NCAA Football Rankings 2022: Week 13 College Top 25 Standings Shakeup Prediction
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AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.
The Tennessee Volunteers lost their shot at qualifying for the College Football Playoff on Saturday.
Tennessee fell on the road to the South Carolina Gamecocks in a game in which it could not stop Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks offense.
Josh Heupel’s team was two victories away from the playoff and now it is in danger of falling out of the top 10 in the new AP Top 25 and College Football Playoff rankings.
The North Carolina Tar Heels were not as much of a lock as Tennessee to make the playoff, but they had an outside chance to enter the conversation as the ACC champion.
North Carolina fumbled that opportunity with a shocking home loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The loss also marked the end of Drake Maye’s Heisman Trophy campaign.
The losses by Tennessee and North Carolina shared the headlines with the USC Trojans’ win over the UCLA Bruins.
USC still has work to do to reach the top four, but it should move closer to that slot in the rankings ahead of Week 13.
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AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.
Tennessee’s playoff dream died in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday night.
Josh Heupel’s team entered Week 12 as the No. 5 teams in the AP Top 25 and CFB Playoff rankings.
Tennessee had a clear path to the top four because one of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines had to lose next week.
The Vols didn’t just lose, they fell in spectacular fashion giving up 63 points to South Carolina.
The Gamecocks came into Saturday with 54 points in their last three games, including six points in a loss to the Florida Gators.
The manner in which Tennessee lost should set it for a tumble down the rankings, and potentially out of the top 10.
Tennessee was the only team in the top nine to lose on Saturday. The 10th-ranked Utah Utes fell on the road to the Oregon Ducks.
The Vols could still make it into a New Years’ Six bowl depending on the results of the next two weeks, but they are definitely out of the playoff with two losses.
North Carolina Tar Heels
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North Carolina entered Saturday with a playoff pipe dream.
The Tar Heels were the 13th-ranked team in the playoff rankings, but they had a path to the conversation because they could have been a one-loss ACC champion.
That dream came crashing down against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at home. UNC could not get its offense going all night and it failed to complete a comeback at home that would have saved it from a total collapse.
North Carolina is still going to the ACC Championship Game, but it will head to Charlotte as a two-loss team with a ranking in the middle of the top 25.
UNC can rebound from the loss with a win over the NC State Wolfpack next weekend. That would put the Heels at a respectable 10-2 ahead of their clash with the Clemson Tigers in Charlotte.
A 10-win season and a conference championship game berth are nothing to complain about, but UNC has to feel disappointed that it blew even the slimmest chance of getting into the playoff.
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USC won the weekend.
The Trojans earned a win over their crosstown rival, the UCLA Bruins, in a game that launched quarterback Caleb Williams into the forefront of the Heisman Trophy conversation.
Williams led the Trojans to 48 points to keep alive their playoff hopes and secure a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
USC may only move up one spot in the rankings, but that will be an important one-position boost that brings it closer to the playoff.
The Trojans will be positioned behind the Ohio State-Michigan pair and both SEC Championship Game participants.
That means two teams in front of USC will lose in the next two weeks, which means the easy path for the Trojans is to win out and land in the playoff.
As we have seen this season, that task is far easier on paper than it is to complete on the field. Just ask Tennessee how tough achieving that feat is.