USC’s path to College Football Playoffs after latest rankings

USC moved up one spot to No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night, positioning the Trojans two spots outside the four-team playoff field.

But the 10-1 Trojans get some help from the cold logistics of these next two weeks and appear well-positioned to earn themselves their first-ever playoff appearance in Year 1 under head coach Lincoln Riley.

No. 2 Ohio State will play No. 3 Michigan this weekend. The loser of that game will not only pick up a loss but will be denied a chance to play in the Big Ten championship game and add a crucial data point to its playoff argument.

If USC can beat No. 15 Notre Dame on Saturday and then win the Pac-12 title game next Friday in Las Vegas – likely against No. 9 Oregon or No. 13 Washington – a hypothetical 12-1 USC should have an advantage over an 11-1 Ohio State or Michigan.

Then No. 1 Georgia will face No. 5 LSU in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs figure to be a heavy favorite over the Tigers (9-2). A third loss would end LSU’s playoff argument and put a 12-1 USC in position to move into the CFP field.

If LSU upsets undefeated Georgia, however, all bets are off for how the top four unfolds.

Four teams have been ranked sixth or lower at this point in the season and made the College Football Playoff. Two of those teams – No. 6 Oklahoma in 2018 and No. 7 Oklahoma in 2019 – were coached by Riley.

USC’s thrilling 48-45 victory over then-No. 16 UCLA (which dropped two spots in the latest rankings) gave the Trojans a second win over a ranked opponent this season. That combined with then-No. 5 Tennessee’s loss to South Carolina allowed USC to move up one spot …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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