Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) and offensive lineman Brett Neilon (62) celebrate after the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia, Michigan, TCU, USC top 4 in final rankings before field picked

Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Southern California are in prime position for the College Football Playoff five days before the field is finalized.

The Bulldogs, Wolverines, Horned Frogs and Trojans occupied the top four spots in the penultimate CFP rankings of the season revealed Tuesday night.

That quartet of programs will play in their respective conference title games on Friday and Saturday. The four-team field will be cemented the following Sunday; Georgia (12-0), Michigan (12-0) and TCU (12-0) may have locked up their spots even if they lose Saturday.

Michigan ran away from Ohio State 45-23 on the road Saturday and moved up one spot to No. 2, remaining behind defending national champion Georgia.

“As we looked at it, Georgia, there was nothing they did last weekend against Georgia Tech that to really diminish it,” CFP selection chair and NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan said in an ESPN interview. “They’re 4-0 against ranked teams in our Top 25. Michigan, huge win, particularly in the second half against Ohio State (and) 2-0 against teams in the Top 25. Again, we didn’t see any reason to move Georgia out of the top spot.”

TCU will face No. 10 Kansas State in the Big 12 title game; the Horned Frogs rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Wildcats 38-28 on Oct. 22.

The Trojans, which rose two spots to No. 4 after losses by Ohio State and LSU, are 11-1 and can avenge their lone loss when they face No. 11 Utah in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game. Utah beat visiting USC 43-42 on Oct. 15.

Ohio State (11-1) fell to No. 5 following its first loss of the season. Alabama (10-2), Tennessee (10-2), Penn State (10-2), Clemson (10-2) and Kansas State (9-3) round out the top 10.

The full rankings are below:

1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. TCU
4. Southern California
5. Ohio State
6. Alabama
7. Tennessee
8. Penn State
9. Clemson
10. Kansas State
11. Utah
12. Washington
13. Florida State
14. LSU
15. Oregon State
16. Oregon
17. UCLA
18. Tulane
19. South Carolina
20. Texas
21. Notre Dame
22. UCF
23. North Carolina
24. Mississippi State
25. NC State

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (7) and head coach Brian Kelly celebrate after they beat the Florida Gators  at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LSU up to No. 5 as CFP rankings’ top four remain unchanged

Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU occupied the first four positions of the College Football Playoff rankings for the third straight week, with two-loss LSU claiming the No. 5 spot in the newest edition of the rankings Tuesday.

LSU and Southern California each moved up one spot to Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Alabama, Clemson, Oregon and Tennessee rounded out the top 10. Tennessee dropped five spots after its surprise 63-38 loss to South Carolina that featured a torn ACL to the Vols’ Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, Hendon Hooker.

USC beat then-No. 16 UCLA in a 48-45 thriller Saturday, improving the Trojans’ record to 10-1.

USC’s only loss came in October on the road at Utah, currently ranked No. 14, 43-42. But LSU (9-2) has wins over Ole Miss and Alabama, which were ranked in the top seven nationally at the times of the games.

“There’s reasons for USC to be at 5. There’s reasons for LSU to be at 5,” CFP chairman Boo Corrigan said in an ESPN interview. “As we looked at it, (LSU’s) wins over Alabama and Mississippi carried the day more so than (USC’s) wins over UCLA and Oregon State. … The good win that (USC) had on Saturday was 48-45. I think some of the members of the committee, as we looked at it, wanted to see a little bit more from their defense, as well as the overall strength of schedule from LSU.”

Each top-four team stayed in place after a nail-biting week. Georgia went on the road and beat Kentucky 16-6; Ohio State rallied from a halftime deficit to top Maryland 43-30; and Michigan and TCU needed last-second field goals to beat Illinois and Baylor, respectively.

Second-ranked Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan on Saturday.

The quartet are the only four unbeaten teams left in FBS.

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. TCU
5. LSU
6. Southern California
7. Alabama
8. Clemson
9. Oregon
10. Tennessee
11. Penn State
12. Kansas State
13. Washington
14. Utah
15. Notre Dame
16. Florida State
17. North Carolina
18. UCLA
19. Tulane
20. Ole Miss
21. Oregon State
22. UCF
23. Texas
24. Cincinnati
25. Louisville

–Field Level Media

Oregon's Kris Hutson remains in the end zone after the team's loss against Washington Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

2022-11-14--oregon loss

Georgia still No. 1, Oregon slides in new CFP rankings

The top five teams remained unchanged, and Oregon slipped out of the top 10 as the third College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night.

Georgia remained No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Michigan and TCU. All four are 10-0. Tennessee (9-1) remained fifth.

Oregon (8-2) slid from sixth to 12th after losing 37-34 to Washington last Saturday. Washington moved up from 25th to 17th thanks to that win.

Georgia had ascended from No. 3 to No. 1 last week after beating Tennessee 27-13. Then the Bulldogs moved to 7-0 in the Southeastern Conference play with a 45-19 win at Mississippi State on Saturday.

Ohio State (7-0 Big Ten) has held the second spot in all three weeks of the rankings. The Buckeyes and Michigan (7-0 Big Ten) play their annual Big Game on Nov. 26 in Columbus, Ohio.

TCU, which moved up three spots last week, stayed steady at No. 4 after holding on to beat Texas 17-10 on Saturday. Texas, which had been 18th, dropped out of the rankings.

“You’re looking for improvement during the course of the year,” Boo Corrigan, the CFP committee chairman, said of TCU, in a televised ESPN interview.

No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Southern California, No. 8 Alabama and No. 9 Clemson all moved up a spot as Oregon dropped. Utah rounded out the top 10 with a jump from No. 13.

Southern California demolished Colorado 55-17 on Friday.

“They’ve continued to win games,” Corrigan told ESPN. “They have the one loss in Utah, in a really emotional (43-42) game, if you remember back to that game. That’s the one loss they have, the one blemish they have.”

The full rankings:
1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. TCU
5. Tennessee
6. LSU
7. Southern California
8. Alabama
9. Clemson
10. Utah
11. Penn State
12. Oregon
13. North Carolina
14. Mississippi
15. Kansas State
16. UCLA
17. Washington
18. Notre Dame
19. Florida State
20. UCF
21. Tulane
22. Oklahoma State
23. Oregon State
24. NC State
25. Cincinnati

–Field Level Media

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) scores a touchdown during the first half of a NCAA college football game between Tennessee and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

News Joshua L Jones

Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, TCU top 4 in latest CFP rankings

Georgia soared to the No. 1 spot in the second edition of this season’s College Football Playoff rankings after defeating last week’s No. 1, Tennessee.

The Bulldogs were followed by Ohio State, Michigan and TCU in the top four of the new rankings, released Tuesday night. Those are the only four remaining unbeaten teams in FBS college football.

Georgia soundly beat visiting Tennessee 27-13 last Saturday. The Bulldogs, the defending national champions, were No. 3 in the initial CFP rankings. They are 9-0 (6-0 Southeastern Conference) and 27-1 in their past 28 games dating to 2020.

Ohio State (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) claimed the second spot in the rankings for the second straight week, while Michigan (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) moved up two spots as the teams remain on a collision course for their annual Big Game on Nov. 26 in Columbus, Ohio.

TCU, also 9-0, benefited from losses by Clemson and Alabama, which were both ranked ahead of the Horned Frogs last week, to move up three spots.

“They’ve got six wins over teams that are .500 or better,” NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan, the new CFP chairman, said in an ESPN interview. “They’re averaging 43 points a game. As you know, we value wins. And they continue to find a way to win and not give up those points in the second half, and it really was impactful to the committee.”

Tennessee fell to No. 5. Oregon is No. 6 after its eighth straight win following a Week 1 blowout loss to Georgia. And LSU moved up three spots to No. 7 after the Tigers beat Alabama 32-31 in an overtime classic.

“We’re looking at the overall body of work, where it’s not about one game, it’s about what have they done throughout the entire season,” Corrigan said.

Southern California, Alabama and Clemson completed the top 10. Clemson was shut out for three quarters en route to a 35-14 road loss to Notre Dame. Unranked in the initial poll, the Fighting Irish appeared at No. 20 Tuesday.

The full rankings are below:

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. TCU
5. Tennessee
6. Oregon
7. LSU
8. Southern California
9. Alabama
10. Clemson
11. Ole Miss
12. UCLA
13. Utah
14. Penn State
15. North Carolina
16. NC State
17. Tulane
18. Texas
19. Kansas State
20. Notre Dame
21. Illinois
22. UCF
23. Florida State
24. Kentucky
25. Washington

–Field Level Media

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) scrambles out of pocket during the NCAA college football game against UT Martin on Saturday, October 22, 2022 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Utvmartin1012

Tennessee, Ohio St., Georgia, Clemson top 4 in first CFP rankings

Tennessee earned the No. 1 spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season Tuesday night, followed by Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Michigan.

The Volunteers had not been ranked inside the top 15 in the nine-year history of the CFP, but thanks to an 8-0 record with a 52-49 win over Alabama as their signature victory, they topped the initial field with four weeks left in the regular season.

New CFP chairman Boo Corrigan — the athletic director at North Carolina State — cited the Vols’ strong wins as the factor that separated them from Ohio State and Georgia.

“I think the two wins that you’re looking at, with Alabama and at LSU, really sealed the deal for Tennessee,” Corrigan said in an interview on ESPN.

Tennessee plays at No. 3 Georgia in an SEC East battle on Saturday. Georgia, the defending national champion, was the No. 1 team in the latest AP Poll, with Tennessee tied for second.

The Buckeyes open the rankings at No. 2 following a 44-31 road victory over No. 15 Penn State. Ohio State has won all eight of its games by at least 11 points.

All top-five teams are 8-0. Prognosticators figured Michigan would be No. 4, but playoff regular Clemson was rewarded with that spot. The Tigers have beaten three other teams in the initial rankings — Wake Forest, NC State and Syracuse.

Alabama — 7-1 after a loss to Tennessee — came in at No. 6, ahead of unbeaten TCU at No. 7.

“We’re looking for a balanced team, offense and defense,” Corrigan said of TCU. “They’ve gotten behind in games.”

Oregon and Southern California gave the Pac-12 some representation at Nos. 8 and 9.

LSU was No. 10, five spots higher than its ranking in this week’s AP Poll. The Tigers are 6-2, with losses to Florida State and Tennessee but recent wins over Florida and Ole Miss, the latter of whom came in at No. 11.

See the full rankings below:

1. Tennessee
2. Ohio State
3. Georgia
4. Clemson
5. Michigan
6. Alabama
7. TCU
8. Oregon
9. Southern California
10. LSU
11. Ole Miss
12. UCLA
13. Kansas State
14. Utah
15. Penn State
16. Illinois
17. North Carolina
18. Oklahoma State
19. Tulane
20. Syracuse
21. Wake Forest
22. NC State
23. Oregon State
24. Texas
25. UCF

–Field Level Media

Sep 14, 2022; Inglewood, California, US; College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock attends the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Kickoff event at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

CFP committee meets; date for playoff expansion still up in air

The College Football Playoff management committee met Thursday at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport for the third time since the board of managers decided to expand the playoff to 12 teams.

But the committee seems no closer to deciding whether that expansion will happen in time for the 2024 season.

“They made progress, but they’re not finished,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock told reporters. “It is true that time is not on our side, but we haven’t given ourselves a deadline.”

Hancock added that Atlanta and Miami, which in August agreed to host the national championship games in January 2025 and 2026, are fine with changing the dates of those title games in service of expanding the playoff sooner.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said “every time you turn over one stone, you start tripping on other issues,” which include fitting first-round games on campuses around those schools’ final exams and December commencement ceremonies.

Other options on the table include beginning the 12-team format in 2025 or 2026.

The CFP has been a four-team tournament since its inception following the 2014 season. The 12 teams in the revamped playoff will be the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six highest-ranked at-large teams.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) celebrates after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sportsbooks split on CFP title favorite

Georgia flexed at South Carolina on Saturday and the No. 1 Bulldogs are viewed as the national title favorites at DraftKings and FanDuel.

The Bulldogs offered their latest exhibit in domination by going ahead 48-0 in Columbia, S.C., before the Gamecocks found the endzone late in the fourth quarter.

At BetMGM, nearly 11 percent of national championship futures tickets list Georgia as the favorite. Most books then tend to be aligned on one thing: through Week 3 of the college football season, it’s a three-horse race.

Georgia pulled well ahead at +175 at DraftKings, which lists Alabama at +210 and Ohio State at +275 before anyone else enters the equation (USC is +1200 and fourth on the national title board).

FanDuel has Georgia at +180, Alabama +200 and Ohio State at +300.

As of Monday morning, the Crimson Tide were favored at Caesars Sportsbook at +200 and Georgia +210.

It’s difficult to see Georgia being an underdog the rest of the season, and even finding an opponent that will challenge the Bulldogs might be relatively challenging by SEC standards.

The line for Week 4 against Kent State on Saturday? Georgia is a 44-point favorite with the total set at 59.5.

The Bulldogs have now allowed 10 points in three games. In addition to the annual showdown with Florida (Oct. 29), Georgia visits No. 8 Kentucky on Nov. 19 and doesn’t face Alabama in the regular season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

CFP championship game to kick off 45 minutes earlier

The College Football Playoff national championship game will kick off earlier than usual, ESPN said Thursday.

The title game, set for Jan. 9, will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 PT). In the eight-year history of the CFP, the game has not started before 8:15 p.m.

While ESPN did not announce a reason for the change, it presumably is being made to allow the game to end earlier than usual — before midnight.

The title game will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Current No. 1 Georgia is the defending champion.

–Field Level Media

Jul 26, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA;  Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren talks to the media during Big 10 football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

CFP committee discusses moving 12-team playoff up to 2024

The College Football Playoff management committee convened Thursday to begin hammering out whether a 12-team playoff could debut as soon as the 2024 season.

The committee consists of the 10 commissioners of FBS conferences and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. Reporters in Irving, Texas, said they met for about 4 1/2 hours in a meeting room at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

A deadline is not set, according to CFP executive director Bill Hancock, but the meeting produced some optimism.

“I even feel better coming out of the meeting than I did going into it, and I was positive going into the meeting,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren told reporters. “But we have a lot of experienced people and have common goals and it was a very productive meeting.

“So I’m very pleased where we are, and we have a lot of work to do, though. We have a lot to get done.”

Other options on the table include beginning the 12-team format in 2025 or 2026, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said.

The CFP board of managers announced last Friday that the sport would move to a 12-team playoff. The playoff originally was set up as a 12-year contract set to expire after the 2025 season.

“We have asked our commissioners, the management committee, to explore the possibility of us beginning the 12-team playoff format before the 2026 season, in either 2024 or 2025,” Mississippi State president Mark Keenum, chair of the board of managers, said at the time.

Details that could stand in the way of an earlier transition include the logistics of existing TV contracts, venues and hotels. Last month, the Atlanta and Miami areas were selected to host the 2025 and 2026 title games, scheduled for the first Monday of January each year.

The CFP has been a four-team tournament since its inception following the 2014 season. The 12 teams in the revamped playoff will be the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six highest-ranked at-large teams.

–Field Level Media

Alabama linebacker Henry To'o To'o (10) enjoys the victory after the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Alabama defeated Cincinnati 27-6 to advance to the national championship game. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs Cincinnati

Reports: College football headed to 12-team playoff

College football will move to a 12-team playoff, the College Football Playoff board of managers agreed Friday, with multiple outlets reporting the decision Friday.

The CFP has been a four-team tournament since its inception following the 2014 season.

ESPN reported the 12 teams in the revamped playoff will be the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams.

When the field will expand remains a question. The College Football Playoff originally was set up as a 12-year contract set to expire after the 2025 season.

The committee, which consists of 11 college presidents and chancellors, voted unanimously, to increase the field in 2026, though ESPN reported the committee is urging an earlier start date.

ESPN reported the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick are scheduled to meet next week in Dallas to discuss expansion plans.

The 2023 College Football Playoff championship game is scheduled to be played Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

The CFP replaced the Bowl Championship Series to determine the national champion in college football each year. The current format matches the No. 1-ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games: Cotton, Fiesta, Peach, Orange, Sugar and Rose.

–Field Level Media