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First College Football Playoff Rankings Released; USC Misses Cut

Three SEC West teams and Florida State are in top four.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans' 5-3 record with a pair of losses in the final 10 seconds weren't enough to push them into the College Football Playoff selection committee's top 25 ranking.

But the Trojans weren't the only ones to get shut out. The Pac-12 as a conference got shut out of the four playoff spots. Instead, Oregon is ranked No. 5 behind three SEC West teams and Florida State. The SEC West will eventually shake out since Mississippi State still has to travel to play Ole Miss for the Egg Bowl and Auburn/Ole Miss battle this weekend. Meaning, if the Ducks win out they will earn a trip to the College Football Playoff.

The same is likely for a number of one-loss teams, including USC's interstitial rival, Notre Dame (No. 10), and Pac-12 squads Arizona (No. 12), Arizona State (No. 14) and the Trojans' last opponent, the Utah Utes (No. 17). UCLA (No. 22) will likely need to win out and have some extra help to make the final four, but it is still possible.

Rank Team Conference Toughest opponent left (per F/+) If the season ended today ...
1 Mississippi State SEC Ole Miss Sugar Bowl vs. Ole Miss
2 Florida State ACC Louisville Rose Bowl vs. Auburn
3 Auburn SEC Ole Miss Rose Bowl vs. Florida State
4 Ole Miss SEC Auburn Sugar Bowl vs. Mississippi State
5 Oregon Pac-12 Stanford New Year's bowl
6 Alabama SEC Auburn Orange Bowl*
7 TCU Big 12 Kansas State New Year's bowl
8 Michigan State Big Ten Ohio State New Year's bowl
9 Kansas State Big 12 TCU New Year's bowl
10 Notre Dame Independent Louisville New Year's bowl
11 Georgia SEC Auburn
12 Arizona Pac-12 Arizona State
13 Baylor Big 12 Oklahoma
14 Arizona State Pac-12 Notre Dame
15 Nebraska Big Ten Wisconsin
16 Ohio State Big Ten Michigan State
17 Utah Pac-12 Oregon
18 Oklahoma Big 12 Baylor
19 LSU SEC Alabama
20 West Virginia Big 12 TCU
21 Clemson ACC Georgia Tech Orange Bowl*
22 UCLA Pac-12 Stanford
23 East Carolina UCF New Year's bowl*
24 Duke ACC Virginia Tech
25 Louisville ACC Florida State