Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC are all poised to reach the College Football Playoff with wins in their conference championships this weekend after the selection committee released its final rankings Tuesday.
There was no change in the first seed as Georgia (12-0) was the first seed. But the Wolverines moved up one spot to No. 2 after Michigan (12-0) beat Ohio State 45-23 last Saturday. top four after losing to the Buckeyes and LSU.
“There’s a lot of talk about the top four,” NC State’s athletic director, CFP committee chairman Boo Corrigan said on ESPN’s ratings publication Show. “We see no reason to drop Georgia from the top spot.”
Ohio State has moved up to No. 5 and will now have to hope for upsets and upsets in the upcoming title games to rejoin the playoff mix. But a lot of that depends not only on the results, but also on how the team views the unbeaten team in the conference title game, since Ohio State hasn’t played an extra game. Alabama landed at No. 6 behind the Buckeyes.
“It was a tough decision,” Corrigan said of the decision to put Ohio State ahead of Alabama. “They have four teams in front of them and a lot of games to play this weekend.”
A win for the top four teams could create a bit of drama on conference championship weekend. In the Pac-12 Championship Game in Las Vegas, No. 11 Utah (9-3) and USC play Friday night. Utah handed USC its only loss of the season, 43–42, when quarterback Cam Rising ran for a 1-yard touchdown run and successfully converted a 2-point conversion attempt with 48 seconds remaining.
On Saturday, Georgia played in the SEC Championship Game against 14th-ranked LSU (9-3); TCU plays No. 10 Kansas State (9-3) in the Big 12 Championship Game and Michigan plays Purdue (8-4) in the Big Ten Championship Game. The top 4 CFP teams are favorites to win.
If one or more teams lose, the teams may make difficult decisions. But consider this: Beyond the Top 5, every other ranked team has two or more losses, and no two-loss team is out of the College Football Playoff.
“College football always delivers,” Corrigan said as he looked forward to the weekend. “As a team, we are excited to have the opportunity to come together and watch these games. We look forward to evaluating them all.”
Alabama is the higher ranked of the two losing teams, followed by Tennessee at No. 7. Pennsylvania state no. 8, Clemson no. 9 and Kansas State no. Ranked in the top 10 out of 10. Clemson plays at number 23. North Carolina (9-3) in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game, but the Tigers were essentially out of playoff contention after a 31-30 loss to South Carolina last Saturday. ,
That win over Clemson helped move South Carolina (8-4) up from the rankings to No. 19 this week. In addition to defeating Clemson, the Gamecocks defeated Tennessee 63–38 the week before, becoming the first unranked team since Auburn in 2003 to win back-to-back games against Associated Press Top-10 opponents.
Tulane (10-2) heads into the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday ahead of No. 18 South Carolina and host No. 22 UCF (9-3). The winner will be the highest ranked team out of approximately 5 and will earn a spot in the New Year’s Six game.
Final standings will be announced on Sunday, followed by the announcement of the Bowl for the undefeated teams.