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College Football Playoff rankings: Michigan, USC surge in CFP top 25

CFB-HQ on FanNation 11/30/2022 James Parks

Championship Week is here and what happens on Friday and Saturday will have the most direct effect on the final College Football Playoff rankings heading into the national semifinal.

But there's enough change at the top of the rankings this week after the regular season finale that saw former No. 2 Ohio State lose at home to third-ranked Michigan, allowing USC to move into the final four after its win over Notre Dame.

Now a pair of conference championship games will determine whether the Trojans, in addition to undefeated TCU, will qualify for the final four, or if a one-loss Ohio State or even a two-loss Alabama could have some room to make a move.

Here's your look at the latest CFP top 25 rankings, according to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

College Football Playoff Rankings for Championship Week

The new College Football Playoff rankings © Provided by CFB-HQ on FanNation The new College Football Playoff rankings

First two out

6. Alabama. This isn't the Crimson Tide we're used to seeing, with two losses to ranked teams, and it's hard to find a quality win on the schedule, especially with Ole Miss collapsing down the stretch. That was enough to stay behind the Buckeyes, but still within striking distance of the top four in case of chaos.

5. Ohio State. The loss at home to Michigan was ugly in all phases, but it was to the No. 3 ranked team in the nation, and OSU still has a quality win over an improved Notre Dame that the committee took into consideration. Plus, the Buckeyes have only one loss whereas Alabama has two.

First four in

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4. USC. Losses by two top-five teams and their own wins over ranked rivals in UCLA and Notre Dame move the Trojans into the final four for now, but with a date against Utah in the Pac-12 title game to see if they really belong.

3. TCU. Still perfect heading into the Big 12 title match, the Horned Frogs face a test against a Kansas State that built a big lead in a head-to-head game midseason before TCU's comeback. Win, and the Hypnotoad makes the playoff.

2. Michigan. A dominant win at then-No. 2 Ohio State turns the rivalry in the Wolverines' favor for the first time in a while, puts this team in the Big Ten Championship Game, and likely in the College Football Playoff even with a loss there to Purdue. Not that anyone is predicting one.

1. Georgia. Two straight undefeated regular seasons for college football's defending national champions, and this time with no Alabama standing in their way in the SEC Championship Game, Georgia is a lock for the semifinal, but against who? The bookies say USC, who the Dawgs haven't played since 1960.

College Football Playoff Top 25 Rankings

  1. Georgia
  2. Michigan
  3. TCU
  4. USC
  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

College Football Playoff Rankings Criteria

College Football Playoff selectors create top 25 rankings based on their evaluation of teams’ performance on the field.

The committee employs several metrics to select the best teams.

  • Strength of schedule
  • Head-to-head game results
  • Results vs. teams in top 25 rankings
  • Results vs. common opponents
  • Conference championships

College Football Playoff electors also use advanced analytics to gauge teams’ play, but those numbers don’t play a formal role in the committee creating its top 25 rankings.

College Football Playoff 2022-23 Schedule

Dec. 31, 2022 Fiesta Bowl

Dec. 31, 2022 Peach Bowl

Jan. 9, 2023 National Championship

More college football from SI: Top 25 Rankings | Schedule | All Teams

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