What USC’s Loss Means For College Football Playoff Race

What USC’s Loss Means For College Football Playoff Race

Caleb Williams needed just one win to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff.

For nearly 20 minutes against Utah in the Pac-12 championship game, it appeared the Trojans (11-2, 8-2 Pac-12) were on a mad dash to land one of the four coveted spots, and the Pac-12’s first appearance in the top four since 2017. Williams, fresh from a huge performance against Notre Dame and looking primed to deliver another stellar performance in his quest for the Heisman Trophy.

The Trojans jumped out to an early 14-3 lead before the Utes (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) weathered the storm and tied the game at 17 going into halftime. In one half of play, Williams–who was dealing with a bloody gash on his right pink finger–went 13-of-19 for 170 yards and two touchdowns. However, momentum changed in favor of Utah in the second half. The Utes outscored the Trojans 30-7 in the second half on their way to earning their second straight Pac-12 titles.

With the Trojans’ loss, it all but closes the door to the Pac-12’s chances to have a team in the CFP.

There are still many issues to be resolved: Nov. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan and No. TCU will all be playing their conference championship games on Saturday. The Trojans will not be included in the final CFP rankings due to USC’s two losses at Utah.

Sitting just behind them is 11-1 Ohio State at No. 5 and 10-2 Alabama at No. 6. This loss opens the door to both teams, but if the selection panel stays true to last week’s rankings, then the Buckeyes could be in the fourth and final playoff spot if USC loses.

Ohio State won’t play in the conference championship. However, it will face Michigan (8-4).

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