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LSU inches closer to top 4 in latest College Football Playoff rankings

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LSU head coach Brian Kelly talks to the officials in the first half against Arkansas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Nov. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

LSU head coach Brian Kelly talks to the officials in the first half against Arkansas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Nov. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/TNS)

LSU moved closer to the top four in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night.

The Tigers (9-2) earned the No. 5 spot with its win over UAB, coupled with Tennessee’s stunning loss to South Carolina. Brian Kelly’s team is already locked into the SEC Championship Game against Georgia on Dec. 3. A win over the Bulldogs would be enough to secure a spot in one of the semifinals.

The top four spots remained unchanged this week, with No. 1 Georgia (11-0), No. 2 Ohio State (11-0), No. 3 Michigan (11-0) and No. 4 TCU (11-0) in the mix for the two semifinal games. However, that should change next week, with Ohio State hosting Michigan on Saturday. The winner earns a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, while the loser sees its playoff chances take a massive hit.

Southern California moved into the No. 6 spot for the first time in school history. The Trojans, who secured a berth in the Pac-12 Championship with their win over UCLA, will host No. 15 Notre Dame (8-3) on Saturday.

Alabama (9-2) remains in the mix at No. 7, with the Crimson Tide hosting rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Clemson (10-1), which moved up to No. 8, faces rival South Carolina before taking on North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers’ playoff hopes hinge on winning their remaining games, USC and LSU losing and the selection committee seeing value in a conference champion over a one-loss Big Ten loser.

Oregon (9-2) moved up three spots to No. 9 with a win over Utah, with the Ducks needing a win over Oregon State to clinch a place in the Pac-12 title game.

Tennessee (9-2) saw its playoff hopes evaporate with the loss to the Gamecocks, as the Volunteers, who only have Vanderbilt remaining on the schedule, drop to No. 10.

This is the fourth of six weekly rankings released by the selection committee, with the final poll revealed on Dec. 4. Those rankings will determine the four semifinal teams and those teams participating in the New Year’s Six bowl games.

The Vrbo Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will host the two semifinal games on Dec. 31, with the Orange (Dec. 30), Sugar (Dec. 31), Cotton (Jan. 2) and Rose (Jan. 2) bowls set to host the rest of the New Year’s Six.

The top-ranked conference champion from the Group of Five earns an automatic spot in the NY6 Access bowl game.

The National Championship Game will take place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Jan. 9.

Boo Corrigan, Mitch Barnhart, Tom Burman, Rick George, Chet Gladchuk, Jim Grobe, Warde Manuel, Will Shields, Gene Taylor, Joe Taylor, John Urschel, Rod West and Kelly Whiteside comprise the 13-member selection committee tasked with coming up with the rankings.

Playoff rankings

1. Georgia (11-0)

2. Ohio State (11-0)

3. Michigan (11-0)

4. TCU (11-0)

5. LSU (9-2)

6. USC (10-1)

7. Alabama (9-2)

8. Clemson (10-1)

9. Oregon (9-2)

10. Tennessee (9-2)

11. Penn State (9-2)

12. Kansas State (8-3)

13. Washington (9-2)

14. Utah (8-3)

15. Notre Dame (8-3)

16. Florida State (8-3)

17. North Carolina (9-2)

18. UCLA (8-3)

19. Tulane (9-2)

20. Ole Miss (8-3)

21. Oregon State (8-3)

22. UCF (8-3)

23. Texas (7-4)

24. Cincinnati (9-2)

25. Louisville (7-4)

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