Videos by OutKick
The same four teams remained atop the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night with Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and and TCU all at 11-0.
The most significant news was LSU moving to No. 5 from No. 6 at 9-2 after a 41-10 win Saturday over now 5-6 Alabama-Birmingham. Previous No. 7 USC (10-1) moved to only No. 6 despite the Trojans beating previously No. 16 UCLA, 48-45. USC was ranked No. 5 and LSU No. 6 in the Associated Press poll on Sunday.
Tennessee (9-2) fell from No. 5 to No. 10 and out of contention after a 63-38 loss at unranked South Carolina.
Despite the frequent descriptions of chaos, now it is relatively simple how the four-team playoff pairings will be set on Dec. 4. There are six legitimate candidates for the four spots – the above four along with LSU and USC.
A College Football Playoff Simple Plan
Georgia is in if it wins out, and it will likely remain in, even if it loses to LSU in the SEC championship game on Dec. 3 (4 p.m., CBS).
Ohio State could stay in as well, even if it loses to Michigan on Saturday (Noon, FOX). But maybe not. Michigan could also still have a shot should it lose to Ohio State, but probably not. Either Big Ten losing team may need some help. An LSU loss to Georgia would help for one.
If LSU wins at Texas A&M (4-7) Saturday (7 p.m., ESPN) and beats Georgia, LSU will get in as the SEC champion. That may not have been the scenario had Tennessee won out.
TCU is likely in if it beats Iowa State (4-7) Saturday (4 p.m., FOX) and wins the Big 12 title game on Dec. 3 (Noon, ABC).
But USC could edge a one-loss Michigan or a one-loss Ohio State for the playoff, if the Trojans win out against No. 15 Notre Dame (8-3) on Saturday (7:30 p.m., ABC) and in the Pac-12 title game on Dec. 2 (8 p.m., FOX).
College Football Playoff Most Likely Scenarios
So, the most likely final four is Georgia, the Ohio State-Michigan winner, TCU and LSU – if LSU beats Texas A&M and Georgia. If LSU loses to Georgia or maybe just to A&M, it will be Georgia, the Ohio State-Michigan winner, TCU and USC.
The question of chaos will be arguments for the Ohio State-Michigan loser getting in the final four over TCU, LSU or USC.
There will be one more CFP rankings next Tuesday night before the final call on Dec. 4 (Noon, ESPN).
The rest of Tuesday night’s top 10 was No. 7 Alabama (9-2), No. 8 Clemson (10-1), No. 9 Oregon (9-2) and No. 10 Tennessee (9-2). The second 10 had No. 11 Penn State (9-2), No. 12 Kansas State (8-3), No. 13 Washington (9-2), No. 14 Utah (8-3), No. 15 Notre Dame (8-3), No. 16 Florida State (8-3), No. 17 North Carolina (9-2), No. 18 UCLA (8-3), No. 19 Tulane (9-2) and No. 20 Ole Miss (8-3).
The bottom five were No. 21 Oregon State (8-3), No. 22 UCF (8-3), No. 23 Texas (7-4), No. 24 Cincinnati (9-2) and No. 25 Louisville (7-4).