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

The razor-thin margin for error in college football was on show all through the scores and outcomes from Week 12. It was every week the place the scoreboard confirmed a pair upsets for high 25 groups, however we have been additionally a couple of bounces away from whole chaos in the college football rankings.

No. 1 Georgia was backed up into the crimson zone by Kentucky, holding a 10-point lead with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter earlier than forcing a missed discipline purpose and a turnover on downs to stay undefeated. No. 2 Ohio State, additionally on the highway towards an unranked opponent, led by simply three factors late in a battle with Maryland. Meanwhile, no. 3 Michigan and no. 4 TCU each received due to last-second discipline targets. If a couple of performs (and even simply a few kicks) had totally different outcomes, the AP Top 25 voters can be confronted with a tough problem checking out the carnage in their up to date ballots.

That’s to not say the voters’ job shall be straightforward in the wake of Saturday’s outcomes.

The debates about physique of labor towards latest outcomes shall be on full show with the slotting of Tennessee after a shocking 63-38 loss at South Carolina. The Volunteers at the moment are 9-2 and carry wins towards each Alabama and LSU, but Saturday evening’s defeat as a 22-point favourite may have Tennessee falling behind one or each of these SEC foes. An analogous conservation shall be had additional down in the rankings after Ole Miss misplaced for a second straight week, this time at unranked Arkansas. The Rebels are 8-3 and fell only one rating in need of topping final week, when searching for high quality wins voters should decide how helpful shut wins towards Kentucky and at Texas A&M are in comparison with different three-loss groups.

By the tip of the evening, 5 groups from the highest 16 in the AP Top 25 can have taken losses, offering loads of alternatives for different groups to maneuver up. Benefitting most from the restricted chaos have been USC and Clemson, which every took care of enterprise (in fairly totally different fashions) to stay atop their respective conferences getting into Week 13. If each can win out, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee might have some extraordinarily powerful selections to make on Selection Sunday.

Here’s how we expect the brand new AP Top 25 will look on Sunday:

1. Georgia (Last week — 1): An absence of an apparent challenger for the No. 1 spot retains the established order because the Bulldogs stay at No. 1 following a 16-6 win at Kentucky.

2. Ohio State (2): The Buckeyes may catch a couple of extra first-place votes after pouring on the factors late in a 43-30 win at Maryland, however voters monitoring scores all through the day will word that this was a three-point sport deep into the fourth quarter. Freshman operating again Dallan Hayden had a breakout efficiency with 146 yards and three touchdowns, all of them after halftime as Ohio State overcame an early deficit and took management of the sport in the third quarter.

3. Michigan (3): There is lots to be involved about for Michigan popping out of Saturday’s win towards Illinois — from Blake Corum’s well being to how typically scoring alternatives appear to finish in discipline purpose makes an attempt — however merely holding on for a win shall be sufficient to stay in the highest 5 of the rankings.

4. TCU (4): The dream season continues for TCU due to quarterback Max Duggan main a few fourth-quarter scoring drives, opening the door for a possible bounce into the highest three of the rankings. Our projection is that the AP voters will maintain final week’s order in place, however the playoff committee has fewer voters so it may be extra risky. TCU may find yourself No. 4 on Sunday however no. 3 on Tuesday evening due to the game-winning discipline purpose at Baylor.

5. USC (7): The Trojans rallied from down 14-0 after the primary quarter, outscoring the Bruins by 17 over the ultimate 45 minutes for a 48-45 victory to stay the lone one-loss workforce in the Pac-12. With Tennessee falling and USC impressing down the stretch because it clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Trojans ought to bounce two-loss LSU into the fifth spot.

6. LSU (6): The Tigers loved the Senior Day festivities with a 41-10 dismantling of UAB. Up subsequent is a visit to College Station to face Texas A&M, then the SEC Championship Game towards Georgia.

7. Clemson (9): With a 40-10 win towards Miami, the Tigers have now received 40 consecutive dwelling video games. Thanks to a few of Saturday’s outcomes elsewhere, issues are wanting up for Clemson’s CFP probabilities. This marks solely the ninth 40-game dwelling successful streak in FBS historical past, the primary since Nebraska received 47 straight dwelling video games from 1991-98.

8. Tennessee (5): The damage to star QB Hendon Hooker has added layers of disappointment for a program that noticed its playoff hopes dashed with the lopsided loss to a division foe.

9. Alabama (8): No main changes for a 34-0 win towards FCS Austin Peay.

10. Oregon (12): In defeating Utah, the Ducks appear sure to leap into the highest 10, however what is the ceiling? Look for Oregon to be as excessive as No. 8, however our official projection is Dan (*25*) crew will take the Utes’ spot at No. 10.

11. Penn State (11): While chaos ensues throughout Penn State’s place in the ballot, the Nittany Lions have been one of many few ranked groups to completely ship on expectations of dominance with a 55-10 win at Rutgers.

12. Washington (15): The Huskies will transfer up due to shake ups inside the high 16 and a dominant 54-7 win towards Colorado.

13. Notre Dame (18): Since becoming a member of right into a scheduling settlement in 2014, Notre Dame is now 40-7 in common season video games towards the ACC after a 44-0 win towards Boston College. The Fighting Irish, now 8-3 on the 12 months, closed out their dwelling slate with their twenty eighth straight common season win towards an ACC opponent. They face USC on the highway in subsequent week’s regular-season finale.

14. Kansas State (19): Winners of three in their final 4, the Wildcats are closing in on a Big 12 Championship Game spot after placing 41 factors on the board in the primary half and defending an early lead en path to a 17-point win at West Virginia. A win towards rival Kansas subsequent week secures Kansas State’s shot at a rematch with TCU in Dallas for the convention title.

15. UCLA (16): The Bruins gave up a 14-point lead in the primary quarter and a four-point benefit in the third as they fell to the Trojans in a key spot. With consecutive losses and now three in the final 5 weeks, the goodwill UCLA obtained early in the season can now be missed given its tough closing stretch.

16. Utah (10): The invoice has come due from a rating perspective for Utah, a workforce with three losses on the 12 months however a win towards the Pac-12’s lone one-loss workforce. Beating USC has supplied some rating energy that was overriding losses to Florida and UCLA, however now that Utah enters the talk of three-loss groups following a loss to Oregon, the head-to-head edge for the Bruins may decide how these groups stack up in the rankings.

17. Florida State (20): The Seminoles scored touchdowns on 5 of six first-half possessions and by no means allowed a go to from Louisiana to turn into aggressive, cruising to a 49-17 win.

18. Tulane (21): A Thursday evening AAC showdown with SMU was anticipated to be a tricky check for the Green Wave in the wake of final week’s shut loss to UCF, however the Mustangs turned the ball over 5 instances and Tulane seized the highlight alternative with a 59-24 win. that ought to impress the voters.

19. Cincinnati (22): Now 9-2 after a 20-point win at Temple, Cincinnati can play its approach right into a fourth straight AAC title sport look if it beats Tulane on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

20. Coastal Carolina (23): Saturday’s sport towards Virginia was canceled as the varsity and neighborhood took Saturday to honor the three UVA gamers killed in final weekend’s tragic on-campus taking pictures.

21. North Carolina (13): The neatest thing North Carolina has going for it in phrases of the rankings is just having two losses after falling 21-17 at dwelling to Georgia Tech. Falling from No. 13 all the way in which out of the rankings is simply too drastic of an adjustment for this level in the season, however the tumble shall be dramatic contemplating each the disappointing end result (dropping as a 21-point favourite) and the profile’s lack of high-end wins .

22. Ole Miss (14): The final 4 outcomes for Ole Miss give little perception into the place the Rebels stack up towards the most effective groups in the nation. There are three losses — by 25 to LSU, by six to Alabama and by 15 to unranked Arkansas — and a lone win by three at Texas A&M. Ole Miss is a couple of performs away from 9-2 with a top-10 win but additionally a couple of performs away from being 7-4 and out of the highest 25. As it stands, we have Lane Kiffin’s workforce hanging on simply contained in the rankings after Saturday evening’s loss in Fayetteville.

23. Oregon State (25): The Beavers have now received eight video games for the primary time since 2012 after a convincing 31-7 highway victory over Arizona State. They can have an opportunity to solidify their probabilities of ending the season ranked subsequent week towards Oregon.

24. Texas (NR): We’re projecting the Longhorns to interrupt again into the rankings. Texas was not solely one of many high vote-getters in final week’s balloting outdoors the highest 25, however there shall be some “sticker shock” for voters who may need anticipated Saturday’s sport at Kansas to be a possible upset spot and as a substitute noticed a dominant 55-14 Longhorns win.

25. UCF (17): There goes to be a drop for UCF on each poll after the 17-14 dwelling loss to Navy, however the Knights will probably obtain sufficient votes to remain inside the highest 25. Now 8-3, UCF does have wins towards Tulane and Cincinnati however losses to Louisville, ECU and Navy. The Midshipmen have been 3-7 heading into the sport, handing the Knights their worst lack of the season. Still, UCF is a workforce with solely three losses and two wins towards different groups in the highest 25.

Projected to drop out: Oklahoma State (24)

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