No. 4 USC Will Make Playoffs With Win Friday; Ohio State, Bama Need Help, Georgia No. 1

The Georgia Bulldogs remained No. 1 in the final College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night before the critical conference championship games this weekend.

Georgia (12-0) stayed in the top spot despite Michigan claiming the most significant win of anyone as the Wolverines manhandled previous No. 2 Ohio State, 45-23, on Saturday. Michigan (12-0) moved up one spot to No. 2.

Texas Christian (12-0) also moved up a slot to No. 3.

But the big news was USC (11-1) moving to No. 4 from six after its second straight win over a ranked team. The Trojans beat previous No. 15 Notre Dame on Saturday after beating No. 16 UCLA the previous week.

If the above four teams win this weekend, the playoffs are set with them, period.

Ohio State tight end Cade Stover is tackled by Michigan defensive back Rod Moore during the Wolverines’ win over Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

Ohio State (11-1) is at No. 5, which means it has the best chance to reach the final four, should TCU or USC lose this weekend. Alabama (10-2) moved up just one spot to No. 6 and will not have much of a chance of making the playoffs. It would likely need multiple top four teams to lose.

Three Conference Title Games Key To Playoffs

There are three conference championship games this weekend that are pivotal as far as the final four. Those start with USC vs. No. 11 Utah (9-3) in the Pac-12 title game on Friday (8 p.m., FOX). Michigan will play Purdue (8-4) in the Big Ten title game Saturday (8 p.m., FOX). And TCU plays No. 10 Kansas State (9-3) on Saturday (Noon, ABC).

The rest of the top 10 had No. 7 Tennessee (10-2), No. 8 Penn State (10-2), No. 9 Clemson (10-2) and No. 10 Kansas State.

The second 10 featured No. 11 Utah, 12 Washington, 13 Florida State, 14 LSU, 15 Oregon State, 16 Oregon, 17 UCLA, 18 Tulane, 19 South Carolina and 20 Texas.

The bottom five were 21 Notre Dame, 22 UCF, 23 North Carolina, 24 Mississippi State and 25 North Carolina State.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau


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  1. I hope nothing changes with this current top 4. Based on previous seasons it seems like the selection committee will do anything to put Ohio St in the playoff. TCU already got screwed over in favor of OSU once before and Ohio St got the nod in 2020 after playing 6 whole games. Would be interesting to see if TCU loses on a last second field goal if the selection committee would oust TCU for OSU. I would understand if TCU gets smoked but what happens with a close loss considering OSU got smoked big at home and didn’t have to play this week? The process feels corrupt. Follow the money.

  2. The playoffs should be cemented now. None of these teams should be penalized for making it to a conference championship game that OSU/Bama/etc couldn’t even get to. They shouldn’t be rewarded for sitting home watching from their couches. Anyone contending otherwise is just silly (and/or a fan of OSU or Bama).

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