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:
4. Southern California
5. Ohio State
8. Penn State
10. Kansas State
13. Florida State
15. Oregon State
19. South Carolina
21. Notre Dame
23. North Carolina
24. Mississippi State
25. NC State
–Field Level Media