As expected the USC Trojans victory over the Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game Friday night was not enough to vault the Trojans from number 10 into the top four and a spot in the College Football Playoff. With three of the spots already filled, the only real drama headed the Selection Sunday was whether Alabama or Ohio State would be picked for the final spot.
As the champion of a Power 5 conference USC will be going to a New Years Six bowl game. Normally there would not be any mystery where USC would be heading as the Pac-12 Champion and not in the Playoff. The Rose Bowl, however is a CFP semifinal game this season so the traditional matchup between the Pac-12 Champ and the Big Ten Champ in Pasadena is not an option.
The prevailing wisdom or most educated of guesses have the Trojans heading to the Fiesta Bowl. There is also the belief that the Playoff Committee will want to keep the traditional Big-10 v. Pac-12 clash of conference champions even if its not in the Rose Bowl. That is of course unless one of the champions from those two conferences is in the Playoffs then the runner up gets the nod.
Consequently, that meant the decision between Alabama and Ohio State for the fourth playoff spot may have ended up determining who USC would be playing in the Fiesta bowl, either Wisconsin or Ohio State.
USC vs. OSU certainly sounds like a great matchup but it is not a done deal yet. The New Year’s six pairings will be announced Today, December 3rd at 12pm pacific standard time.
As of 10am pst we know the top 6 (possibly 7 teams as according to Rece Davis the CFP Commissioner let slip in the interview that Auburn was 7th). The Rankings as of now are:
7. Auburn Tigers (allegedly)