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The newest batch of College Football Playoff rankings are out, but don’t grow too attached because they will surely change following the monster weekend ahead.
For now, here is a look at the newest rankings that were released Tuesday. Georgia still sits atop the list with undefeated hopefuls Ohio State, Michigan and TCU rounding out the rest of the top four:
2. Ohio State
11. Penn State
12. Kansas State
15. Notre Dame
16. Florida State
17. North Carolina
20. Ole Miss
21. Oregon State
There may be just seven teams remaining in the CFP race heading into the final week of the regular season and then conference championship games.
The Bulldogs, Buckeyes, Wolverines and Horned Frogs all likely control their own destiny with unblemished marks, while 10-1 USC is sitting in ideal position as well following a dramatic victory over rival UCLA.
South Carolina’s stunning upset of Tennessee opened the door for the Trojans to likely control their own destiny as well since one of Ohio State and Michigan will have a loss following Saturday’s clash. If USC can finish its season with wins over Notre Dame and the Pac-12 North champion in the conference title game, it will be hard to leave it out.
Elsewhere, two-loss LSU has the opportunity to make quite a statement if it can shock Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. That would mean wins over Alabama and the Bulldogs to go with a conference title, which is quite the selling point to the playoff committee.
Then there is 10-1 Clemson, which is looming as a possible contender if it can finish its season with wins over South Carolina and then North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers are likely lower in the pecking order than the other contenders due in large part to a blowout loss against Notre Dame, but they could make a jump if there are upsets elsewhere.
And there is also the realistic possibility that both Ohio State and Michigan could make it regardless of which team wins Saturday.
It is not a stretch to suggest a scenario where Georgia eliminates LSU in the SEC title game and USC slips up against either Notre Dame or a strong Pac-12 North victor. That could leave Georgia, TCU and the winner of the rivalry game in the CFP and the fourth and final spot up for grabs between the loser of Saturday’s contest and Clemson.
Ohio State already beat the same Notre Dame team that destroyed the Tigers, and a road loss to the Buckeyes for the Wolverines would be a better defeat than Clemson’s. That might leave Dabo Swinney’s team on the outside looking in even as a conference champion.
There is much to be decided with so little time to do so, making college football appointment viewing for the next two weeks.
Once the dust settles, there will be four teams with championship dreams.