Survive and advance.
That was the motto of last week, as Michigan and TCU took the full 60 minutes to pull out wins over Illinois and Baylor, respectively. For Michigan, it was a flurry of field goals at the end of the game. For TCU, it was a game-winner as time expired that kept their playoff dreams alive.
And at this point in the season, keeping them alive is what it’s all about. Michigan weathered the storm to set up a clash of the titans against fellow undefeated Ohio State this weekend, in what will ostensibly determine who will represent the Big Ten in the playoffs this year. TCU now has the table set for a game against Iowa State, as they look to shock the world and stay in playoff contention.
Amidst all of this, Georgia is perched, more or less waiting for LSU in the SEC Championship Game.
Outside of the top four, Tennessee suffered a heartbreaking loss in which the Volunteers starting QB, Hendon Hooker, went down with a season-ending ACL injury, all but shattering its playoff chances. Now, LSU and USC find themselves in a relatively surprising position to jump into the top-4 with first-year coaches.
The Sporting News breaks down the latest set of College Football Playoff top 25 rankings, starting with those all-important four teams in:
College Football Playoff rankings 2022
Top four CFP teams of fourth CFP poll
There’s no reason to think the top four will change, as Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, and TCU all managed to hold serve despite scares from the latter two. Ohio State and Michigan, of course, are playing to keep their respective places in the top four, but a loss doesn’t necessarily knock them out. It will depend on the game itself, more likely than not. With two-loss LSU and one-loss USC behind them, losing to a playoff team is not an immediate kiss of death this season.
MORE: Updated AP Top 25, Coaches Poll rankings after Week 13
First two teams out of fourth CFP poll
LSU and USC were fortuitous last week, with No. 5 Tennessee suffering a massive upset at the hands of South Carolina. That means the Tigers and Trojans likely have a bit of their own destiny in their hands. USC eked out a three-point win over UCLA last week that kept its postseason dreams alive, and it now has a pivotal game against Notre Dame. LSU, for its part, has a game against Texas A&M Saturday before a date with Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
MORE: CFP ranking release dates for 2022
College Football Playoff top 25 rankings from the second CFP poll of 2022
This section will be updated when the rankings release.
New Year’s Day 6 bowl projections
Latest projections based off Week 13 CFP rankings and conference championship game participants:
- Orange Bowl (Dec. 30):
- Sugar Bowl (Dec. 31):
- Peach Bowl (Dec. 31):
- Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 31):
- Cotton Bowl (Jan. 2):
- Rose Bowl (Jan. 2):
* – CFP Semifinals