Shotgun Spratling | USCfootball.com

USC up to No. 11 in College Football Playoff

Can the Trojans still make the Rose Bowl? We break down the latest College Football Playoff Rankings.

The second to last College Football Playoff rankings are out with the USC Trojans up one spot to No. 11 after beating Notre Dame 45-27.

While the Trojans have no shot at breaking into the top-4 and making the four team playoff, the rankings are still important. In the event that No. 4 Washington wins the conference championship game, remains in the top-4 and makes the playoff, the Rose Bowl would take the next highest ranked Pac-12 team. As of right now that would be No. 8 Colorado, but if the Huskies beat the Buffaloes on Friday would the Trojans jump ahead and secure a Rose Bowl berth?

With Colorado No. 8 and USC No. 11, it appears that the Trojans would need to jump three spots while not playing a game. Plus because this is the conference championship game teams are normally not penalized for losing in a conference championship game. Of course with the CFP committee what is normal? We simply will not know for sure until the rankings come out next week. 

But if we assume that Washington beats Colorado on Friday, that would give the Buffs a 10-3 record with top-25 wins over No. 18 Stanford and No. 20 Utah (teams that USC lost to). Colorado lost to No. 5 Michigan, No. 11 USC and what would be No. 4 Washington. USC has a 9-3 record with top-25 wins over No. 4 Washington and No. 8 Colorado, The Trojans lost to No. 1 Alabama, No. 18 Stanford and No. 20 Utah. 

Interestingly the two teams between Colorado and USC, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 10 Oklahoma State, play each other next. Most likely the winner of that game would move up ahead of Colorado (assuming a CU loss) and the loser would drop below USC. If nothing else changed that would put Colorado and USC right next to each other in the rankings. The question is, would Colorado drop below USC?

The main argument for Colorado staying ahead of USC incorporates the fact that teams generally are not punished for losing a conference championship game and that Colorado beat both Pac-12 opponents that USC lost to.

The main argument for Colorado dropping below USC incorporates the fact that both schools will have three losses and the Trojans won head to head plus USC beat both teams playing in the conference championship game, 

How much will Colorado be "punished" for losing on Friday? Will it matter if the game is close or a blowout? There are many factors to consider and we simply do not know what the committee will do. 

Here are the complete rankings:

Rank

Team

Outlook

1

Alabama

Takes on an injury-riddled Florida in the SEC title game.

2

Ohio St.

OSU earned this spot with U-M thriller. But can they advance with Saturday off?

3

Clemson

Listed as a 10-point favorite over Va. Tech. in the ACC title game

4

Wash.

Win Saturday forces CFP panel to decide on schedule strength vs. conference title.

5

Michigan

Whether they get in or not, future looks bright in Ann Arbor.

6

Wisc.

Meets Penn State in the B1G Championship Saturday in Indy.

7

Penn St.

Likely needs style points, not just a win, in B1G Title game vs. Wisconsin.

8

Colorado

Pressure is largely on Washington in the Pac-12 title fight Friday night.

9

Okla.

Hosts Oklahoma St. Saturday. Desperately wants Colorado and Va. Tech to win.

10

Okla. St.

Will visit Oklahoma after two weeks of preparation time for Bedlam.

11

USC

USC has an outside shot at a NY6 bowl, but needs help.

12

Fla. St.

Seniors completed a perfect 8-0 record against Miami and Florida.

13

L’Ville

Tumbled out of NY6 bowl contention, but a Heisman party still looms.

14

Auburn

Frenemy: A Crimson Tide victory could send Auburn to the Sugar Bowl.

15

Florida

A team struggling to find an offense faces mighty ‘Bama for the SEC title.

16

WVU

Wraps up season at home against Baylor on Saturday.

17

W. Mich.

Plays at Ohio (8-4) Saturday, then the P.J. Fleck sweepstakes winner is revealed.

18

Stanford

Finished with 5 straight wins.

19

Navy

Faces Army on Dec. 10. Then, try to keep Ken Niumatalolo from Power 5.

20

Utah

Some soul-searching after losing three of their last four.

21

LSU

The Ed Orgeron era begins.

22

Tenn.

After losing to Vandy, may end up returning to Nashville for Music City Bowl.

23

Va. Tech

Takes on Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

24

Houston

Who will fill the shoes of Tom Herman?

25

Pitt

Scored 76 against Syracuse for 8th win.


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Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of USCFootball.com since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at ryan@uscfootball.com.


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