LSU Could Be USC’s Roadblock

Commentary: Two-loss LSU over one-loss USC at No. 5? Trojans may need help to reach CFP

J. Brady McCollough (LA Times)  —  USC may need some help to make the College Football Playoff after all.

Despite the Trojans’ national statement victory Saturday night over rival UCLA in the Rose Bowl, the CFP committee kept them behind two-loss Louisiana State in Tuesday’s top 25 rankings.

LSU, 9-2, is No. 5, while USC, 10-1, is No. 6.

If the Tigers win out, a scenario which includes a win over No. 1 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta Dec. 3, it sure seems like they would get preference over USC, even if it beats No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 9 Oregon the next two weeks.

Simply put, a victory over the defending champion Bulldogs would be a major trump card for LSU. USC needs to handle its business and hope that Georgia takes care of the Tigers — otherwise, the Trojans will need No. 3 Texas Christian to lose one of its last two to make the CFP.

CFP committee chair Boo Corrigan, the athletic director at North Carolina State, spoke with ESPN about the decision to rank LSU ahead of USC.

“Clearly that was a dominant conversation for the last couple days,” Corrigan said. “It was over and over and over again to make sure we’re looking at this the right way. There were reasons for USC to be at five, there are reasons for LSU to be at five. [LSU’s] wins over Alabama and Mississippi carried the day over [USC’s] wins over UCLA and Oregon State. As you alluded to, the win [over UCLA] was 48-45. Some of the members of the committee want to see a little bit more from their defense, as well as the overall strength of schedule for LSU really drove the day.”

The Tigers would be the first two-loss team to make the playoff. Certainly, they will be major underdogs against Georgia.

Despite this curveball from the committee, the path is still very clear for the Trojans. If they’re able to pull out two more big wins, they’re very likely to receive their first invite to the CFP.

latimes.com

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Steveg
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November 23, 2022 3:57 pm

Jerry Palm picks USC!!

Jamaica
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November 23, 2022 3:53 pm

If LSU is awarded the playoff with 2-losses over a one-loss USC, it would be as much a matter of not respecting the PAC-12 level of football as anything else. The only thing you can do to overcome this is to move to another conference whose reputation won’t be a detriment.

volunteerTrojan
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November 23, 2022 5:42 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

Good idea. Have any particular conference in mind? 😉

San Diego Trojan
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November 23, 2022 5:48 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

Most years, people would have a valid point about the conference, but to me, this is the strongest this conference has been at the top in many years. Stronger than the Big 10 and Big 12. I think SC,UCLA,Utah and Oregon (Georgia game excepted) can play with and beat anyone, and Washington and Oregon St just a notch below. I bet the bowl results for the conference will be better than any other, except maybe the SEC, this year. Nothing to be embarrassed about this year, for sure.

volunteerTrojan
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November 23, 2022 8:45 pm

Seems most have conveniently forgotten how tough the 10-4 Utes played the almighty 10-2 buckeyes in last season’s Rose Bowl.

Jamaica
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November 23, 2022 8:58 pm

We will see how truly strong this conference is playing bowl games against other conference teams. If the results are like last 3-4 years, it will prove again the PAC is pathetic.

Steveg
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November 23, 2022 1:31 pm

I just watched the highlight video of commit Tackett Curtis. One man team. Plays linebacker, Qb, Rb, and returns kicks. Guy is fast and hard to bring down. Hope we can get that LOI from him early.

Chris
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November 23, 2022 1:46 pm
Reply to  Steveg

Also a huge position of need. Would be awesome to get Anthony Hill to play along side him. We still have a shot at him. I think we will see some movement in a big way come signing day.

HOF19
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November 23, 2022 11:13 am

You know what could be a “Telling Statistic” in the Notre Dame Game ??? ….If Notre Dame ends up with say …..33 to 34 minutes (or more ) of Time of Possession …..Kinda hard for Caleb to make plays when he the USC offense are constantly standing on sideline ….. FIGHT ON !

HOF19
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November 23, 2022 11:05 am

Got a feeling we will need our LB’s Corp (whoever ends up getting on the field) Will Need To have the BEST game our Linebackers have had ….. Maybe even their (LB’S) best game of this season …..FIGHT ON !!!!!

HOF19
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November 23, 2022 9:43 am

INTERESTING ………..Colin Cowherd just now on his show made a case for Alabama to make the Nat’l Champ Playoffs .He mentioned Bamas Strength-of-Schedule . Hmmmm

Chris
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November 23, 2022 10:29 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

ND is not a very good offense in my opinion. I believe we keep them in the 20’s. Short of Georgia, I don’t think anyone keeps us in the 20’s right now. Especially at home and in good weather.

San Diego Trojan
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November 23, 2022 3:06 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Klatt and others said the same thing about our matchup with UCLA. That their running game and ball control would keep our offense off the field, and that our defense wasn’t as good as theirs. I don’t think ND’s offense is anywhere near the explosive potential of UCLA, and I feel that if our offense and Caleb, execute like we have most of the season, that we win 42-34. I hope all of the TDB’rs have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving

USC1988
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November 23, 2022 3:44 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

That went on during the Pete years too especially early
God do you remember those idiot Herk of Iowa fans.

USC1988
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November 23, 2022 3:42 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

How does Joel like the coaching match up … he good with that ? Is LR more experienced and talented than Ty 2. If it as his pal Suckisian, he would be saying it would be a coaching mis-match

USC1988
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November 23, 2022 3:43 pm
Reply to  USC1988

was

TrojanRJJ
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November 23, 2022 9:09 am

Guys, I think this is a clear signal from the committee. If LSU beats GA, then both GA and LSU are in. TCU will have to win out to get. The winner of the OSU and MI game is in. So, If TCU wins out, LSU beats GA, then SC is probably out. UNLESS SC smokes ND on Saturday and then smokes whomever we face in the Championship game. If TCU loses and we win out, SC is in. If GA beast LSU and TCU wins out and SC wins out, SC is in. What will really help SC is… Read more »

Golden Trojan
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November 23, 2022 8:16 am

At this point in the season, these next 2 weeks are elimination games. Lose and you are out of playoff consideration. So if you have Georgia, OSU, TCU, USC, and Clemson as conference champs, Clemson is the odd man out for playoff spots. Now if you have LSU, Michigan, Kansas St, Washington, and North Carolina as CC, who gets in the top 4?

TrojanRJJ
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November 23, 2022 9:13 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Golden, see my point above. If LSU beats GA, then both GA and LSU are in as is the winner of the MI/OSU game. If the unusual happens and WA and Kansas St. both win their conferences, then the loser of the MI/OSU game is in. The key is GA losing. I think GA is in win or lose. So, if GA loses, two spots are then taken. This is why they have to change the format.

Golden Trojan
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November 23, 2022 11:04 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

All in on playoff expansion as well.

RialtoTrojan
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November 23, 2022 7:40 am

Strength of schedule is just smoke and mirrors. There are teams who are better than others, but most of the time both teams have an even chance at the start of the game. I really don’t see anything special about LSU. (Which is riding on Ed O’s recruiting) This boils down to and is a primary reason for leaving the PAC 12. Even in the age of instant information, many writers regard the PAC 12 as a lower tier conference. USC has been the outlier of the conference, even during the recent skid into mediocrity. So being in one of… Read more »

Golden Trojan
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November 23, 2022 8:06 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

What happened in September when the Pac12 played the SEC? Oregon and Utah lost. That looks like the best of the SEC is better than the best of the Pac12.

ATL D.D.S.
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November 23, 2022 11:31 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Rialto, you will need to explain the concepts of “UHF” and “antenna” to the younger readers on this site–you’re talking science fiction to them.😄

Steveg
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November 23, 2022 7:33 am

Now in the latest poll, the MIGHTY PAC12 has 7 teams, and the sec has 5. Who has the strongest conference in college football? SoS needs to reflect that also in the voting. Where is the rest of the almighty sec? The B1G has three.

Steveg
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November 23, 2022 7:24 am

They supposedly use SoS based on where the opposing teams are ranked at the time of the vote, not where they were ranked at the time they were played. LSU beat #7 and #20. USC beat #9 and #18. USC one loss, LSU 2 losses. Close but the closeness of the losses goes to USC as LSU lost to FL St by 1 and to Tenn by 27. We all know the one point loss to Utah was the one that got given to Utah, but still a loss. I can’t see how LSU is ahead, other than the sec… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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November 23, 2022 9:19 am
Reply to  Steveg

Steve, I think the best way to end that bias is for SC to just destroy our competition in the next two games. We have a huge stage this Saturday. If SC really shows up, I think everything else will take care of itself. Remember we have played 3 games on the Pac 12 network (which no one gets) AND most of our games not on that network have been really late. AND, we did not perform well against AZ or Cal. I know AZ is a good team, but the rest of the country does not know or think… Read more »

rleeholder1
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November 23, 2022 7:02 am

Boo who! Same old stuff where the SEC is given bias. I’m still sore about the AP voting Alabama #1 over USC in 1978 despite us beating them handily in their house. I was a second year grad student in the Business School that year and attended the game in Birmingham. USC was clearly the better team yet the AP screwed us. The Coaches poll got it right.

ATL D.D.S.
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November 23, 2022 6:22 am

And long live SEC Bias!

UtahTrojan
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November 22, 2022 11:01 pm

Interesting how in this article they want to talk about quality wins but not losses. USC’s only loss was by 1 point in the final minutes on the road. Enough said. The bias is alive and well.

ATL D.D.S.
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November 23, 2022 6:23 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Sounds like the Panthers have a turf problem at their facilities….