There were no progressions to the top five in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s third ranking on Tuesday night, with No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU holding consistent as the country’s last undefeated teams, followed by No. 5 Tennessee.
After a 66-24 thumping of unranked Missouri, the Vols stayed the committee’s highest-ranked one-loss team, saving them in conflict for the playoff without winning their division. Georgia secured the SEC East and will confront No. 6 LSU, the highest-ranked two-loss team, in the SEC championship game. In the event that LSU wins its conference, it could make history as the first two-loss team to reach the CFP.
“The committee believes there’s been separation with Georgia,” said selection committee chairman Boo Corrigan, who is likewise the North Carolina State athletic director.
Tennessee could become the fifth team to make the CFP without winning a conference title and the third not to win its division, alongside 2016 Ohio State and 2017 Alabama. The SEC has had numerous teams make the CFP twice – – including last season when Georgia beat Alabama to win the national title.
Without a conference championship, the Vols will confront more prominent scrutiny by the selection committee and will bank on great successes against Alabama and LSU to win a debate against a Power 5 conference champion.
USC (9-1) is currently the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team at No. 7 after Oregon lost Saturday to Washington, dropping the two-loss Ducks to No. 12. The Pac-12 has six teams ranked in the CFP top 25 with the expansion of No. 23 Oregon State, including two in the top 10 (USC and No. 10 Utah).
USC can secure a spot in the conference title game Saturday with a success at UCLA, and Oregon will confront Utah in another game that will assist with deciding Pac-12 championship participants.
TCU clinched a berth in the Big 12 championship game with its 17-10 win at Texas, yet the four-loss Longhorns tumbled from No. 18 out of the CFP top 25 this week. It helped the Horned Frogs that No. 22 Oklahoma State popped once more into the ranking this week, allowing TCU a second success against a ranked rival, alongside No. 15 Kansas State.
There are three additional rankings, including the release of the final top 25 for the Dec. 4 Selection Day. No team has been ranked outside the committee’s top 10 as of now in the season yet made the CFP. The least was Michigan State in 2015 and Oklahoma in 2019, when both were ranked ninth.
Two-loss Alabama is No. 8 this week, in front of one-loss No. 9 Clemson, which will play No. 13 North Carolina in the ACC championship.
Following its 38-31 win at Tulane, No. 20 UCF is the Group of 5 leader to procure a bid to a New Year’s Six bowl as the highest-ranked conference champion, followed by No. 21 Tulane.