USC Needs To Win The Victory Bell And Ring It All The Way To CFP

The USC Trojans need help from other teams to make the CFP. But first, they need to beat UCLA. A projection on how the rest of the season could play out.

USC and UCLA Compete for the Victory Bell Photo Credit: USC Athletics
USC and UCLA Compete for the Victory Bell Photo Credit: USC Athletics

Unfortunately, Oregon losing at home to the Washington Huskies pretty much killed the USC Trojans direct path to the CFP. But, all is not lost. Sitting at #7 in the AP top 25, they are going to need to catch a few breaks along the way.

The Top 10

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan
  4. TCU
  5. Tennessee
  6. LSU
  7. USC
  8. Alabama
  9. Clemson
  10. Utah

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USC’s Path to Glory

At first glance, it would seem highly unlikely that the Trojans would be able to make up enough ground and leapfrog teams to get into the dance. However, when the conference championship weekend takes place, that will provide the best opportunity for the Trojans to do just that.

First things first, it is imperative that the Trojans take care of crosstown rivals UCLA this Saturday at the Rose Bowl, and bring home the Victory Bell once more. Then they must defeat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and finally the PAC-12 Championship. Currently, the Trojans are the top team in the conference and looking at playing Washington for the conference title. Utah has a chance to spoil the party for Oregon completely.

Currently, the one-point loss to Utah has become the most quality loss out of all the one-loss teams. In two weeks Ohio State and Michigan will play, and the loser of that game, will not participate in the Big 10 championship game.

Process of elimination

In the SEC title game, Georgia plays two-loss LSU. The Tigers have the quickest path to being the long-shot winner if they beat the Dawgs for the conference title. Should Georgia do what everyone expects them to and remain undefeated, LSU will be eliminated.

The loser of Michigan vs Ohio State will be eliminated.

The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs are currently undefeated and have the easiest path to remain as such. Their last regular season game is against the Baylor Bears (7-3), and most likely Kansas State (7-3) for the Big 12 title. It’s hard to beat a team twice in one season, but TCU found the answer on defense in the second half by shutting out the Wildcats offense. But, if TCU loses, they will be eliminated.

What’s left

If Georgia and Ohio State remain undefeated they should be 1 and 2. No Michigan, LSU, or TCU would leave, the Trojans in the third spot and also conference winner, and Tennessee as a #4 non-conference winner. The monkey wrench to the plan is TCU, should they win out they would slide in at #3. Forcing the CFP committee to come to a vote between USC and Tennessee.

USC and UCLA Compete for the Victory Bell Photo Credit: USC Athletics
USC and UCLA Compete for the Victory Bell Photo Credit: USC Athletics