A rock-solid top five has emerged in the USA TODAY Sports NCAA Re-Rank 1-131 but questions arise beginning with No. 6 after a weekend that saw four national contenders get bounced from the College Football Playoff race.
In the most impactful result from Saturday, Oregon’s loss to rival Washington leads to a drop of eight spots to No. 14, while the Huskies climb four to No. 13. Also in the Pac-12, UCLA was unable to get past Arizona and falls 10 to No. 17.
After losing to Alabama, Mississippi drops five spots to No. 15. With the win, the Crimson Tide climb three to No. 10 but are still eliminated from playoff contention following LSU’s win against Arkansas to clinch the SEC West.
The top five doesn’t budge: Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, TCU and Tennessee. The Horned Frogs had the closest brush with disaster in a defensive struggle against Texas.
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Should TCU stumble in one of the next three games, this week’s debate over No. 6 may preview a coming argument over which one-loss or two-loss team will become the fourth team in the playoff field.
Southern California rises two spots to No. 6 after Friday’s win against Colorado and remains ahead of LSU, though the Tigers would close that gap and leap ahead with wins against Alabama-Birmingham, Texas A&M and Georgia. Just behind LSU are No. 8 Clemson, which bounced back with a win against Louisville, and No. 9 Utah.
If three spots are taken by Georgia, the Big Ten champion and Tennessee, No. 4 in the playoff rankings could come down to 12-1 USC, 11-2 LSU and 12-1 Clemson. It might not take more than a nudge for three SEC teams to make the playoff.
Story Credit: usatoday.com