There were no changes to the top five spots in Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff selection committee’s third ranking, with No. 1 Georgia, no. 2 Ohio State, no. 3 Michigan and no. 4 DCU remains the only undefeated team in the nation. Teams, followed by no. 5 Tennessee.
After beating unranked Missouri 66-24, the Vols remained the committee’s highest-ranked one-loss team, keeping them in playoff contention without a win in their division. Georgia clinches the SEC East and will face top-ranked two-loss team No. 6 LSU in the SEC Championship Game. If LSU wins its conference, it could make history as the first two-loss team to reach the CFP.
“The team believes it’s broken with Georgia,” North Carolina State athletic director Boo Corrigan, chairman of the selection committee, said.
Tennessee could become the fifth team to make the CFP without winning a conference title, along with Ohio State in 2016 and Alabama in 2017, and the third team to never win its division. Several SEC teams have made the CFP twice — including last season when Georgia beat Alabama for the national title.
Without a conference championship, the Cubs will be subject to more scrutiny by the selection committee and will need impressive wins against Alabama and LSU to win the debate against the Power 5 conference champion.
USC (9-1) is now the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team at No. 7 at No. 25. 23 added Oregon State, which includes two in the top 10 (USC and No. 10 Utah).
USC can clinch a spot in Saturday’s conference title game with a win at UCLA, and Oregon will face Utah in another game that will help determine Pac-12 Championship participants.
TCU clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game with a 17-10 win at Texas, but the four-loss Longhorns fell from 18th in the CFP Top 25 this week. The Horned Frogs were helped by the return of No. 22 Oklahoma State this week, which combined with No. 15 Kansas State for TCU’s second win over a ranked opponent.
There are three more rankings, including the release of the final top 25 on December 4 exam day. No team has been ranked outside the group’s top 10 this season and still made the CFP. Michigan State in 2015 and Oklahoma in 2019 both finished ninth.
A one-loss No. 1 playoff against No. 13 North Carolina in the ACC Championship. No. 8 Alabama is two-losses ahead of No. 9 Clemson this week.
Following its 38-31 win at Tulane, No. 20 UCF is the top-seeded conference champion in the New Year’s Six bowl bid, trailing No. 21 Tulane as the No. 5 seed.