College Football Playoff Rankings: LSU, USC inch up to key spots in new top 25 as Tennessee falls to No. 10


With the top 4 groups in final week’s College Football Playoff Rankings all holding serve after rising victorious final week, the fourth version of the CFP top 25 launched Tuesday evening was largely uneventful. Reigning nationwide champion Georgia held onto the No. 1 spot with Ohio State remaining at No. 2. Michigan and TCU rounded out the top 4, utilizing walk-off subject targets final Saturday to stave off upsets and stay undefeated getting into Rivalry Week.

USC, with its lone blemish a single-point defeat at Utah on Oct. 15, picked up the largest victory amongst CFP contenders with a 48-45 win at UCLA. The Trojans’ rise to No. 6 was helped by a surprising upset suffered by Tennessee, which was routed 63-38 at South Carolina.

Despite its improved rating, USC nonetheless sits behind two-loss No. 5 LSU Both groups will compete in their respective convention championship video games in two weeks, however the Trojans might doubtlessly bounce the Tigers in the penultimate rankings subsequent week given the groups’ upcoming opponents. (More beneath.)

With the Volunteers now mainly eradicated from the playoff, they may change into simply the second group ranked No. 1 in a season’s preliminary CFP Rankings that can fail to attain the four-team subject (Mississippi State, 2014). Meanwhile, the Tigers nonetheless have an opportunity to change into the primary two-loss group to earn a CFP bid in the occasion’s historical past.

Consecutive victories of 25+ factors have given one-loss Clemson new life, though it is hanging behind a pair of two-loss SEC groups (LSU, Alabama) and one-loss USC. Clemson’s potential power of schedule took successful this week, but it surely nonetheless has a path to a seventh CFP look in the final eight seasons. Should it finally make the sphere, it might be the lowest-ranked group at this juncture to achieve this.

Let’s check out your complete CFP Rankings top 25 with extra evaluation from bowls professional Jerry Palm beneath.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 22

  1. Georgia (11-0)
  2. Ohio State (11-0)
  3. Michigan (11-0)
  4. TCU (11-0)
  5. LSU (9-2)
  6. USC (10-1)
  7. Alabama (9-2)
  8. Clemson (10-1)
  9. Oregon (9-2)
  10. Tennessee (9-2)
  11. Penn State (9-2)
  12. Kansas State (8-3)
  13. Washington (9-2)
  14. Utah (8-3)
  15. Notre Dame (8-3)
  16. Florida State (8-3)
  17. North Carolina (9-2)
  18. UCLA (8-3)
  19. Tulane (9-2)
  20. Ole Miss (8-3)
  21. Oregon State (8-3)
  22. UCF (8-3)
  23. Texas (7-4)
  24. Cincinnati (9-2)
  25. Louisville (7-4)

Analysis by bowls professional Jerry Palm

One motive why USC stays behind LSU is the Trojans picked up their first win over a ranked group this season once they beat the Bruins. That positioning could also be short-term as lengthy as USC continues successful. In reality, USC is probably going to bounce LSU subsequent week if the Trojans beat No. 15 Notre Dame, whereas the Tigers tame unranked Texas A&M. A high quality ranked win could also be sufficient for the CFP (*25*) Committee to make the swap. The Trojans even have a better path to the playoff given they do not have to undergo the top-ranked Bulldogs.

Clemson feels caught given it doesn’t have a possible large win left on their schedule with No. 17 North Carolina struggling a second loss forward of their scheduled ACC Championship Game assembly. Clemson has to get previous South Carolina and UNC to end 12-1, but it surely doesn’t really feel like it’s going to transfer the needle sufficient by itself to put the Tigers in the CFP dialog. Clemson notably suffers in comparability with USC if each are 12-1 as the Trojans could have defeated the Fighting Irish, which handed the Tigers their lone loss.

This week’s rankings are set up to put 4 SEC groups in the New Year’s Six. Assuming no upsets in the top 10 between now and (*25*) Sunday, Georgia is in the CFP as the No. 1 seed LSU or Alabama, whichever is ranked larger, would go to the Sugar Bowl as the SEC consultant. The different group would face the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl as the highest-ranked group remaining from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame. Finally, Tennessee would get the final spot in the Cotton Bowl as the highest-rated group not already in a New Year’s Six sport.

Penn State is ready in the wings, but it surely can not appear to get previous the place it’s now due to a scarcity of high quality wins. The Nittany Lions solely have two losses, which got here to No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan, however their finest win of the season continues to be their Week 1 victory at Purdue.

And we will now affirm, barring a loss by No. 22 UCF at South Florida this week, the AAC champion will symbolize the Group of Five in the Cotton Bowl.

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