There were no changes in the third ranking of the College Football Playoff selection committee on Tuesday night, with No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU remaining the nation’s only undefeated seed. teams, then No. 5 Tennessee.
A 66-24 blowout by unranked Missouri kept the Vols in the playoff race without winning their division as the committee’s top one-loss team. Georgia won the SEC East and will face No. 6 LSU, a top-ranked two-loss team, in the SEC Championship Game. If LSU wins the conference, it could make history as the first two-loss team to reach the CFP.
“The committee believes there is a split with Georgia,” said selection committee chairman Boo Corrigan, North Carolina State’s athletic director.
Tennessee could become the fifth team to make the CFP without winning a conference title and a third division title, joining 2016 Ohio State and 2017 Alabama. The SEC has had several teams make the CFP twice — including Georgia’s win over Alabama last season to win the national title.
Without a conference championship, the Vols will face more scrutiny from the selection committee and will bank on impressive wins over Alabama and LSU to win contention for the Power 5 conference champion.
After Oregon’s loss to Washington on Saturday, USC (9-1) is now the Pac-12’s No. 7 ranked team, dropping the two-game Ducks to No. 12. The Pac-12 has six teams at the top of the CFP. 25 against No. 23 Oregon State, including two at 10 (USC and No. 10 Utah).
USC can clinch a spot in the conference title game with a win at UCLA on Saturday, and Oregon faces Utah in another game that will help decide the Pac-12 Championship participants.
TCU clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game with a 17-10 win over Texas, but the four-loss Longhorns fell to No. 18 in the CFP Top 25 this week. He helped the Horned Frogs get back into the rankings this week against No. 22 Oklahoma State, giving TCU a second-place tie against No. 15 Kansas State.
There are three more rounds, including the release of the final Top 25 on Election Day, December 4. No team has been ranked outside of the committee’s top 10 this season and still made the CFP. The lowest was Michigan State in 2015 and Oklahoma in 2019, both ranked ninth.
Two-loss Alabama is No. 8 this week, ahead of one-loss No. 9 Clemson, who will play No. 13 North Carolina in the ACC Championship.
Following a 38-31 win over Tulane, No. 20 UCF is the Group 5 leader for a New Year’s Six bowl conference title bid, followed by No. 21 Tulane.