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

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The extremely low margin for error in college football was visible across all scores and week 12 results. It was a week when the scoreboard showed a couple of losses for the top 25 teams, but we were also a few steps away from complete chaos in the game. college football rankings.

Kentucky pushed No. 1 Georgia into the red, holding a 10-point lead with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter before forcing a missed field goal and loss on downs to go undefeated. No. 2 Ohio State, also up against an unranked opponent, had a three-point lead at the end of the battle with Maryland. Meanwhile, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU won thanks to last-second field goals. If several draws (or even just a couple of strikes) produced different results, the top 25 AP voters would have the difficult task of sorting out the massacre on their updated ballots.

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This does not mean that the work of voters will be easy after Saturday’s results.

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The debate over the amount of work versus recent results will be on full display when Tennessee falls out after a stunning 63-38 defeat in South Carolina. The Volunteers are now 9-2 and have victories over both Alabama and LSU, but Saturday night’s loss as the 22-point favorite could see Tennessee fall behind one or both of those SEC opponents. A similar conservation would take place lower in the rankings after Ole Miss lost for the second week in a row, this time in unranked Arkansas. The Rebels are 8-3 and only one point behind last week’s loss when, in search of quality wins, voters must determine how valuable close wins over Kentucky and Texas A&M are compared to other three-losing teams.

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By the end of the night, five of the top 16 teams in the AP Top 25 will have suffered losses, giving other teams plenty of room to move up. The biggest beneficiaries of the limited chaos were USC and Clemson, each taking care of their own business (in vastly different ways) to stay on top of their respective conferences at the start of Week 13. decisions to be made on Sunday selection.

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

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

2. Ohio State (2): The Buckeyes could have gotten a few more first-place votes after scoring at the end of a 43-30 victory over Maryland, but voters tracking the score throughout the day will notice it was a three-point game deep in the fourth. quarters. Running back freshman Dallan Hayden broke through with 146 yards and three touchdowns, all of them after the break as Ohio State overcame an early deficit and took control of the game in the third quarter.

3. Michigan (3): Michigan has a lot to worry about after Saturday’s win over Illinois – from Blake Corum’s health to how often goalscoring chances end in field goal attempts – but simply holding on to a win will be enough to stay in the game. top five rankings.

4. GTU (4): The dream season continues for TCU thanks to quarterback Max Duggan leading a pair of scoring races in the fourth quarter, opening the door to a potential top three jump. Our prediction is that AP voters will retain last week’s order, but the playoff committee has fewer voters, so it could be more volatile. TCU could take 4th on Sunday but 3rd on Tuesday night thanks to a game-winning field goal at Baylor.

5. USC (7): The Trojans went up 14-0 after the first quarter, leading the Bruins by 17 in the last 45 minutes to take a 48-45 win to remain the only team with one loss in the Pac-12. With the fall of Tennessee and the impressive success of USC clinching a spot in the Pac-12 championship game, the Trojans should jump over LSU with two losses to fifth.

6. LSU (6): The Tigers enjoyed the Day of the Aged celebration with the dismantling of UAB 41-10. What follows is a trip to College Station to face Texas A&M and then an SEC championship game against Georgia.

7. Clemson (9): After beating Miami 40-10, the Tigers have won 40 home games in a row. Thanks to some Saturday results, Clemson’s CFP chances are improving. This is just the ninth streak of 40 home wins in FBS history, the first since Nebraska won 47 straight home games from 1991 to 1998.

8. Tennessee (5): An injury to star quarterback Hendon Hooker added to the disappointment of a program whose playoff hopes were shattered by an uneven loss to division rivals.

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

10. Oregon (12): By beating Yuta, the Ducks seem to be in the top 10 for sure, but what’s the ceiling? Expect Oregon to take 8th, but our official predictions are Dan Lanning’s team will take Cliff’s place in 10th.

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

12. Washington (15): The Huskies will rise to the top thanks to top 16 shake-ups and a dominant 54-7 victory over Colorado.

13. Mother of God (18): Since joining the scheduling deal in 2014, Notre Dame is now 40-7 in regular season games against the ACC after beating Boston College 44-0. The Fighting Irish, now 8-3 on the year, closed their home roster with their 28th consecutive regular season win over the ACC rival. They will face USC on the road in the regular season finals next week.

14. Kansas State (19): Having won three of their last four, the Wildcats are closing in on a Big 12 championship game spot with 41 points in the first half and defending an early lead en route to a 17-point victory in West Virginia. A win over Kansas next week gives Kansas State a shot at a rematch with TCU in Dallas for the conference title.

15. UCLA (16): The Bruins lost a 14-point lead in the first quarter and a four-point lead in the third, giving up a key spot to the Trojans. With consecutive losses, and now three in the last five weeks, the goodwill UCLA received at the start of the season may now be overlooked given its difficult finish.

16. Utah (10): The score was billed in terms of ranking Utah, a team with three losses in a year but a victory over the only Pac-12 team to suffer one loss. The victory over USC provided some ranking strength that has prevailed over losses to Florida and UCLA, but now that Utah is entering the three-loss teams debate since losing to Oregon, the Bruins’ head-to-head advantage could determine how these commands are added. up in the rankings.

17. Florida State (20): The Seminoles scored touchdowns in five of six first-half possessions and never once let the Louisiana visit become competitive, going to a 49–17 victory.

18. Tulane (21): AAC’s clash with SMU on Thursday night was expected to be a tough test for Green Wave after a close loss to UCF last week, but the Mustangs turned the ball five times and Tulane seized the opportunity with a 59–24 win. it should impress voters.

19. Cincinnati (22): Now 9-2 after a 20-point win over Temple, Cincinnati could play their part in a fourth straight AAC title game if they beat Tulane on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

20. Coastal Carolina (23): Saturday’s game against Virginia has been canceled as the school and community took advantage of Saturday to honor the three UVA players who died in a tragic shooting on campus last weekend.

21. North Carolina (13): The best that North Carolina can do in terms of rankings is just two losses after losing 21-17 at home to Georgia Tech. The fall from 13th place to the bottom of the rankings is too drastic an adjustment for this point in the season, but the fall will be dramatic given both the disappointing record (losing as a 21-point favorite) and the lack of high wins in the profile.

22. Ole Miss (14): The last four results for Ole Miss provide little clue as to where the Rebels are competing against the best teams in the country. There are three losses – 25 to LSU, 6 to Alabama, and 15 to unranked Arkansas – and a single 3 win to Texas A&M. Ole Miss is a few games away from being 9-2 with a top 10 win, but also a few games away from going 7-4 and out of the top 25. As it stands, Lane Kiffin’s team is kept right inside. ratings after Saturday night’s loss in Fayetteville.

23. Oregon State (25): The Beavers 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 bolster their chances of finishing the season in the rankings next week against Oregon.

24. Texas (NR): We predict the Longhorns will return to the rankings. Texas was not only one of last week’s poll leaders outside the top 25, but also voters who may have expected Saturday’s game in Kansas to be a potential disappointment and instead saw a dominant 55-14 Longhorn win.

25. UKF (17): With a 17-14 home loss to the Navy on every ballot, the UCF will decline, but the Knights will likely get enough votes to stay in the top 25. Now 8-3, …


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