The Trojans are ranked at #11 in the CFP rankings released on Tuesday, while the Colorado Buffaloes sit at #8 and offer the biggest obstacle to the USC hopes of playing in the Rose Bowl.
Colorado and #4 Washington will meet in the Pac-12 title game on Friday, and the outcome of that game will have a huge impact on where the Trojans will play for a bowl game.
If Washington wins, they would not only win the conference title but it’s hard to imagine they would fall from that important #4 ranking, which would mean the Huskies get a spot in a CFP semi-final game. And if that happens, that means the automatic conference berth in the Rose Bowl would be vacated, and the Rose Bowl gets to select the next highest-ranked team based on the CFP rankings.
So that means USC fans will be rooting for the kind of Colorado loss that would drop the Buffaloes below the Trojans in the rankings. That’s no sure thing, even if CU loses badly, but it’s definitely possible and it’s the best hope the Trojans have of being in Pasadena on Jan.2 so it’s what we will wish for.
If that doesn’t happen, if CU should either win the game against Washington or lose while staying ahead of the Trojans in the rankings, then the Trojans would head to the Alamo Bowl against a Big 12 opponent. There is a chance the Cotton Bowl could be in play, but more than likely it would be Alamo.