USC landed at No. 18 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings for the 2020 season.
USC was one of just two Pac-12 teams ranked. Oregon came in at No. 15, as the committee was clearly unimpressed both with the quality and quantity of Pac-12 wins.
CFP Chairman Gary Barta said the committee looks forward to the Pac-12 programs adding to their resumes and seeing how that affects their ranking. Though, it would appear the fact that neither Oregon nor USC has played a ranked team this season is likely weighing heavier than the lack of total games. Ohio State has played just four games compared to three for the Pac-12 programs, but is ranked No. 4.
USC is 3-0 this season, but its opponents are a combined 0-4 on the season. The Trojans are scheduled to play Colorado on Saturday and the Buffaloes are 2-0 this season.
While the No. 18 ranking likely keeps USC from truly thinking about finishing in the top four and making the CFP, being that close to Oregon is probably a good thing. Final CFP ranking is one of the potential tiebreakers to determine which team hosts the conference championship game. USC is well behind Oregon in the AP poll, where the Ducks are No. 9 and Trojans are No. 19. USC is much closer here to being able to overtake Oregon.
USC is below two-loss Big XII teams Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as two-loss Georgia. In all, ten teams with losses are ranked ahead of the Trojans.