College Football Playoff 2023: Everything is coming up USC in the fifth rankings

Welcome back to national prominence, USC.

For The Win is tracking the College Football Playoff rankings all season long. We’ll have updated title odds and notes on each contender every Tuesday the rankings are revealed. The firstsecond, third and fourth rankings can be found here.

In just two weeks USC has gone from the fringes of the playoff race to smack dab in the middle of the action with the likely Heisman Trophy-winner leading the offense.

Things happen quickly in college football. Of course, it helps when a team like LSU suffers a total meltdown against Texas A&M just hours after Michigan rocks Ohio State on the Buckeyes’ home turf.

So the Trojans jumped from No. 8 in second CFP rankings all the way up to No. 4 this week.

Equally as important: Ohio State remains in the playoff picture at No. 5 with Alabama hanging around right behind at No. 6.

It’s Conference Championship Week across the sport. That’s good news for some teams and even better news for others. Here are this week’s rankings and updated title odds to help us sort through it all.

Where is Alabama in the latest College Football Playoff rankings?

Alabama manages to move up in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings .

With the 2022 college football regular season over, teams are now either preparing for their respective conference championships or are awaiting bowl game selections. Others have already begun going through the motions to begin the offseason.

Alabama ended the season with a 22-point home win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn. Last week the College Football Playoff committee had the Crimson Tide ranked No. 7. With the chaos from Week 12 spilling into Week 13, Alabama moved up to No. 6.

Ohio State is the buffer between the Crimson Tide and the top four. Formerly No. 2, the Buckeyes suffered a rough home loss to Michigan to end the season.

The top four consists of No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 TCU and No. 4 USC.

It all comes down to conference championships, as Alabama will have to watch as other teams face off in games where the outcomes dictate the Crimson Tide’s future.

Alabama’s 10-2 record may make history by becoming the first two-loss team to make the College Football Playoff, though it is not likely. Madness on conference championship weekend is required, and we got just that over the last two weeks.

Roll Tide Wire will continue to cover Alabama football and the College Football Playoff rankings.

Former LSU commit visits Ohio State and promptly decommits

The spatula is warm

This weekend wasn’t all a loss, many recruits don’t just pick a school due to what happens on the field during their visits and that looks to be the case with Indiana defensive end [autotag]Joshua Mickens[/autotag]. The former LSU commit broke off his verbal pledge to the SEC school after making his official visit to Ohio State this past weekend.

Just a few weekends ago, Mickens unofficially visited the Buckeyes and his return trip could not have gone much better. It seems like the lure of playing much closer to home and for a program with similar traits had Mickens rethinking his initial decision.

The six-foot-five-inch and 225-pound edge defender had offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, USC, Wisconsin, Florida State, UNC, and others before initially selecting LSU. It looks very much like the Buckeyes will add Mickens to the 2023 recruiting class, to play the Jack position, which currently has 19 verbal commits and is ranked as the No. 6 overall class according to the 247Sports composite team rankings.

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Notre Dame in final group for elite California defensive back

The Irish will soon know if he joins the 2024 class

The Irish now have 25 players committed to their 2023 recruiting class but that doesn’t mean they might not add one or two more. It all really depends on who declares early for the NFL Draft or transfers.

What it doesn’t impact is the 2024 recruiting cycle, where Marcus Freeman is off to a hot start with seven commits, one of the best early classes in the country. The group has a very good early mix on offense and defense but there could be a massive addition brewing in California in safety Peyton Woodyard. The defensive back released this top 7 school and the Irish made the cut along with Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and USC.

We will know soon if the Irish will add Woodyard to their 2024 class, as he is expected to make an announcement on January 7th at the All-American game.

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Pros and cons of Notre Dame pursuing former Michigan QB Cade McNamara

Should the Irish go after him? Or go with what they have on the roster?

A career might come a full circle for former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara, who was at one time committed to the Irish during his recruitment.

He flipped to the Wolverines and started to see significant playing time during the 2020 season. McNamara helped Michigan finally defeat Ohio State in 2021, which led it to a Big Ten title along with a berth in the College Football Playoff. This year, he battled JJ McCarthy for the job, but an injury ended his season after the third game.

On Monday, McNamara entered the transfer portal as a graduate (with two years of eligibility remaining) and the Irish have a need. Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons for Notre Dame if it opts to pursue its former commit.

Updated AP Poll has Tide just outside looking in at the CFP

Alabama’s postseason dreams rest in the hands of the CFP committee

The Alabama Crimson Tide’s playoff hopes were considered dead after their second loss this season to the LSU Tigers back on Nov. 5th. Since then, chaos has ensued and the playoff race is wide open once again.

Rivalry weekend featured a lot of crazy results that greatly benefitted the Tide’s chances of sneaking back in. The Clemson Tigers were eliminated after a shocking home loss to South Carolina and the Michigan Wolverines dominated Ohio State in Columbus.

In the most recent AP Poll, the Tide has risen all the way to No. 6, just one spot behind the Buckeyes, who would likely be their main competition for the final playoff spot if the USC Trojans were to lose this weekend. However, Georgia, Michigan and TCU likely locked up the top three spots on Saturday after convincing wins.

Alabama made a strong statement to the committee in their final regular season game of the year by destroying Auburn in the Iron Bowl 49-27. Alabama’s playoff hopes are now out of their hands and completely at the mercy of the committee.

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Contact/Follow us @RollTideWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Alabama news, notes and opinion. You can also follow Sam Murphy on Twitter @SamMurphy02.

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USC, Alabama could fight for final College Football Playoff spot if Trojans lose to Utah

Of course #USC would not like its chances if it lost to Utah, but the Trojans could still get in, and Nick Saban might be the final obstacle. #CFBPlayoff

Yes, yes, if USC beats Utah, we don’t need to have this conversation. USC could just beat Utah, win the Pac-12 title, finish 12-1, and go to the College Football Playoff without any questions asked. The Trojans are clearly in a “win and in” position after all the carnage which occurred on Saturday, including LSU losing to Texas A&M. LSU Wire has full coverage of that story.

Ohio State lost to Michigan.

Clemson was shocked by South Carolina.

Oregon lost to Oregon State.

That’s four teams in the top nine of the playoff rankings entering Saturday.

Of course USC is in the playoff with a win, but we have to entertain the question, “What if USC loses to Utah?” Can the Trojans still make it?

It’s possible.

Here’s what USC will need to get in, and here’s the set of variables you will need to consider:

Notre Dame still ranked in updated USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll

A fair assessment for the Irish

The loss last night to USC wasn’t as bad as some other losses around the country, which is why Notre Dame didn’t fall too far in this weeks USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll. With teams just having a championship game left on the schedule, the College Football Playoff picture has become much clearer.

Georgia and Michigan are the clear top teams, which was shown in the rankings, TCU and USC control their own destiny while Ohio State and Alabama have outside shots at getting in. The coaches poll should resemble what we see on Tuesday. Find out below where each team ended up being ranked after this weeks action, with last weeks ranking in parenthesis.

PFF grades: Michigan football’s top 10 defensive players vs. Ohio State

Defense was phenomenal in the second half! #GoBlue

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Michigan held Ohio State to 23 points on Saturday and the Wolverines limited the Buckeyes to three points in the second half.

C.J. Stroud passed for 349 yards against Michigan on Saturday, but the maize and blue did exactly what they needed to do: limit the passing game. You’re never going to fully stop Ohio State’s prolific passing attack, but Michigan laid the blueprint on how to slow it down.

The Buckeyes gashed Michigan by running the ball in the first half, the Buckeyes gained 124 yards on the ground through the first two quarters. But the Wolverines stuffed Ohio State in the second half, and the Buckeyes gained 19 yards in the second half.

The Wolverines’ defense did a great job tackling in the open field on Saturday and Michigan picked Stroud off twice.

Here are the top 10 Michigan football defensive players according to PFF from the win over Ohio State on Saturday.

PFF grades: Michigan football’s top 10 offensive players vs. Ohio State

Offense was incredible!!! #GoBlue

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Michigan football cruised to a 45-23 victory over Ohio State on Saturday after outscoring Ohio State 28-3 in the second half.

It was the Wolverines’ first win in Columbus since 2000 and the maize and blue defeated Ohio State in back-to-back seasons.

J.J. McCarthy had his breakout performance on Saturday against Ohio State in the ‘Shoe. The first-year starter threw for 263 yards against Ohio State with three passing scores. McCarthy also used his legs to extend plays and get a few crucial first downs running the ball. He had 27 yards on the ground and one score running.

The Wolverines accumulated 530 yards of total offense. The run game for Michigan was stuffed in the first half gaining 10 yards. But the second half was a totally different story. Donovan Edwards broke two long touchdown runs. One being 75 yards and the other being 85 yards.

In case you wondered which Michigan offensive players played the best on Saturday, we have you covered. Pro Football Focus graded every Michigan player against Ohio State and here are the top 10 offensive players.