What is TCU’s margin for mistake? Secret concerns before most current

7:00 AM ET Heather Dinich Close ESPN Senior Writer College football press reporter Joined ESPN.com in 2007 Graduate of Indiana University Adam Rittenberg Close ESPN Elder Writer College football press reporter. Signed up with ESPN.com in 2008. Graduate of Northwestern University.The leading four teams in the country– Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU– all

  • won on Saturday to stay unbeaten,
  • so there should not be much,
  • if any, modification Tuesday night when the College Football Playoff selection committee unveils its third of six rankings at 9 p.m. ET.No. 5 Tennessee also must hold its spot following its lopsided win over Missouri, giving the Volunteers a chance to complete in the leading 4 on Selection Day without winning their league or division.It gets more fascinating after that, however not unpredictable. No. 7 LSU ought to stay the committee’s top two-loss team, and USC will replace Oregon as the Pac-12’s leading playoff contender after the Ducks and UCLA both lost. With Oregon dropping, LSU ought to move up one spot to

    No. 6, followed by a promotion for USC to No. 7. While things may seem easy at the top, the impact on Choice Day gets a bit more complex. Here’s your guide to translating what the committee is believing behind closed doors, in addition to Adam Rittenberg’s case for Clemson being ranked higher than USC and the top-four choices of ESPN’s college football reporters:1. How much margin for mistake does TCU truly have? The Horned Frogs clinched an area in the Huge 12 title game on Saturday night, and if they finish as undefeated conference champs, TCU will remain in the playoff. If the choice committee bumps TCU ahead of Michigan on Tuesday night, it might suggest the Frogs have a little bit more leeway, however the strength of the whole conference is a concern. Other than for TCU, every team in the Huge 12 has at least 3 losses, ensuring the Frogs will face a lower-ranked challenger in the conference title game.(The winner of Ohio State-Michigan will deal with a comparable scenario in the Big 10, but wins in that competition game and over Penn State will surpass anything TCU has on its résumé ). Take notice of where TCU’s challengers are ranked, starting with Texas, which now has 4 losses. If the Frogs stumble at Baylor(which they should not, provided how the Bears have actually spiraled ), their schedule could cost them.2 Associated 2. Is LSU the only two-loss team with a possibility? Alabama avoided catastrophe with its win on Saturday at Ole Miss, however by beating the Rebels, the Crimson Tide guaranteed LSU’s spot in the SEC championship game as winner of the West Department. Alabama should stay behind LSU in the rankings because of the head-to-head outcome

    , however it also might seem deceivingly close at No. 8. There will be movement ahead of the 8-2 Tide moving forward, as Ohio State or Michigan will lose in the regular-season finale, and it’s possible TCU loses and/or Georgia knocks LSU out of the discussion. The CFP rankings don’t follow the Associated Press poll mindset; it’s not as easy as teams lose and others move up. Without a conference or division title, Alabama would deal with much greater analysis in the selection committee conference room. The group has actually written procedure it must adhere to, and Alabama would come up short in 3 critical areas: champions won, strength of schedule and head-to-head results.3. How dire is the Pac-12’s scenario? With USC still a top-10 group, the conference is still in the mix, however watch on how far Oregon and UCLA fall– and where two-loss Utah fits in. The good news for the league is that Washington ought to move up, providing the conference 5 ranked groups, which is excellent. Without departments, the Pac-12 likewise remains in much better shape than the Big 10 and Huge 12 in terms of its title game matchup (at least for now), as both of those leagues will have a group with at least three losses playing for its champion. If USC runs the table and finishes as a one-loss conference champion, it probably will have beat three straight ranked opponents along the way: UCLA, Notre Dame and its title game opponent. That might be the boost the Trojans need to get in, perhaps ahead of Tennessee. It also could give them the edge over TCU as a one-loss Huge 12 champ. The one message that must be clear: It’s USC or bust in the Pac-12.4. Does one-loss North Carolina have a shot? Tar Heels fans need to know why their team isn’t producing severe conversation. It’s a reasonable question with two straightforward responses: an absence of declaration wins and defense. North Carolina’s regular-season schedule doesn’t include one ranked opponent or one Power 5 nonconference win. An upset of Clemson in the ACC title game isn’t going to make up for that, especially with how poorly the Heels’defense has actually played, enabling Appalachian State 61 points and at least 24 points in every win this season, other than versus Virginia Tech(41-10). UNC is a gutsy team that is undefeated in conference play, however when the conference is having a hard time, it’s harder to make the case.What the committee will– and must– do For the time being, a minimum of, Will Shipley and Clemson have a much better profile than USC. Grant Halverson/Getty Images I had far less beef with the second CFP rankings than the preliminary version, but it wouldn’t be a Tuesday in November without something to grumble about. The top six spots in Tuesday night’s rankings should not produce too many surprises, however it could get interesting at No. 7 and lower, specifically with a new Pac-12 front-runner and the groups prowling simply behind.What the CFP selection committee will do: Rank USC ahead of Clemson What the CFP selection committee should do: Rank Clemson ahead of USC When nine of the top 10 teams in the rankings win, the temptation is to not mess with the order. Oregon certainly will tumble after its house loss to a great however not elite Washington team. USC is now the only one-loss group left in the Pac-12. The Trojans did nothing to always lose their position, conquering a sluggish very first quarter Friday night to thump Colorado 55-17. USC eclipsed 40 points for the 8th time this season,

    connected with Oregon for the most in FBS. How will Saturday’s leading games affect the College Football Playoff chase? What are the existing chances for the top four? The Allstate Playoff Predictor has the responses. Inspect back each week as the odds are upgraded following that week’s games. But USC, to no fault of its own, beat another bad team, which the Trojans have actually spent the majority of the season doing. As the excellent Jon Wilner explained, USC’s seven Pac-12 wins have come against teams with a combined league record of 14-36. Only two of those teams, Oregon State and Washington State, have winning records. Oregon State ought to reenter the committee’s rankings Tuesday night, but USC’s best win was a 17-14 squeaker over the Beavers despite a 4-0 edge in takeaways.Right now, the Trojans are buoyed more by a great loss– they fell 43-42 at Utah after the Utes scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the final minute– than

    anything else in their profile. The Pac-12 is a much-improved conference, but USC has actually played only one of the league’s truly strong teams, Utah, and lost. The Trojans lastly get profile-boosting chances today versus UCLA and next week versus Notre Dame.But at this minute, Clemson has the stronger total résumé. The Tigers are unbeaten in ACC play with five success versus groups with winning records. Clemson has three wins versus teams that were ranked in the AP poll when it faced them,

    and it just beat surging Louisville by 15 on Saturday. There’s no doubt Clemson has an uglier loss than USC, as the Tigers never ever challenged Notre Dame in a 35-14 road obstacle, leading coach Dabo Swinney to confess,”This was an ass-kicking, duration.”However the Tigers have more strong wins, consisting of an Oct. 15 accomplishment at Florida State that looks much better each week.Both teams have actually had some narrow triumphes. Clemson has won 3 games by 6 points or less, but all protested groups either ranked at the time or ranked now. USC has three wins by eight points or fewer but just one versus a currently ranked team. The Trojans struggled to pull away from Arizona and Cal, allowing an overall of 72 points and 1,012 lawns in those wins.There’s not a massive gap in between these groups, but CFP rankings are photos of the existing landscape. USC is being rewarded more for a loss and dominating bad teams, while Clemson has assembled a bigger and much better group of wins. USC has the closing stretch to seal itself above Clemson, but that time isn’t now.– Adam Rittenberg ESPN press reporters’top-four choices Andrea Adelson: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3.

    Michigan 4. TCU Blake Baumgartner: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. TCU Kyle Bonagura: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. TCU Costs Connelly: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. TCU Heather Dinich: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. TCU 4. Michigan David Hale: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. TCU 4. Michigan Chris Low: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. TCU Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Georgia 2.

    Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. TCU Ryan McGee: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. TCU 4. Tennessee Adam Rittenberg: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. TCU Alex Scarborough: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. TCU 4. Michigan Mark Schlabach: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. TCU Paolo Uggetti: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. TCU 4. Michigan Tom VanHaaren : 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. TCU Dave Wilson: 1. Georgia 2.

    Ohio State 3. TCU 4. Michigan

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