The 2022 College Football Playoff is starting to coalesce.
Georgia remained in its perch atop the rankings after closing the regular season with a dominant win over Georgia Tech, while Michigan moved comfortably into the No. 2 slot after a shocking 45-23 blowout of Ohio State.
The Buckeyes dropped all the way from No. 2 to No. 5 after their second straight loss to their Big Ten rival. Ohio State will have to hope TCU or USC loses in its conference championship game to have a realistic shot at earning a berth.
Here is a look at how the entire Top 25 played out:
5. Ohio State
8. Penn State
10. Kansas State
13. Florida State
15. Oregon State
19. South Carolina
21. Notre Dame
23. North Carolina
24. Mississippi State
25. NC State
Georgia and Michigan are locks to make the playoff regardless of their results this weekend. They made their way through the two toughest conferences undefeated—not even upset losses to LSU and Purdue will take the shine off in the eyes of the committee.
TCU is also undefeated but significantly less secure. A loss to Kansas State on Saturday would give the committee a choice between the one-loss Horned Frogs and one-loss Ohio State, neither of which will carry the weight of a conference championship victory.
"[The Big 12 is] a gauntlet," TCU coach Sonny Dyles said Saturday. "I think people who really study the game know how good the league is. To get through this thing undefeated, to be able to win road games, grind through some of the tough moments we had to grind through, I think, shows we have a good football team."
The Buckeyes would be a significant favorite on a neutral field against the Horned Frogs, which could play a factor in the final decision.
"As we get to [the CFP selection show Sunday], you got to look at the body of work and what we've done," Ohio State coach Ryan Day told reporters. "We got a lot of good pieces on this team and came up short today, but if we were able to get a shot in the Top Four, we would be a dangerous team."
USC also faces a straightforward proposition: Win and you're in, lose and you're out. The Trojans' one loss came by one point at Utah, and they can avenge that defeat Friday night on a neutral field.
USC and TCU would need to lose for Alabama to have any chance to make the playoff. The Crimson Tide have missed out just once since the inaugural CFP in 2014.
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