Update: The Trojans have lost the Pac-12 title to the Utes 47-24, who are the only team to take them down this year. This time, it wasn’t a late two-point conversion to win the game in regulation. This was a Utah beatdown in the second half, and Caleb Williams being hobbled didn’t help USC’s cause. This is the end of USC’s playoff hopes, as no two-loss team has ever made the playoff. USC would also not have a conference title, so the Trojans can’t even put that on their resume for the committee.
The USC Trojans managed to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game, but an injury to starting quarterback Caleb Williams was enough to be the difference as a 17-3 lead turned into a 17-17 score at halftime. Utah turned the tables on USC in the second half, building a 27-17 lead entering the final quarter. The Trojans put a touchdown on the board to bring the deficit to 27-24, but their Pac-12 title and College Football Playoff hopes are in serious jeopardy.
But with their body of work, and their only two losses of 2022 both coming to the Utah Utes, did the Trojans do enough to still qualify for the CFP?
The CFP Selection Committee is advised to consider injuries, but they are also directed to favor conference champions. And no matter the reason, Williams and USC were unable to get over the line in a game where they were favored by 2.5 points at DraftKings Sportsbook.
It would be one thing if USC entered this week as the No. 3 team in the rankings, but as the No. 4 they really didn’t have much margin for error. Their nemesis Utah lost at a lowly 6-6 Florida team by three points earlier this season, as well as at UCLA (by 10 points) and at Oregon (by three). That’s not the recipe of a team you want beating you twice while reaching the Playoff.