Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU occupied the first four positions of the College Football Playoff rankings for the third straight week, with two-loss LSU claiming the No. 5 spot in the newest edition of the rankings Tuesday.
LSU and Southern California each moved up one spot to Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Alabama, Clemson, Oregon and Tennessee rounded out the top 10. Tennessee dropped five spots after its surprise 63-38 loss to South Carolina that featured a torn ACL to the Vols’ Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, Hendon Hooker.
USC beat then-No. 16 UCLA in a 48-45 thriller Saturday, improving the Trojans’ record to 10-1.
USC’s only loss came in October on the road at Utah, currently ranked No. 14, 43-42. But LSU (9-2) has wins over Ole Miss and Alabama, which were ranked in the top seven nationally at the times of the games.
“There’s reasons for USC to be at 5. There’s reasons for LSU to be at 5,” CFP chairman Boo Corrigan said in an ESPN interview. “As we looked at it, (LSU’s) wins over Alabama and Mississippi carried the day more so than (USC’s) wins over UCLA and Oregon State. … The good win that (USC) had on Saturday was 48-45. I think some of the members of the committee, as we looked at it, wanted to see a little bit more from their defense, as well as the overall strength of schedule from LSU.”
Each top-four team stayed in place after a nail-biting week. Georgia went on the road and beat Kentucky 16-6; Ohio State rallied from a halftime deficit to top Maryland 43-30; and Michigan and TCU needed last-second field goals to beat Illinois and Baylor, respectively.
Second-ranked Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan on Saturday.
The quartet are the only four unbeaten teams left in FBS.
2. Ohio State
6. Southern California
11. Penn State
12. Kansas State
15. Notre Dame
16. Florida State
17. North Carolina
20. Ole Miss
21. Oregon State
–Field Level Media