Tomorrow's Top 25 today: USC and Clemson playoff profiles improve amid jumps in college football rankings

Tomorrow’s Top 25 today: USC and Clemson playoff profiles improve amid jumps in college football rankings

The razor-thin margin for error in college football was visible throughout the Week 12 scores and results. It was a week where the scoreboard showed some upheaval for the top 25 teams, but we were also just a few rebounds away from utter chaos in the college football standings.

No. 1 Georgia was backed into the red zone by Kentucky, holding a 10-point lead with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter before forcing a missed field goal and a turnover on the downs to stay undefeated. No. 2 Ohio State, also on the road against an unranked opponent, led by just three runs late in the battle with Maryland. Meanwhile, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU both won on last-second field goals. If a few plays (or even just a few kicks) had different results, AP Top 25 voters would face a tough challenge sorting through the carnage in their updated ballots.

That’s not to say voters’ job will be easy following Saturday’s results.

Debates on the whole job versus recent results will be on full display with Tennessee’s placement after a stunning 63-38 loss at South Carolina. The Volunteers are now 9-2 with wins over Alabama and LSU, but Saturday night’s loss as a 22-point favorite could drop Tennessee behind either or both of those foes. of the SEC. A similar conservation will take place lower in the standings after Ole Miss lost for a second straight week, this time to unranked Arkansas. The Rebels are 8-3 and were down just one score last week. When looking for quality wins, voters need to consider the value of narrow wins over Kentucky and Texas A&M compared to other three-game losing teams.

By the end of the night, five teams in the top 16 of the AP Top 25 will have suffered losses, providing plenty of opportunities for other teams to progress. USC and Clemson benefited the most from the limited chaos, who each took care of business (in very different ways) to remain at the top of their respective conferences at the start of Week 13. If the two can win, the committee of College football playoff selection could be extremely difficult. decisions to be made on selection Sunday.

Here’s what the new AP Top 25 will look like on Sunday:

1. Georgia (Last week — 1): The lack of an obvious challenger for the No. 1 spot maintains the status quo as the Bulldogs stay at No. 1 after a 16-6 win at Kentucky.

2. State of Ohio (2): The Buckeyes could nab a few more votes for first place after racking up the points at the end of a 43-30 win at Maryland, but voters following the scores throughout the day will note that it was a a three-point game in the fourth quarter. Freshman running back Dallan Hayden had a stellar performance with 146 yards and three touchdowns, all after halftime as Ohio State overcame an early deficit and took control of the game in the third quarter.

3. Michigan (3): There’s plenty to worry about for Michigan coming out of Saturday’s win over Illinois – from the health of Blake Corum to how often scoring opportunities seem to end in field goal attempts. ground – but just holding on for a win will be enough to stay in the top five of the standings.

4. TCU (4): The dream season continues for TCU thanks to quarterback Max Duggan leading a few drives in the fourth quarter, opening the door for a potential jump to the top three in the standings. Our projection is that PA voters will maintain order from last week, but the playoff committee has fewer voters and therefore may be more volatile. TCU could end up at No. 4 on Sunday but No. 3 on Tuesday night thanks to the winning basket at Baylor.

5. USC (7): The Trojans rallied from 14-0 after the first quarter, outscoring the Bruins by 17 in the final 45 minutes for a 48-45 win to remain the only team to a loss in the Pac-12. With Tennessee falling and USC impressive in the streak as they clinched a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game, the Trojans are expected to move from two-game losing LSU to fifth.

6. USL (6): The Tigers enjoyed the Senior Day festivities with a 41-10 dismantling of UAB. Next up is a trip to College Station to take on Texas A&M and then the SEC Championship game against Georgia.

7. Clemson (9): With a 40-10 win over Miami, the Tigers have now won 40 straight home games. Thanks to some of Saturday’s results elsewhere, things are looking up for Clemson’s CFP chances. It’s just the ninth 40-game winning streak at home in FBS history, the first since Nebraska won 47 straight home games from 1991-1998.

8. Tennessee (5): Star QB Hendon Hooker’s injury added layers of disappointment to a program that saw its playoff hopes dashed with the lopsided loss to a division foe.

9. Alabama (8): No major adjustments for a 34-0 win over FCS Austin Peay.

10. Oregon (12): By beating Utah, the Ducks look certain to jump into the top 10, but what’s the ceiling? Expect Oregon to be as high as No. 8, but our official projection is that Dan Lanning’s crew will take Utes’ spot at No. 10.

11. Penn State (11): As chaos ensues around Penn State’s position in the poll, the Nittany Lions were one of the few ranked teams to absolutely live up to expectations of dominance with a 55-10 win at Rutgers.

12. Washington (15): The Huskies will advance through top-16 upsets and a dominating 54-7 win over Colorado.

13. Our Lady (18): Since joining a roster deal in 2014, Notre Dame is now 40-7 in regular season play against the ACC following a 44-0 win over Boston College. The Fighting Irish, now 8-3 on the year, capped their home roster with their 28th straight regular season win over an ACC opponent. They will face USC on the road in next week’s regular season finale.

14. Kansas State (19): Winners of three in their last four games, the Wildcats are closing in on a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game after putting up 41 points on the board in the first half and defending an early lead en route to a 17-point victory in West Virginia. A win over arch-rival Kansas next week secures Kansas State’s shot in a rematch with TCU in Dallas for the conference title.

15. UCLA (16): The Bruins gave up a 14-point lead in the first quarter and a four-point advantage in the third as they fell to the Trojans in a key spot. With back-to-back losses and now three in the past five weeks, the goodwill UCLA received at the start of the season can now be ignored given its tough closing time.

16. Utah (10): The bill is due from a seeding standpoint for Utah, a team with three losses on the year but a win over the only team to a Pac-12 loss. Beating USC provided some seeding strength that negated losses to Florida and UCLA, but now that Utah is entering the three-game losing streak after a loss to Oregon, the advantage against to face for the Bruins could determine how these teams stack up in the standings.

17. State of Florida (20): The Seminoles scored touchdowns on five of six possessions in the first half and never allowed visiting Louisiana to get competitive, leading to a 49-17 win.

18. Tulane (21): A Thursday night showdown between AAC and SMU was expected to be a tough test for the green wave following last week’s narrow loss to UCF, but the Mustangs turned the ball over five times and Tulane seized the opportunity with a 59-24 win. that should impress voters.

19. Cincinnati (22): Now 9-2 after a 20-point win at Temple, Cincinnati can claw their way to a fourth straight AAC title appearance if they beat Tulane on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

20. Coastal Carolina (23): Saturday’s game against Virginia was canceled as the school and community took the opportunity Saturday to honor the three UVA players killed in the tragic on-campus shooting last weekend.

21. North Carolina (13): The best thing North Carolina has to do in terms of the standings is to go just two losses after falling 21-17 at home to Georgia Tech. Falling from No. 13 throughout the standings is too drastic an adjustment for this point in the season, but the fall will be dramatic given both the disappointing result (losing as a 21-point favorite) and the lack of profile of the profile. high-end wins.

22. Ole Miss (14): Ole Miss’s last four results say little about where the Rebels stand against the top teams in the country. There are three losses — by 25 to LSU, by six to Alabama and by 15 to unranked Arkansas — and only one three-way win at Texas A&M. Ole Miss is a few games down 9-2 with a top 10 win, but also a few games away from being 7-4 and out of the top 25. As it stands, we have Lane’s team Kiffin hung just inside the standings after Saturday night’s loss at Fayetteville.

23. State of Oregon (25): The Beavers have now won eight games for the first time since 2012 after a convincing 31-7 road win over Arizona State. They will have a chance to solidify their chances of finishing the ranked season next week against Oregon.

24.Texas (NR): We expect the Longhorns to return to the standings. Texas was not only one of the top voters in last week’s poll outside of the top 25, but there will be “sticker shock” for voters who might have expected the Saturday’s game at Kansas was a potential upset point and instead saw a dominating 55-14 victory for the Longhorns.

25. FCU (17): There will be a drop for UCF on every ballot after the 17-14 home loss to Navy, but the Knights will likely receive enough votes to stay in the top 25. Now 8-3, UCF has wins against Tulane and Cincinnati but losses in Louisville, ECU and Navy. The contenders were 3-7 going into the game, handing the Knights their worst loss of the season. Still, UCF is a team with just three losses and two wins against other top-25 teams.

Planned retirement: State of Oklahoma (24)

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