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Projecting the College Football Playoff Ranking

Where will the Frogs be ranked after the walk-off win in Waco?

TCU v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The College Football Playoff Committee will release its weekly rankings for the fourth time this season on Tuesday night. The TCU Horned Frogs have held at #4 in the past two weeks after opening at #7 in the initial release. The Frogs continue to find ways to finish games on top, including in the most dramatic fashion on Saturday in Waco. TCU was able to go into a road rivalry game, without its top-3 skill players for the 2nd half and escape with the win. It’s now likely the Frogs have done enough to impress the Committee that they’ll remain in the Top 4 without a loss, but will anything change up top? With the losses to elsewhere across the rankings, how will the new Top 10 look going into the last week of the regular season?

Projected Top 10

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (11-0) - All but guaranteed a spot in the Final Four regardless of outcomes down the stretch, UGA snoozed through a 16-6 win over Kentucky, scoring 8 fewer points on the Wildcats than Vanderbilt did in defeating UK last week. The Bulldogs close the season with Georgia Tech and then LSU in the SEC Championship
  2. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0) - While few may have thought OSU was ever in danger here, the Buckeyes did trail at halftime and Maryland had the ball down 6 with a chance to go win the game with under a minute to play. The Terps instead had a fumble returned for a TD to extend the OSU final margin to 13 points.
  3. Michigan Wolverines (11-0) - Blake Corum put up his stats before going down with an injury, but the Wolverines were on the ropes at home after being unable to score a TD after the opening drive, but three 4th quarter field goals, including the game winner with nine seconds remaining keeps Michigan undefeated going into massive contest in Columbus next week vs. Ohio State. The winner advances to the B1G Championship while the loser still has a very strong shot to still be in the Playoff, given the love already from the Committee.
  4. TCU Horned Frogs (11-0) - The Frogs just keep getting away with it. TCU gets the walk-off FG for the win in Waco. While we’d love to see the Committee recognize TCU’s top-ranked Strength of Record metric and a much better Strength of Schedule than any of the zero or one-loss teams. One might think a last second road rivalry win over FPI #19 Baylor would be a better display than a last second home win over FPI #26 Illinois, but maybe that’s just me. For now it doesn’t matter, keep doubting the Frogs and they’ll keep proving you wrong.
  5. USC Trojans (10-1) - Now it gets interesting, which teams are going to be waiting on the doorstep for someone to falter? I think USC gets the nod with the win over UCLA in the Rose Bowl late Saturday night. While not the current betting favorite to win the Heisman, I think Trojan QB has the most likely path to the award after putting up over 500 yards of offense and 3 TDs in the close win, including some Heisman moment plays. USC still has a tough path, with a season finale hosting Notre Dame before the Pac 12 Championship. If USC wins out, there could be a case to be ranked ahead of the loser of OSU-Michigan.
  6. LSU Tigers (9-2) - The Bayou Bengals hold at number six, despite getting jumped by USC. While the win over UAB won’t move the needle, LSU still has a possible path to the Playoff with Texas A&M in the season finale and an SEC Championship matchup with Georgia. The blowout home loss to Tennessee is looking less forgivable, but the wonky season-opening loss to Florida State is looking more forgivable. Just given that it controls its own destiny, the Committee will keep it hanging near the cut line so it’s not too huge a jump if LSU does win out.
  7. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-2) - Bama only won by 34 points over Austin Peay, yeah obviously doesn’t matter. The Tide are presumed dead, but there’s just no way any Playoff Committee can fully quit Nick Saban. Expect the Tide to continue to linger, with the Iron Bowl and Cadillac Williams’ Auburn.
  8. Clemson Tigers (10-1) - Dabo’s crew had to be pretty happy to see many of the results around the country on Saturday, but even so the Tigers are sitting on the outside. Headed into the season, if someone told you 1-loss Clemson would defeat the Hurricanes by 30 points in Week 12, you’d assume that Clemson is a Playoff lock. The ACC took a tumble too however, with UNC and NC State taking Ls to damage the Tigers’ current and future schedule strength.
  9. Oregon Ducks (9-2) - Outlasting the Utah Utes, Oregon moves in position to head into the Pac 12 Championship against USC if it can take down the in-state rival Beavers. With its only losses coming to #1 Georgia and by three points to likely-ranked Washington, the Ducks have a case to remain above Tennessee, despite perhaps having weaker wins.
  10. Tennessee Volunteers (9-2) - Yes, the Vols have defeated Alabama and LSU...but losing to South Carolina by 25 points while surrendering 63 points has to have poor Tennessee in a free fall. Previously with a clear and seemingly easy path to a guaranteed Playoff bid with wins over the perceived-to-be lowly Gamecocks and Vanderbilt Commodores, the Vols are now out of the Playoff chase and fighting for a possible NY6 spot. Unfortunately, late in the game UT QB Hendon Hooker took a non-contact knee injury that looked devastating and has been reported as a torn ACL, ending his dream season and college career. A crushing end to a magical run for the Vols.

TCU has now climbed to the 4th best odds to win the National Championship at DraftKings Sportsbook at +1800, behind only Georgia (-140), Ohio State (+230) and Michigan (+1000). Only eight total teams are still given any odds in win it all, with the other four being Clemson (+2200), USC (+2500), LSU (+3500), and Oregon (+10000).

Max Duggan has climbed into the thick of the Heisman race, now with the 4th best odds at +4000, behind CJ Stroud (-120), Caleb Williams (+120), and Blake Corum (+1500).

The next release of the College Football Playoff rankings will be broadcast on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN App on Tuesday November 22 at 6:00 PM.


Where will TCU be ranked in the next CFP ranking?

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