USC, big winners Alabama, big losers

CFP Ratings 5.0: It’s a “win-win” situation for USC

Dan Walken broke the penultimate standings in Major League Soccer ahead of the championship final.

United States today

Everything came together for College-Football-Playoff decision committee.

At the Power Five conference just four weeks ago, 13 teams were unbeaten or lost once. That number was narrowed to 11 after a week, with the addition of a two-loss playoff contender at No. 14 LSU.

Of those ten teams, only five appeared as realistic playoff options with one Saturday left in the regular season.

No. 1 Georgia is a suspension en route to the SEC championship game against the Tigers. Likewise with No. 2 Michigan competing in the Big Ten tournament against Purdue. TCU No. 3 is in fine form despite losing in the Big 12 championship game. No. 4 Southern California faces a rematch with No. 11 Utah to even the Pac-12.

And in fifth place, the committee weighed in on Ohio State and Alabama, landing the Buckeyes, who didn’t fall far behind. An ugly loss for the Wolverines.

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The penultimate standings for the 2022 game show how lightly the panel consulted, which should avoid much, if anything, when choosing this year’s field. The teams on the cusp of making a playoff game list the winners and losers on Tuesday night:

The winners

Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Southern California

At least two of that quartet will still make the playoffs: Georgia and Michigan could lose on Saturday and still be relegated to the semifinals. Iowa’s defeat last weekendmerged with No. 9 Clemson’s loss to No. 19 South Carolina, greatly increased the likelihood of TCU losing a rematch to No. 10 Kansas State and finishing in the top four. The only such group that doesn’t have such a safety net is USC, but even the Trojans can make mistakes on their way to the Pac-12 championship game.

State of Ohio

The only debate that mattered ahead of Tuesday’s release was whether Ohio State or Alabama would finish in the top five and be ready to fill the potential void should USC suffer a second loss to Utah. That they capitalized on that big placement doesn’t mean the Buckeyes are a fourth-place ban should the Trojans lose; Even with a loss, USC can keep OSU at bay with a deeper win and better performance against a combined opponent at No. 21 Notre Dame. But that penultimate ranking strongly suggests only five teams have a chance of playing in the semifinals – and the Buckeyes are the fifth and final team in the conversation.

The American

As expected, both teams were seeded by the panel into the American Championship game: Tulane 18th next Beat Cincinnati and Central Florida at number 22 yet Win an emotional rivalry against South Florida. This ensured Saturday’s winner would gain access to the New Year’s Six as the best team in the group of five, repelling a challenge from Sun Belt members Troy and Coastal Carolina.



Running in behind Ohio State officially ends No. 6 Alabama’s chances of making the playoffs as there’s no plausible plausible scenario that could unfold this weekend and open up two spots in the four-team field. Condemned by narrow losses to No. 7 Tennessee and LSU, a win in just one of those games would earn the Crimson Tide the SEC West crown and a conference championship game berth. As the West won 11-1, Alabama were already in the top four on Saturday and could secure a playoff spot if they defeated the Bulldogs or lost USC to the Utes.

Opinion: Is Alabama’s record of 10 wins unbreakable? Only a school can challenge.


With four teams in the playoffs but two teams on the back end — No. 23 North Carolina and No. 25 North Carolina State — and no team higher than No. 9, the ACC is bottom of the Power Five. The SEC has six teams in the top 25, including three teams in the top 7. The committee ranked six Pac-12 teams, all in the top 17. The Big Ten consists of three ranked teams, all in the top eight are: Michigan, OSU and No. 8Pennsylvania State. And while the Big 12 also has only three teams in the top 25, two teams finish in the top 10 at TCU and Kansas State.

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