texas A&M and Tennessee, which was written before the 2016 game, click HERE.)

College Football Playoff: “Firsts,” “Nevers,” & “Not Yets”

by Travis Normand
December 9, 2020

I am posting these here in order make them easier to ‘track,’ and to see if any of these change this season.

As of the 2020 college football season, and before the 2020-2021 playoff, the following are still true:

(1) A 2-loss team has never made the college football playoff (and so far, being a Power-5 Conference Champion has not been sufficient to overcome the 2-loss barrier, see 2016 Penn State … at least when there is another team from the same conference with only 1-loss);

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Following the COVID-Football Pandemic-Playoff (2020)

by Travis Normand
First Published on December 2, 2020

If you follow this site, you have seen my other College Football Playoff related posts before. If not, you can find most of those posts under the “Playoff” category; or you can go to this link (which is my comprehensive and on-going playoff post).

I have decided to start this new post for all of my notes related to the 2020 Playoff. Once the playoff is over on January 11, 2021, I will probably add the more important aspects from this post to the comprehensive post.

For those of you reading this for the first time, this is not an editorial style posting. This is merely my unedited notes from each week of the playoff rankings, which helps me (and others) track what the rankings/committee are doing, and whether they are following any precedent. Enjoy!

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