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CFP rankings: What does the penultimate release tell us?

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The College Football Playoff selection committee made things pretty straightforward ahead of championship weekend. 

If college football fans crave drama, they may want to start looking toward next season as it appears not much can be done in the championship games in order for chaos to ensue. 

The Georgia Bulldogs flag is waved after a score in the game against the UAB Blazers on Sept. 11, 2021, at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
(Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For the fourth consecutive week, Georgia comes in as the No. 1 team in the country after handling Georgia Tech in its final regular season game. The Bulldogs will face No. 17 LSU after the Tigers lost a shocker to flailing Texas A&M 38-23. 

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The third loss by LSU takes all the drama out of the SEC Championship Game as even a loss by Georgia is doubtful to cause a Bulldogs’ drop out of the top four. 

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Michigan comes in at No. 2 after its impressive second half against Ohio State, resulting in back-to-back wins over the Buckeyes for the first time since 1999-2000. 

A matchup with Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game is all that’s left for the undefeated Wolverines. Barring a shocking blowout, Michigan will be in the playoff, even with a close loss to the Boilermakers. 

Rod Moore of the Michigan Wolverines walks onto the field with his team before the Ohio State Buckeyes game at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022, in Columbus.

Rod Moore of the Michigan Wolverines walks onto the field with his team before the Ohio State Buckeyes game at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022, in Columbus.
(Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

TCU is No. 3 after destroying Iowa State in Week 13 and faces No. 10 Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Wildcats moving into the top 10 has to mean something to the committee as the only loss for the Horned Frogs would come at the hands of a quality opponent. 

Anything can happen in college football, but it’s safe to say that Georgia, Michigan, and TCU are more than likely in the playoff barring something unforeseen. 

Then there’s USC at No. 4. 

“That’s the only drama left,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said Tuesday night, according to the LA Times. 

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USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams throws on the run against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Nov. 26, 2022, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams throws on the run against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Nov. 26, 2022, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
(Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For the first time, USC is ranked in the top four of the CFP, giving the Trojans a straightforward path to the playoff. 

Beat Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game and USC is in. 

A loss to the Utes – the second loss of the season to Utah for the Trojans – and things get interesting. 

The committee ranked Ohio State at No. 5 and Alabama at No. 6. The Crimson Tide’s ranking ends any hope of sneaking into the playoff and gives the Buckeyes a glimmer of hope. 

No two-loss team has ever made the CFP, but if USC loses in the Pac-12 Championship Game, does Ohio State deserve to slide in? 

C.J. Stroud of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to throw against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022 in Columbus.

C.J. Stroud of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to throw against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022 in Columbus.
(Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

Both the Buckeyes and Trojans have defeated two top 25 teams. They share a common opponent in Notre Dame, but USC’s win last weekend was more impressive. 

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Then there’s the argument that USC should not be punished for playing an extra game. Would it be fair to USC to be out of the playoff if they lose in the championship game while Ohio State sits at home, safe from a second loss? 

It’s a fascinating conversation, and quite frankly, the only one that’s interesting as championship weekend approaches. 

Source: Fox News

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