The college football playoff selection committee might not even break a sweat this weekend. No lengthy debates, no Tylenol, no early hotel check-out.

No. 1 in Georgia, No. 2 in Michigan, No. 3 in TCU, and No. 4 in USC seem to be one conference championship win away from claiming those coveted four spots. This will be the first time since 2017 that there will not be a top-five matchup on championship weekend, as TCU is the only team to face a top-10 CFP contender in No. 10 Kansas State. USC has a tough game against No. 11 Utah, but Michigan plays Purdue unranked, with four losses.

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Georgia is the clear favorite against No. 14 LSU, who have lost three matches.

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Winning their respective conference title games will underline their resume with one of the tiebreaks that have been used to separate them from the likes of No. 5 in Ohio State (11-1) and No. 6 in Alabama (10-2).

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Even with the loss, both Georgia and Michigan seem to have a solid foundation for a top-four finish, barring absolute failures. The committee will have to balance Michigan’s victory over Ohio State – perhaps the best in the country – with the worst defeat of any opponent. He will still own the head-to-head, albeit against Ohio State.

CFP is on the edge of a field that does not include the state of Ohio, Alabama, or Clemson. Remember for a moment: Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State finished 17 of 32 in the playoffs. Ohio and Alabama did not win their divisions this season. Their resumes are full. At number 9, Clemson with two losses is an afterthought after a home loss to South Carolina, even if he beats North Carolina with three losses to win the ACC.

Instead of two or three! — SEC teams, four different Power 5 conferences can be represented, with TCU and USC able to finish in the top four for the first time in the CFP era. As USC faces Utah on Friday night, Pac-12 will be in the spotlight as the selection committee watches the games together in person. The undefeated TCU will try to beat K-State for the second time this season, while USC has a chance to redeem itself after losing to the Utes in the regular season.

To get the Buckeyes or Tide back into the conversation, they’ll need help – and history says they can get it. According to research by Sportzshala Stats & Information, 26 of the previous 32 teams from the top four in the penultimate ranking made it to the CFP. Five of the six that didn’t make it lost on the final weekend.

This is what the fifth rank means, if any are frustrating when it matters most and how it will affect the committee on selection day:

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The state of Ohio is ready to jump up – from their couches – in frustration

Since Ohio and Alabama are not playing this weekend, their positions will not change on Sunday. Since the committee thinks the Buckeyes are better now, they will be considered first if the team above them loses. The easiest route for USC would be to lose to Utah because it would be USC’s second loss to Utes this year, making it difficult for the committee to justify the Trojans as “definitely” one of the top four teams in the country. They also aren’t going to reward Utah with three losses even though the Utah just won the Pac-12 title. Instead, the door will be open for Ohio State to take fourth place. However, things get a little more complicated if the only upset is TCU’s loss to K-State…


What happens if #3 TCU loses?

The biggest question that comes up is what happens if TCU loses? Part of that will depend on how the Big 12 championship unfolds. . However, TCU currently sits at the top of Sportzshala’s record strength rankings and will have regular season wins over K-State and 20th in Texas. They will be measured by Ohio State’s wins over No. 8 Penn State and No. 21 Notre Dame. If TCU loses a close game and USC wins, perhaps USC will move to 3rd and TCU will drop to 4th. TCU’s chances of staying in the top four increase if USC also loses, just by default. This particular scenario would open the door for Alabama to be considered. And still…


No. 6. Alabama’s hopes are almost extinguished.

If Alabama’s hopes are revived, it will likely require two one-sided losses to both TCU and USC, but that still doesn’t rule out the possibility of TCU and Ohio State finishing in the top four. It helped Alabama that the 24th Mississippi was ranked fifth, although that was mostly a mistake because the Bulldogs beat Ole Miss to get there, which was one of Alabama’s best wins. Alabama’s best win is 20th in Texas. The best news for Tide? They were ahead of both teams they lost to: 14th in LSU and 7th in Tennessee.


American title game as de facto sixth New Year’s game.

The highest-ranked conference champion from the Group 5 league is guaranteed a place in the New Year’s Six bowl and that will be decided at 4:00 pm ET Saturday when No. 18 Tulane hosts UCF No. 22 in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. . According to Sportzshala Analytics, Tulane has a 59% chance of winning. Cincinnati fell out this week after losing 27-24 to Tulane on Friday, and UTSA went 10-2 unranked, leaving AAC on top again. — Heather Dinich

Anger Index

There is a particularly poignant scene in The Simpsons season 5 episode in which Homer gets a seat aboard a space shuttle because his only contender for the honor got drunk on non-alcoholic champagne and took off in a jetpack.

NASA Boss: Well, Homer, I think you’re the default winner.

Homer: By default! The two sweetest words in the English language.

Indeed, it must have been especially gratifying for the college football playoff committee to watch Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, and Oregon use Week 13 to crack a few Martinellis and head out into the wild blue yonder. It made their job so much easier.

So, if by default all four are in place, then there is nothing to resent, right? Maybe we just need to dig a little deeper for this week’s anger index.

1. Trojans USC (fourth place)

Wait, didn’t we just say that the top four is clean? What should USC be upset about?

Trojan rating is ok. This is the best team with one defeat. The problem is that the committee placed Penn State in 8th place, and USC’s margin of error in the Pac-12 championship has been substantially reduced.

Step back and look at the summary. USC now has wins over No. 15 Oregon State, No. 17 UCLA, and No. 21 Notre Dame. His only loss came in 11th in Utah. This is a really good publicity stunt for the committee.

Ohio state business proposal? A less impressive win over Notre Dame and an away win over Penn State.

With both teams 11-1, there’s no doubt who should be No. 4. But suppose USC loses to Utah again in the Pac-12 title game while Ohio State sits at home and watches. What happens then? Will the committee really punish the Trojans for an extra game and bring the Bakeev to the playoffs?

The best case for this would be simple: Ohio State beat the No. 8 team in the nation on the road. USC wouldn’t have had such a good win. And that might be a pretty solid argument, except for one little flaw: Who did Penn State beat? The answer is: none of the top 25. The Nittany Lions’ best win came in the first week against Purdue in a game that saw them fall behind in the last minute of the game. Every other team in the top nine has at least two wins against other teams in the top 25.

So if it comes to an Ohio State win over Penn State that pushes the Buckeyes into the top four next week, it’s going to be an awfully small difference that got them there.


2. Tennessee Volunteers (7th)

Tennessee defeated Alabama. Tennessee beat LSU by 27 points and LSU also beat Alabama. Tennessee has the same record as Alabama and both losses were to teams that Alabama shouldn’t have played (one to the #1 team in the nation and one to the #19 team in the nation). So why are the Volunteers still inferior to Alabama? The committee essentially determined that the loss of QB Hendon Hooker required a complete downgrading of volunteers. Given that Tennessee may have the best QB backup in the country, this seems like a bold assumption.

3. Troy Trojans (not rated)

The Committee has decided that the winner of the American Track and Field Championship game will go to the New Year’s Six, and if Tulane is the winner, it’s hard to argue with that. But UKF? The team that lost to ECU by 21? The team that lost at home to the Navy? The team that needed to land 20 seconds before last week’s game to beat the hapless USF? Why are the Knights seriously competing for the New Year’s Six bowl with the Troy team with the best track record, a nine-game winning streak and much more forgivable losses? The Trojans’ only losses came in Week 1 against the Ole Miss team, which had been ranked all season prior to this poll, and a last-second Hail Mary away loss in Appalachia State. Meanwhile, Troy has solid wins over Western Kentucky and South Alabama and could add another in the Sun Belt title game against Coastal Carolina this week. That Troy isn’t even in the discussion is a huge oversight. — David M. Hale

What will the 12-team playoffs look like?

Anyone who can expand the college football playoffs wants to have 12 teams by the 2024 season.

But the expansion is currently scheduled for 2026. So while discussions continue on how to move the timeline forward, we’ll see what the 12-team playoffs will look like today, based on the already defined model released by the Commissioners. and presidents.

The field will consist of a selection…