Iowa State jumps to No. 7 in CFP rankings; Barta explains the move

Dec 5, 2020; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell waits to do a TV interview after the Cyclones defeated West Virginia 42-6 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State’s dominant win over West Virginia in the regular-season finale apparently made an impression on the College Football Playoff committee.

The Cyclones climbed two spots to No. 7 in the most recent CFP rankings released on Tuesday, jumping over Georgia and Cincinnati, following their 42-6 win over the Mountaineers to clinch their spot in the program’s first Big 12 title game.

Iowa State’s jump came after a week in which Cincinnati, the highest ranked Group of 5 program, and Georgia each did not play due to COVID-19 related postponements and cancellations.

“The committee has been watching Iowa State, these last few weeks, especially the win over the No. 20 team in Texas and then really took it to West Virginia this past week,” Iowa athletic director, and College Football Playoff committee chairman, Gary Barta told ESPN after the rankings were released. “Breece Hall’s leading the country in rushing. Brock Purdy continues to perform well and they only gave up six points. They’re in first place in the Big 12 so it was really the committee’s respect for what Iowa State has done and not a penalty for Cincinnati.”

As it stands now, the Cyclones hold two wins over teams in the CFP rankings with Texas ranked at No. 20 and Oklahoma coming in at No. 11. The Cyclones are slated the square-off with the Sooners again on Dec. 19 in Arlington, Texas, for the Big 12 championship.

Additionally, Iowa State’s two losses came to teams ranked in the poll with Louisiana at No. 19 and Oklahoma State at No. 23.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.