USC football’s College Football Playoff ranking debut isn’t encouraging

USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

USC football’s place in College Football Playoff ranking is deserved, concerning

Does USC football have a legitimate shot at the College Football Playoff if the Trojans go undefeated?

That depends on your definition of legitimate.

The Trojans find themselves slightly above where they’re ranked in the AP poll, but not by much. It’s a sign of how much they’ll have to climb if they want to make postseason waves.

USC football debuted at No. 18 in the College Football Playoff rankings

Here’s the thing: USC doesn’t deserve to be ranked any higher than they are after three wins to start the 2020 campaign.

They needed a miracle to overcome ASU in a sloppy first outing then squeaked by a mediocre Arizona squad for win No. 2. Their most impressive victory came against a Utah team that ranked last in FBS in returning production and didn’t play their first two weeks because of COVID-19.

CHECK OUT: Studs and duds from USC-Utah

If the style of USC’s performances weren’t enough to impress the committee, their opponents haven’t provided any ammunition either. ASU, Arizona and Utah are 0-1 against teams not named USC. That’s right, the Wildcats are the only ones who have played someone other than the Trojans and they got walloped by Washington.

Even though you could argue for USC being ahead of two-loss Texas and 2-1 Wisconsin, the resume simply isn’t there.

And frankly, it’s not likely to get better. Colorado, Washington State and UCLA aren’t going to be ranked anytime soon. Even if the Trojans win the Pac-12 South with a perfect 6-0 record, they won’t have a win over an opponent capable of impressing anyone.

Oregon is fighting the same uphill battle at No. 15, which means if the two favorites meet in the Pac-12 title game they’ll both bring the same rankings conundrum to the table. A win for one over the other will help, but only so much.

Granted, USC has bigger concerns right now than where they rank in the CFP rankings. A COVID-19 case confirmed by the Trojans means their upcoming games with Colorado and Washington State are potentially in doubt.

SEE MORE: What USC’s COVID-19 positive means for the Colorado game

If USC can’t play this weekend, the playoff talk is moot anyway.

Next. Overreactions To USC's Win Over Utah