USC football’s playoff hopes sorely hurt by latest College Football Playoff ranking

USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

USC football rose just two spots in the College Football Playoff rankings

The College Football Playoff committee has no interest in entertaining the thought of including the Pac-12 this year.

That much is clear after the CFP ranked USC football No. 13 in the penultimate Top 25.

The Trojans are up just two spots despite being one of a handful of undefeated teams nationally. There are four two-loss teams ahead of USC, including No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 8 Georgia, No. 7 Florida and No. 6 Iowa State.

Where does that leave USC football in the playoff discussion?

Basically, USC is out of luck.

A win over an unranked Oregon team on Friday certainly isn’t going to be the resume builder the Trojans need. With Colorado at No. 25, perhaps a Pac-12 South make up game would have moved the needle a bit more. However, the No. 13 ranking for an undefeated Pac-12 team is a pretty harsh indictment of the conference and that’s the biggest problem.

USC doesn’t have losses, but they just don’t have the quality wins the committee is looking for to justify a Top 10 ranking or better.

The Trojans could make an argument about taking care of business compared to some of the two-loss teams ahead of them. They could make the case they’d be favored to beat the likes of Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati.

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In the end, the arguments don’t matter much this year. If USC gets revenge on Oregon and wins the Pac-12, they will have locked in a New Year’s Six Bowl berth.

The playoff is out of reach, as it should be. The Trojans haven’t been dominant enough, this year or in recent memory, to be given the benefit of the doubt No. 4 Ohio State is receiving. What USC is, is good enough to claim the conference crown. That’s what they can control.

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