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|
|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|
|14||Arizona State||Pac-12||Notre Dame|
|16||Ohio State||Big Ten||Michigan State|
|20||West Virginia||Big 12||TCU|
|21||Clemson||ACC||Georgia Tech||Orange Bowl*|
|23||East Carolina||American||UCF||New Year's bowl*|