What does USC need to make the College Football Playoff?

USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Here’s how the USC Trojans can make the College Football Playoff after being listed as the No. 6 team in the latest rankings.

The USC Trojans are thriving in their first year under head coach Lincoln Riley. Last week, they were ranked as the No. 7 team in the nation by the College Football Playoff selection committee. They responded by defeating the UCLA Bruins in a nail biting game behind an impressive performance from quarterback and Heisman favorite Caleb Williams. Their odds were hypothetically strengthened after the Tennessee Volunteers were crushed by the South Carolina Gamecocks.

On Tuesday night, USC rose up to the No. 6 spot in the nation in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. They are behind the Top Four in Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, and TCU, and the LSU Tigers, who were ranked No. 5.

Worry not, Trojans fans, the team has a path to the College Football Playoff. Here’s how that can become a reality.

How USC can make the College Football Playoff after latest rankings

To start, the Trojans will have to win their remaining games for a chance. They face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this Saturday, the very team who handed the Clemson Tigers their first loss of the season. Then, they play either Oregon, Utah, or Washington in the Pac-12 title game.

If they pick up their two wins, it will be hard for the committee to leave a one-loss, Pac-12 champion out of the Playoff. But they will need one more thing to really help their odds, and that’s the LSU Tigers losing.

LSU have two losses on the year, but they scored huge wins over Ole Miss and Alabama. Ironically, Alabama then helped them clinch the SEC West with a win over Ole Miss and a shot at the SEC title. For USC, they need to root for a Georgia win over LSU in the SEC Championship Game.

If USC beats Notre Dame, win the Pac-12 title, and get an assist from Georgia, they can realistically make the College Football Playoff.

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