LSU is in fifth place, and the top four teams are holding steady in the CFP

After overcoming tough games against unranked opponents, the top four teams in the NFL World Rankings remained intact Tuesday night, while LSU stayed ahead of USC in fifth.

Georgia topped the CFP Selection Committee rankings for the third consecutive week, followed by Ohio State at #2, Michigan at #3, and TCU at #4. In the second half of last week before they kept their undefeated records intact. Michigan and TCU each needed last-minute field goals to beat Illinois and Baylor, respectively.

USC’s dramatic road win over crosstown rival UCLA wasn’t enough to pull off LSU with two losses, which beat UAB 41-10 at Tiger Stadium. Lincoln Riley’s team debuted at #5 in Sunday’s AP and coaches’ polls, USC’s first top-five ranking since September 2017. The Trojans’ only loss came by a single point on the road against Utah, which had fallen to #14. After losing to Oregon.

CFP Chairman Boo Corrigan, NC State’s athletic director, said in the ESPN ranking statement regarding the fifth-ranked selection. “There are reasons USC is fifth, and there are reasons USC is fifth.”

Tennessee, which finished in fifth place last week, has fallen to number 10 after a 63-38 road loss to South Carolina.

LSU finished the regular season at Texas A&M before facing Georgia in the SEC Championship game. USC hosts Notre Dame this week, which has climbed three places to 15th in the selection committee rankings. The Trojans’ Pac-12 Championship opponent will be decided next weekend. Oregon State, which moved up three spots to No. 9 after Utah’s win, can clinch a spot in Las Vegas with a win over No. 21 Oregon on the road.

Losing Oregon this week would open the door for No. 13 Washington and Utah to reach the Pac-12 Championship.

Alabama and Clemson both moved up to No. 7 and No. 8. Clemson will host an unranked team in South Carolina on Saturday, but beat Florida State, which moved up three places to No. 16, and Louisville, which entered the rankings at No. 25. Clemson is set for the ACC Championship game with North Carolina, which dropped just four spots to #17 after losing to Georgia Tech 4-6 at home last Saturday.

“You’re looking for the football referee and this game against Notre Dame … is still part of the discussion,” Corrigan said of the Tigers’ 35-14 loss to the Irish. “Overall, we saw Alabama at seven, and Clemson at eight.”

TCU, which hosts Iowa on Saturday, will take on either No. 12 Kansas State or No. 23 Texas in the Big 12 championship game next week. Kansas State, which moved up three places in Tuesday’s rankings, could clinch a spot with a win over Kansas. If Kansas State goes down, Texas goes if they beat Baylor.

“We go through the same thing every week,” Corrigan said. “TCU has done a really good job of finding ways to win games.”

Tulane is again the highest-ranked team in Group V at No. 19, after a home win over SMU and a UCF loss at home to Navy. On Friday the 24th, the Green Wave visits Cincinnati, and the winner will host the American Collegiate Athletic Conference title game next week. Tulane winner Cincinnati could face a rematch in the tournament, but No. 22 seed UCF and Houston could make it to the matchup as well.

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